If you can’t say anything nice….

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As a language learner, I have always enjoyed the journey of discovery it has taken me on. Finding out about the music, history, customs, food and ideas is just magical. Language is such a precious thing and part of the lifeblood of a nation. Even better is the richness of different languages in once country, it makes for a colourful tapestry of ideas, history and vision.
Having had the privilege of learning a language and teaching a language, I have always felt protective of languages. Perhaps this comes from having had such a rich experience, met the most wonderful people, had some amazing adventures and above all never lost my love to communicate.
To see the vitriol currently being aimed at Gaelic at the moment, I can honestly say I find it heard to comprehend. For some reason it seems to bring out the very worst in people who know hee haw about it. It’s getting a huge amount of press at the moment as the government have announced funding to further support Gaelic teaching and learning.
Investing in education. Imagine that. That’s a pure sin.
If these critics had any ideas about what is actually spent on Gaelic Medium Education they would be asking for lessons in creative accounting. Believe you me, there is nowhere near ENOUGH funding for it and the sustainability of it is something we are constantly trying to manage. Gaelic medium education has grown at such a rate, it is something we should celebrate,not criticise.
In many European countries, bilingual education is the norm and it starts from nursery education. We pale into insignificance when on a linguistic playing field and what with a potential exit from the European Union, language skills are going to be more in demand than before. A possible referendum on independence may see us even more in need of the ability to communicate with others.
People have many different reasons for speaking and learning Gaelic. I don’t understand the marmite effect it seems to have on people. Other countries not only promote their many languages but do so in other countries. ( and throw significant financial backing to it )
We struggle here to find an acceptance for Gaelic Language learning and many people query its place in education. Why single out Gaelic? (and don’t start that dead language nonsense, it’s not dead. Deal with it) There are many things on the curriculum that I learned that I have never ever used. Gaelic medium education is a choice and is not forced on people. Comments on a recent radio show about validity only highlighted the misconceptions about bi lingual education.
People getting annoyed when they know nothing about it but think that if they shout then it will give their argument more depth.
I think not.
What’s that saying, if you can’t say anything nice……..

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