Why this course?
Our School of Education is the principal and longest-established provider of Gaelic-medium education (GME) initial teacher education in Scotland.
This is a full-time, one-year course. It’s designed to help qualified teachers with intermediate-level Gaelic transfer to Gaelic-medium classrooms.
The course is unique in Scotland. It combines language training with a focus on pedagogical requirements for working in GME including:
- understanding approaches to language learning and teaching ‘immersion’ classrooms
- current policy, provision & practice relating to GME
- bilingualism in education
You’ll study six core modules and complete three placements in Gaelic-speaking classrooms and organisations.
These will focus on the development of advanced Gaelic language skills relevant to GME. The language and pedagogy modules are taught in tandem. This maximises your opportunity to develop professional competences in the spoken and written language.
- Gaelic 1: Gràmar, fuaimneachadh agus cainnte làitheil
- Gaelic 2: Leasachadh conaltraidh
- Gaelic 3: Comasan conaltraidh adhartach
- Pedagogy 1: Language learning and teaching
- Pedagogy 2: Gaelic medium education: policy, provision, practice
- Pedagogy 2: Understanding, supporting and promoting bilingualism
You’ll complete three placements over the course of the year. Two of the three will be in Gaelic-medium classrooms, relevant to your existing experience and plans for future work. You’ll spend one week in November observing practice and four weeks in the spring teaching classes in Gaelic.
The third placement will be in a Gaelic-speaking organisation. You’ll complete 70 hours of voluntary work over the course of the year. You’ll use the Gaelic language and develop links for future school activities.
Over the course of the year, you'll complete a project. There is flexibility in your choice of project but you’re encouraged to consult your local sponsoring authority. It may involve the school or organisation where you have taken your placements. Or it may reflect other aspects of the course, for example:
- exploring the role of education in Gaelic revitalisation
- the development of new resources
- the implementation of national or local Gaelic language plans
Gaelic 1: Gràmar, fuaimneachadh agus cainnte làitheil
Gaelic 2: Leasachadh conaltraidh
You'll develop your Gaelic grammar, syntax, vocabulary and idiom. The emphasis will be on pronunciation and oral communication skills.
Gaelic 3: Comasan conaltraidh adhartach
You'll further develop your grammar skills, build vocabulary and idiom. You'll build communicative competence, with an emphasis on reading, writing and spelling. All conventions needed by classroom teachers.
Pedagogy 1: Language learning and teaching
You'll focus on advanced oral presentation, writing and translation skills and linguistic analysis. This is content-based learning with an emphasis on topics to support practical classroom situations. Student-led discussion, project-work and self-study are prominent in this module.
Pedagogy 2: Gaelic medium education: policy, provision, practice
You'll addresses current theories, policies and practices relating to language learning and teaching. Particularly those concerned with language immersion settings.
You'll learn the confidence and skills to progress and support children's competence in Gaelic. This is for the relevant stages between the ages of 3 and 18. You'll start to develop the ability to discuss these matters in Gaelic.
Pedagogy 3: Understanding, supporting and promoting bilingualism
You'll learn about GME provision, policy and practice. You'll develop a critical perspective on ways in which they can contribute to the goals of this sector.
This supports your competence and confidence to discuss these matters in Gaelic.
You'll focus on bilingual learners and the role GME plays in developing their competence in both Gaelic and in English.
It promotes critical perspectives on the implementation of the principles of bilingual education. You'll have the knowledge and linguistic skills to discuss these matters in Gaelic.
Learning & teaching
You're expected to attend classes four days a week with one day a week allocated to independent study. This is due to the focus on language training and because most of the content is delivered in Gaelic.
Language learning teaching includes a focus on:
- oral presentation
- listening comprehension
You're encouraged to put your language skills to use in a variety of contexts including:
- social and professional encounters
- development of teaching resources
- use of social media
- networking events etc
Pedagogical learning and teaching includes:
- opportunities for microteaching
- participation in professional development events for GME
You'll develop professional networks which you'll maintain after you have completed the course.
There are lectures from experts in GME and related areas scheduled throughout the year. The majority of these are in Gaelic. You’ll get perspectives on policy, provision and practice in this sector and hear a range of Gaelic voices.
Assessment Assessment includes formal language tests, assessment of oral and written presentations in Gaelic concerning a range of professionally relevant tasks, and evaluation of the major project.
Candidates for this course will be selected by their local authority. Eligibility to apply will be determined following an interview and participation in a week-long taster session.
Candidates should be qualified to teach in Scotland (ie full GTCS registration), and have intermediate-level Gaelic, eg Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig.
According to the Council of Europe Framework of Reference for Languages Level B1, intermediate level is defined as:
- can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc
- can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken
- can produce simple connected text on topics, which are familiar, or of personal interest
- can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans
This is broadly equivalent to Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig, but we recognise that Gaelic learners have very diverse language learning histories. The course team is happy to discuss and assess prospective participants’ Gaelic competence in order to determine whether the course is suitable.
Fees & funding
All candidates are fully funded by their local authority employer. All fees are paid by Bord na Gaidhlig, the organisation charged by the Scottish Government with implementing the National Gaelic Language Plan. Teachers will be seconded full time for one year on this course by their employer including salary, travel and subsistence etc. Further information can be obtained from your local authority or direct from Bord na Gaidhlig.
The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
Candidates are seconded from their local authority employer for the duration of study on this programme. Those who successfully complete the programme are required to commit at least three years to teaching in a gaelic-medium position with their local authority employer.
Demand for Gaelic teachers is high.
The National Gaelic Language Plan 2012-2017 has set targets for a significant rise in the numbers of children enrolled in Gaelic-medium education.
This means an increase in the number of teachers qualified to teach through the medium of Gaelic.
Candidates are required to participate in the recruitment process before making an application for study. If you are interested in a career as a Gaelic-medium teacher, you are encouraged to speak to your local authority employer who will propose candidates for the programme following a rigorous vetting process between the months of January and May each year.
Gaelic Immersion for Teachers
Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Aug 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time