Scots training available from Education Scotland

Coloured pencils in a jar - image by alegri at alegriphotos.com

Education Scotland’s three Scots Language Co-ordinators have been extremely busy through 2015 and this looks set to continue through 2016 as they provide training in Scots language education up and down the land. You can still sign up to take part!

Rather than advertising traditional ‘twilight’ sessions, we have branded these professional learning meetings ‘Gloamin Sessions’. The name is meant partly in fun, but also makes the serious point that Scots is acceptable for formal situations and communications.

Many of the Local Authorities have been quick to embrace the offer of professional learning about Scots, recognising the benefits in terms of transferable literacy skills, motivational benefits to learners, and the wider opportunities for learning about language.

Gloamin Sessions focus on reading Scots, writing in Scots, and talking and listening in Scots

So far, Scots language training has been provided for primary and secondary colleagues in Aberdeen, Angus, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Highland, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

We have been delighted with the sheer number of teachers signing up voluntarily for training, with some dedicated colleagues even coming along on Saturday mornings to learn about Scots. Some of our biggest groups so far have been in Moray, where more than forty practitioners travelled from as far afield as Cabrach, Findochty, and Keith for two packed early evening sessions in Elgin Town Hall.

The Gloamin Sessions focus on the significant aspects of learning for English and literacy – so reading Scots, writing in Scots, and talking and listening in Scots. We look at everything from Scots songs and counting rhymes through to graphic novels, heritage poetry, and contemporary Scots. The training presents participants with a rich variety of resources, and in many places we have been able to tailor the material to the particular variety of Scots used in the local area.

The training also touches on links between Scots and other modern European languages – an aspect that is of particular interest to practitioners who are developing their programmes of learning for 1+2 Languages. The link between Scots and other European languages is clear - have a look at the table below:

 

Scots word European counterpart
bairns barn (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish - children)
breeks broek (Dutch – trousers)
hoose hus (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish - house)
ken kennen (Dutch and German – to know)
kirk kirche (German - church)
licht licht (German - light)
lift luft (German – the air)

Participants have been keen to get back to their classrooms and put new ideas into practice. Many practitioners have reported being pleased to hear that Scots now has official backing from Education Scotland and the Scottish Government - in the form of a new Scots Language Policy – and feedback on our Gloamin Sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.

If you would like further information on Education Scotland’s Scots training, contact Bruce Eunson, Scots Language Co-ordinator, Education Scotland: Bruce.eunson@EducationScotland.gsi.gov.uk

Want more tips to implement Scots in the classroom? Read the rest of our blogs about Scots in schools.

Check out our Scots book lists to find books in a wide range of Scots dialects.

Top image by Alegri at alegriphotos.com

Dr. Simon Hall

Dr Simon W. Hall has worked as a Principal Teacher of English, a Scots Language Coordinator, and a Depute Head Teacher. His new book E-Grades: National Five English, is a fully interactive downloadable study guide for the N5 English course and is the first dedicated e-book study guide for any SQA course. It includes video tutorials, audio support material, and a range of brand new practice-paper style material, with example questions and answers for every part of N5 English. Details are available here, and you can read an extract at Simon's blog.