Common Questions about GME
Please see below common questions with answers. If you have further questions or need clarity please feel free to contact us.
What is Gaelic medium education (GME)?
GME involves the use of the Gaelic language for all learning and teaching, using total immersion methods in P1 and P2 for children who are not fluent speakers. English reading and writing are usually introduced from P3 but Gaelic remains the language of the class. Children attending GME classes follow the same curriculum as pupils in English medium. In this way children, irrespective of overall academic ability, can learn to speak, read and write Gaelic and English equally well.
How will GME benefit my child?
There are many benefits from having more than one language and it makes no difference what languages these are. However in Scotland Gaelic is a real asset and will aid access to employment in many sectors as well as being socially and culturally enriching.
Is it possible if we can’t speak Gaelic ourselves?
Yes, most children in Gaelic education come from non-Gaelic speaking homes.
Will my child learn two languages only half as well as one?
There is almost no limit to a child’s ability to learn languages and in some countries very young children can speak three or four languages. Skills such as reading are easily transferred between languages.
Does GME hinder children’s development?
No. Studies have shown that children in GME do as well as their peers in all subjects including English.
I’d like my child to have a bilingual education but I’m worried that I won’t be able to help with homework?
Parents usually find that once their child is in school that they need not have worried about homework but when necessary there is support available. Online support and other parental support structures such as homework clubs are widely available.
How can I help with my child’s education when I do not speak Gaelic myself?
Support you child by taking an interest in their education and in as many aspects of Gaelic activity as possible – television, radio, out-of-school activities and social occasions. There are also many opportunities for parents to learn Gaelic, very often in special classes for parents.
Can my child start learning Gaelic before starting primary school?
Yes, many areas have Gaelic Parent & Toddler groups and activities such as Gaelic Bookbug for 0-3 year olds. Council-run nursery provision is now available in most areas and is normally attached to the schools with Gaelic-medium primary education.
My child is fluent. Why should I choose GME?
GME reinforces the language of the fluent speakers and encourages them to continue using Gaelic in all situations. It also enables them to become fully literate in the language.
How can I get more information?
Have a look on our website which also has links to other useful sites or contact your own local authority.