Free course

Gaelic in modern Scotland

Free statement of participation on completion

Modern Scotland is a multi-lingual country. Gaelic, Scots and English, along with newer introductions from Europe and beyond, all influence the way Scotland's people now speak to each other and to the rest of the world. Created with the positive encouragement of Bòrd na Gàidhlig and with support from BBC Alba, this free course, Gaelic in modern Scotland, is available in both Gaelic and English. The course has been designed to provide a resource for people with a personal or professional interest in increasing their knowledge and understanding of the development and impact of Scottish Gaelic and its culture. It aims to surprise and challenge where necessary; to provide links and ideas for further research; and, for some, to kick-start a journey into learning a language which is integral to Scotland's national identity.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how Gaelic sits alongside Scots and English as one of Scotland’s national languages
  • understand the origins and Celtic roots of Gaelic and its close linguistic relations, including Irish and Manx, and the Gaelic Diaspora
  • understand who is speaking Gaelic now, the decline in Gaelic speakers in the twentieth century and the work currently being done by government, educational institutions and independent agencies to support and grow Gaelic language acquisition the value of bi-lingualism/multi-lingualism to individuals and society, and the efforts made by countries like New Zealand to protect and celebrate the contribution of indigenous minority languages
  • understand how Gaelic is spoken
  • understand how Gaelic language and culture continue to make a significant contribution to Scotland’s literature, visual arts, music, dance and sporting life.

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content