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Gaelic Immersion for Teachers (PgDip)

Course Description

Why this course?

Our School of Education is the principal and longest-established provider of Gaelic-medium education (GME) initial teacher education in Scotland.

This is a full-time, one-year course. It’s designed to help qualified teachers with intermediate-level Gaelic transfer to Gaelic-medium classrooms.

The course is unique in Scotland. It combines language training with a focus on pedagogical requirements for working in GME including:
- understanding approaches to language learning and teaching ‘immersion’ classrooms
- current policy, provision & practice relating to GME
- bilingualism in education

See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/gaelicimmersionforteachers/

You’ll study

You’ll study six core modules and complete three placements in Gaelic-speaking classrooms and organisations.

These will focus on the development of advanced Gaelic language skills relevant to GME. The language and pedagogy modules are taught in tandem. This maximises your opportunity to develop professional competences in the spoken and written language.

Core modules:
- Gaelic 1: Gràmar, fuaimneachadh agus cainnte làitheil
- Gaelic 2: Leasachadh conaltraidh
- Gaelic 3: Comasan conaltraidh adhartach
- Pedagogy 1: Language learning and teaching
- Pedagogy 2: Gaelic medium education: policy, provision, practice
- Pedagogy 2: Understanding, supporting and promoting bilingualism

Work placement

You’ll complete three placements over the course of the year. Two of the three will be in Gaelic-medium classrooms, relevant to your existing experience and plans for future work. You’ll spend one week in November observing practice and four weeks in the spring teaching classes in Gaelic.

The third placement will be in a Gaelic-speaking organisation. You’ll complete 70 hours of voluntary work over the course of the year. You’ll use the Gaelic language and develop links for future school activities.


Over the course of the year, you'll complete a project. There is flexibility in your choice of project but you’re encouraged to consult your local sponsoring authority. It may involve the school or organisation where you have taken your placements. Or it may reflect other aspects of the course, for example:
- exploring the role of education in Gaelic revitalisation
- the development of new resources
- the implementation of national or local Gaelic language plans

Entry requirements

According to the Council of Europe Framework of Reference for Languages Level B1, intermediate level is defined as:
- can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc
- can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken
- can produce simple connected text on topics, which are familiar, or of personal interest
- can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans

This is broadly equivalent to Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig, but we recognise that Gaelic learners have very diverse language learning histories. The course team is happy to discuss and assess prospective participants’ Gaelic competence in order to determine whether the course is suitable.

Learning & teaching

You're expected to attend classes four days a week with one day a week allocated to independent study. This is due to the focus on language training and because most of the content is delivered in Gaelic.

Language learning teaching includes a focus on:
- grammar
- pronunciation
- oral presentation
- listening comprehension
- literacy

You're encouraged to put your language skills to use in a variety of contexts including:
- social and professional encounters
- development of teaching resources
- blogs
- webpages
- use of social media
- networking events etc

Pedagogical learning and teaching includes:
- lectures
- seminars
- workshops,
- opportunities for microteaching
- participation in professional development events for GME

You'll develop professional networks which you'll maintain after you have completed the course.

Guest lectures

There are lectures from experts in GME and related areas scheduled throughout the year. The majority of these are in Gaelic. You’ll get perspectives on policy, provision and practice in this sector and hear a range of Gaelic voices.


Assessment includes formal language tests, assessment of oral and written presentations in Gaelic concerning a range of professionally relevant tasks, and evaluation of the major project.


Demand for Gaelic teachers is high.
The National Gaelic Language Plan 2012-2017 has set targets for a significant rise in the numbers of children enrolled in Gaelic-medium education.
This means an increase in the number of teachers qualified to teach through the medium of Gaelic.

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

Visit the Gaelic Immersion for Teachers (PgDip) page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Participants should be qualified to teach in Scotland (ie full GTCS registration), and have intermediate level Gaelic, eg Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig.

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