16th January 2014
The press this week (Scotsman, Tuesday
14 January 2014) reported a call by head teacher Isabel Lind, of Aileymill Primary School,
in Greenock, for the Scottish Government to include the Scots language in the
1+2 education initiative which aims to have children in primary school learn
two foreign languages alongside English.
Lind, who fears that unless we act in favour of Scots it will die out,
stated that Scots was an obvious choice to take one of the slots alongside
English, though, of course, Scots is native to the country. She recognised that
Scots was the language spoken in many homes and was the first language many
children brought to school, though knowledge about the language was often
lacking. She was also quite critical of the Curriculum for Excellence
(introduced in 2010) which she claimed lacked vigour.
The press report highlighted the keen debate about the place of (non-English) language teaching in Scotland but added that the number of language assistants in schools had continued to decline. When asked about the Scots language, a spokesman for the Scottish Government replied The Scottish Government is committed to supporting all of Scotlands languages. The teaching of Scots can be incorporated into the 1+2 programme. The appointment of Scots language co-ordinators in schools also has the potential to open up different ways of promoting Scots through learning and teaching.