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Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills Jenny Gilruth

In World Gaelic Week, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is delighted that its flagship Gaelic language teaching programme, Blasad Gàidhlig, is up and running again for the ninth year.

The sessions, delivered through the organisation’s Fèisgoil service, are aimed at young learners acquiring Gaelic as an additional language in school. Gaelic is acquired through a progressive programme tailored for children and their teachers in nursery and primary schools, featuring interactive sessions consolidated with games, songs, and active learning methods.

Thanks to ongoing funding from the consortium of local authorities as well as direct funding from The Scottish Government, Fèisgoil is delivering Blasad Gàidhlig in eight council areas in 2024: Argyll & Bute, Dundee, Falkirk, Glasgow, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, and West Dunbartonshire, demonstrating the service's growing impact across an increasing number of communities. 

The scheme is being delivered in 28 schools, facilitated by an enthusiastic team of 13 tutors. More than 2,200 pupils are benefitting from engaging with Gaelic language and culture.

Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills Jenny Gilruth said:  “Gaelic is a vital part of Scotland’s culture and this Government is determined to ensure it remains integral to our future.”

“The Blasad Gàidhlig programme has made a significant impact in promoting Gaelic and the tutors make an important contribution to language learning at nursery and primary levels.  The tailored approach for children and teachers which the programme offers has been central to developing the cultural understanding and language skills of pupils.”

Fèisgoil Manager Eilidh Mackenzie said: “Some schools are at the very start of their Gaelic journey and we warmly welcomed them to the Blasad Gàidhlig scheme for 2023-24. Some schools, however, have now been involved for many years with children receiving Gaelic tuition through Blasad Gàidhlig in each of their primary years. We are delighted to be able to support all these school communities in this way.”

“The economic impact of the scheme on our tutor group is very important too. Many of our tutors are students and to be able to offer them such worthwhile, well-paid work is really important, highlighting that Gaelic is a real financial asset at different stages of life.”

Blasad Gàidhlig's success is underscored by its ability to make language acquisition an enjoyable and inclusive experience for children while supporting educators in their efforts to teach Gaelic as an additional language, with one teacher commenting: “The children are engaged in each session, taking learning home and also continuing the learning in class between each session. It has developed my own capacity and confidence using Gaelic in the classroom also.”