Gaelic Medium Education
Gaelic Medium Education gives children an opportunity to learn Gaelic in the most natural way possible as the language is being absorbed through their learning.
How effective is Gaelic Medium Education ?
A report published in 1999 on behalf of the Scottish Executive Education Department stated the following:
"...pupils receiving Gaelic-medium primary education, whether or not Gaelic was the language of their home, were not being disadvantaged in comparison with children educated through English. In many though not all instances they out-performed English-medium pupils and in addition gained the advantage of having become proficient in two languages ".
Prof. Richard Johnstone
The Attainments of Pupils Receiving Gaelic-medium Primary Education in Scotland
Scottish CILT, Stirling University, 1999
More recent research conducted in 2010 by Edinburgh University on behalf of Bòrd na Gàidhlig found that;
“Pupils in Gaelic-medium education, who are not exposed to English in the classroom until at least Primary 3, catch up with and overtake English-medium pupils in their command of English. By Secondary 2, whereas only one half of English-medium pupils had reached the expected level E in English reading and writing, three quarters of Gaelic-medium pupils had done so.”
“....Gaelic-medium pupils’ attainment in other areas of the curriculum does not seem to be affected by their learning subjects through the medium of Gaelic (typically their second language).”
The educational benefits of bilingualism are well documented. It is widely accepted that children speaking two languages seem to have a greater facility for handling all aspects of the thought process. Bilingualism can also enhance a child's prospects of successfully learning other languages.