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Parliamentary Questions 2018

Question S5W-19180: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Independent, Date Lodged: 03/10/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to promote and encourage the everyday use of the Scots language.

Answered by John Swinney (23/10/2018): 

The Scottish Government has made clear its support for our indigenous languages, including Scots. It is essential that those that wish to use the Scots language are given every opportunity to use the language of their choice. For many, Scots is the language of home and community and its use in other areas of Scottish life should be encouraged.

The Scottish Government published its Scots Language Policy, , in 2015. This document sets out how we will promote and support Scots and encourage its respect and recognition. The Scottish Government, working with other partners in Scottish public and community life, will be guided by the aims below:

  • to enhance the status of Scots in Scottish public and community life,
  • to promote the acquisition, use and development of Scots in education, media, publishing and the arts,
  • to encourage the increased use of Scots as a valid and visible means of communication in all aspects of Scottish life,

With these aims in mind recent activity to encourage the everyday use of the Scots language has included:

  • Education Scotland published a new report Scots Language in Curriculum for Excellence: enhancing skills in literacy, developing successful learners and confident individuals which gathered evidence of the educational benefits of Scots when used in schools.
  • The Open University in Scotland will soon launch a new Scots Language course via their platform OpenLearn Create. The aim of the course is to contribute to the CPD of teachers (and other tutors) and has been created in partnership with Education Scotland. The 10-hour course will be free to the public and will sit alongside the wider languages curriculum of the OU.
  • The Scottish Government funded body, the Scots Language Centre launched their new site which features games that children and young people can play in Scots, as well as guidance for teachers using the resources in schools and information for parents: .


Question S5W-16021: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/04/2018

To ask the Scottish Government which foreign languages are taught in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools, and what percentage of the curriculum this represents.

Answered by John Swinney (25/04/2018): 

The Scottish Government is supporting the implementation of the 1+2 language policy which is due to be delivered by 2021 and will entitle pupils to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue. It is for local authorities to decide which languages will be offered. The first additional foreign language will continue to be one of those available at National Qualification level which are German, French, Spanish, Urdu, Chinese languages and Italian. There is also the opportunity for schools to offer the Scottish Qualification Authority Modern Language for Life and Work Award which is also available in Russian and Polish.

It is not possible to say what percentage of the curriculum is comprised of language learning. Curriculum for Excellence does not specify a particular time allocation for individual curriculum areas; it is up to local authorities and schools to allocate sufficient time so that the entitlement for each is met. However, the entitlement to language learning begins in P1 and it is expected that language learning continues for all until the end of the third year of secondary. Although this question relates to foreign languages, the 1+2 language policy entitlement also includes Gaelic, Scots and British Sign Language.


Question S5W-13742: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/01/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what support it will provide to the 2018 Celtic Connections festival, and what engagements (a) ministers and (b) officials plan to undertake at the event.

Answered by Fiona Hyslop (18/01/2018):

Celtic Connections has received £550K of Regular Funded Organisations (RFO) funding from Creative Scotland equating to £183,334 and £4K towards the Gaelic and Scots Showcase in 2018.

The Scottish Government Ministers and officials will be attending a number of events at the Celtic Connections to celebrate the 25th anniversary. I am attending the opening reception and concert and the Minister for International Development and Europe will be attending the BEMIS Burns Supper. In addition the Scottish Government will support the showcase Scotland events and the Irish partner country events. Officials will support Ministerial attendance and attend the List Festival programme launch. All Ministerial activity is published quarterly in detail.