A complete academic course in Gaelic for beginners
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As you know, learning Gaelic is not a direct, linear process. Using a single resource is never advisable in the long term when learning a language, and Gaelic is no exception. With this in mind, the Progressive Gaelic team create, develop and contribute to other resources on a regular basis. We work with LearnGaelic, both in the development of our CEFR project and also in the development of some of their own new resources; we work with Bòrd na Gàidhlig on the creation of a number of innovative projects (also including the CEFR project); and we have worked with the international language-learning platform Glossika. On this page, we will present links that will take you to some of the resources that have had our direct input, since these were all created in some way or another to articulate with the Progressive Gaelic course. These resources are additional resources, over and above what is available on our members-only page.
Glossika is a powerful resource that gives you a huge boost with both listening and also putting together sentences in the language you are learning. It is probably most useful for people who are around A2 with a language (i.e. able to have basic conversations, but not quite at the point where they can understand or contribute to 'real' conversations), but it also works for those who are closer to either A1 or B1. The Gaelic version of Glossika was created by Moray Watson and Alec MacDonald (Ailig Bhàltos), and it is completely free to use. If you need to improve your ability to put words together, or you need help with listening to, and understanding, sentences at native-speaker speed, Glossika is ideal for you. Access it here.
Gaelic in the Workplace: Front of House Skills
This is a set of short courses available to anyone who wishes to develop the ability to use basic Gaelic in the workplace: for instance, when answering the phone or greeting people at reception. The courses have been developed by several members of the Progressive Gaelic team. With support from the Scottish Funding Council, the University of Aberdeen will deliver these courses starting in the first half of 2021.
Gàidhlig na Cagailte
For those who are already relatively advanced, but who need some help with getting their listening skills to a very high level, Gàidhlig na Cagailte has been designed specially with you in mind. Do you find that you can understand a face-to-face chat reasonably well, and that you can even follow 'talking heads' on television, but that you still struggle to follow characters talking on drama programmes or groups of people chatting at speed and with lots of jokes, interruptions, etc.? It is very common to have this problem when you get to an upper intermediate level in a language, and you should feel encouraged, because you are on the point of making the big breakthrough to the advanced stage. To help you get there, Gàidhlig na Cagailte gives you access to a number of informal conversations between groups of native speakers which have deliberately been recorded at full speed and with lots of interruptions, fragmentary utterances, idioms, and unexpected changes of subject. There is a learning resource attached to the conversations, to help you use them to improve your ability to understand. The first conversations are almost ready to upload, and there will be a link to them from here.
The Common European Frame of Reference for Languages (CEFR) has finally been introduced for use in Gaelic (as FICE). In 2020, we ran a pilot project with the A1 level, with 17 people from all over Scotland demonstrating excellent ability at that level. We plan to run A2 in 2021, and to carry on developing the levels. The University of Aberdeen's Gaelic Department is the national centre for FICE, and certificates are issued from the University. Details will be posted here when the A2 tests are ready.