A new resource aimed at teaching Gaelic to learners in the early-years environment has been launched early in order to help fill the gap caused by the closure of Gaelic nurseries and Pre-school education settings amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Gàidhlig nan Òg, previewed at last year’s An t-Alltan conference for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) practitioners, was due to have been launched in August 2020 but has been brought forward to help the home-learning community.

The website has been created by Gaelic educational resources agency Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig. The new Gàidhlig nan Òg resource can be found online at: www.gaidhlig-nan-og.scot

Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People, said: “I would like to warmly commend and thank all at Stòrlann for developing this fabulous resource and launching it at this time. This website for young Gaelic learners is packed with songs, rhymes and activities and will provide vital support for Gaelic learning in early years. It will provide hours of fun and learning and will give young people an excellent start on the road to fluency in the Gaelic language.”

The resource aims to provide parents/carers and early years practitioners with an abundance of themed resources to help the acquisition of Gaelic in pre-school children.

Gàidhlig nan Òg features a series of presentations to teach words and phrases plus supporting soundfiles, illustrations, songs, stories and activities, matched to three stages of language progression. A guidance document with suggestions on how best to use the resource is included.

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “Encouraging and enabling young people to develop Gaelic skills is core to our work. We recognise the crucial role of families in bringing up new Gaelic speakers, and we are delighted that this fantastic resource will support them to do that at home, particularly during this time. Credit too must be given to the early years workers who provide support through creative ways of engaging youngsters at home.”

Although aimed at early years practitioners for their day-to-day interactions with children aged 0-5, Gàidhlig nan Òg will also support adult learners, including those who are completely new to Gaelic, and parents wanting to support their children on their Gaelic journey in the home, regardless of whether the parent is a beginner learner, more advanced or fluent.

The resource is presented in themes, including the face and body, numbers, colours, daily routines, the weather, animals and pets, outdoor learning, topical themes such as Halloween and Christmas, and nursery rhymes and traditional songs.

It also contains an optional tracking document, which early years practitioners can use to record a child’s progress and pass on to colleagues and parents.

Donald W Morrison, Chief Executive of Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhig, said: “Gàidhlig nan Òg will serve as a highly valuable addition to the range of resources available for the acquisition and usage of Gaelic in nursery, pre-school and home settings.

"In this, the most challenging of times, I wish to thank Jackie Mullen for her wonderful work, the Stòrlann team for their efforts in bringing the release date forward and making Gàidhlig nan Òg available for immediate use and Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government for their generous support. Go explore and have fun with Scottish Gaelic!