Research Digests

(1) Language Models in Gaelic-medium Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education

Fiona O’Hanlon, Lindsay Paterson, Wilson McLeod, The University of Edinburgh

This Research Digest describes patterns of Gaelic and English language use in Gaelic-medium pre-school, primary school and secondary school providers in Scotland. Evidence is given on language use in the classroom and in other areas of the school environment. The project was funded by Soillse and the Scottish Government.

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(2) Choice and Attainment in Gaelic medium primary and early secondary education

Fiona O’Hanlon, Wilson McLeod, Lindsay Paterson, The University of Edinburgh

This Research Digest summarises the results of a research project which investigated: (i) why people choose or do not choose Gaelic medium education and (ii) the effects of Gaelic medium education on pupils’ attainment. The data on attainment was gathered in the 2006-07 and 2008- 09 school years. The data on choice was gathered in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years.

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(3) Public Attitudes to Gaelic in Scotland

Fiona O’Hanlon & Lindsay Paterson (Edinburgh University) Rachel Ormston & Susan Reid (ScotCen Social Research)

Gaelic has become more prominent in Scotland in recent decades, especially since the Scottish Parliament passed the Gaelic Language Act in 2005. The language has been increasingly used in broadcasting, schools, and public affairs. But there is little research evidence about the attitudes of people in Scotland to Gaelic. A representative sample of adults in Scotland was thus asked their views as part of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in 2012. This Research Digest summarises the results.

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(4) Attitudes to Gaelic and to Scottish Autonomy

Lindsay Paterson and Fiona O’Hanlon (The University of Edinburgh)

Does language matter in the debate about Scotland’s constitutional future? The status of a national language has been a source of controversy in many movements for the autonomy of small nations, for example in Ireland and Wales. Yet Scotland seems to be an exception. Although the country has three indigenous languages – English, Gaelic and Scots – and many languages which have arrived more recently, the relationships among them have never been prominently linked to how Scotland is governed. Gaelic has received broad support from across the political spectrum, and the absence of perceived links between Gaelic and more divisive political issues has helped to achieve the broad consensus.

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