Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.531885
Title: The role of Gaelic (learners) education in reversing language shift for Gaelic in Scotland
Author: Milligan, Lindsay
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
Extensive literature has argued the important role that education plays in the process of language shift. Within this literature, it is widely acknowledged that education in which the target language is also the medium of instruction can make a positive contribution toward Reversing Language Shift. For users of minoritised languages in particular, having access to education in one’s own language has important status and educational consequences: helping to support the prestige of the target language and also reducing the kinds of educational inequalities that are often associated with minoritised languages. In keeping with the prime importance of language-as-medium education to language planning goals, there is a growing body of research which focuses upon Gaelic Medium Education in Scotland. The role that second or additional language education can play in Reversing Language Shift is acknowledged to a much lesser extent. This is especially true within the context of Scotland, where the relevant education provision within state secondary schools, Gaelic (Learners) Education, has only received passing recognition. This thesis aimed to address this gap in knowledge about the way in which education contributes to development goals for Gaelic in Scotland by questioning what, if any, role the Gaelic (Learners) Education programme has to play in the reversal of language shift. The first aim of the dissertation was to identify a theoretical foundation for the role that second or additional language education can play in Reversing Language Shift. Several prominent theoretical approaches were reviewed and a hypothesis posed that Gaelic (Learners) Education was beneficial to both Acquisition and Status development. Subsequent analyses of policies at the macro, meso, and micro levels confirmed the relevance of this hypothesis. However, it was also found that there was a lack of overt policy acknowledgement for Gaelic (Learners) Education in Scotland overall, suggesting that the stream was not regarded as being particularly relevant to Reversing Language Shift. The next aim of the thesis was to clarify the ways in which the stream could be used to help contribute to the reversal of language shift. This focused on identifying areas in which this educational programme could be improved. Using data elicited in semi-structured interviews with education professionals and gathered through surveys of pupils within GLE classes, several blockages for Gaelic (Learners) Education could be identified including aspects of capacity, opportunity and attitudes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.531885  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Scottish Gaelic language ; Linguistic change
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