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Should Celtic languages be taught in schools? Watch

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    I've never been much of a linguist, but I rather like the idea of a few communities of Gaelic speaking people remaining in my native Scotland. Keeps the traditions going. So yes, if people want to be taught it, I don't see why schools shouldn't teach it.
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    (Original post by tom//)
    its heritage, shouldnt be forgotten
    There is no real evidence for 'Celtic' migration into the British Isles. The term and ideas only came about in the 1700's through a study based on just the language, which was heavily politically motivated.
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    I think learning a classical language, Welsh or Irish and another modern foreign language (the first two to a lesser degree than the third though perhaps) would be a pretty good balance.

    If I had my way, the school day would be extremely long.
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    I think learning a classical language, Welsh or Irish and another modern foreign language (the first two to a lesser degree than the third though perhaps) would be a pretty good balance.

    If I had my way, the school day would be extremely long.
    id rather have 8-4 mon-sat
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    Yes, definitely. I'd have absolutely loved to have learnt them, maybe as an extra-curricular thing though like Latin rather than during the official school day.
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    (Original post by tom//)
    id rather have 8-4 mon-sat
    Yeah, me too, as long as the school wasn't too far away
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    We all had to learn Irish in school, from Junior Infants all the way up to 6th year of secondary school, and I can honestly say I hated every minute of it. I can see the reasoning behind teaching the languages from a cultural point of view, but from my point of view the time I spent learning Irish as school was almost as useless as the time I spent in religion class (Catholic school, I've been an atheist from the age of 9).
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    This is probably my only conservative viewpoint, but as a linguist, I'd be enthralled to go to the Gaeltacht and actually speak Irish. Having said that, one of my classmates is from Swansea, and she's never been too fond of Welsh. I wouldn't mind though. As for teaching it in schools, I'd say have it as an option.
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    (Original post by MrShifty)
    I prefer to think of language as an aid to communication, not a sub-nationalist trinket to be arbitrarly preserved and forced upon people in the name of 'heritage'. Since the scope of the celtic languages in helping communication and understanding is limited to small populations and bands of enthusiasts, it certainly shouldn't be a compulsory subject at school.

    If, however, schools want to run optional lessons in celtic languages (Manx, Irish and Scots Gaelic, Cornish, Welsh, and whatever the Bretons lay claim to), that's fine if they have the resources.
    You're right about the small populations, but the idea is to increase them.

    I understand what you're saying, but tbh you don't really seem to grasp the situation. The British (english) state for hundreds of years tried to crush the celtic languages, because of its own insecurities, and only in the last forty or so years I think was welsh taught in school.

    I speak Welsh and am damn proud of it. I'm proud to be from a country that has produced literature equal to, if not greater then anything from England. Whether you want to see it or not, language, nationalism and identity are all linked.
    Having been taught in Welsh since I was 4, I can safely say that I've benefited from the more dedicated teaching that comes with it, I can learn other modern languages easier and I feel a patriotism that few people who havnt learnt a similar language could hope to understand.

    Judging by solely official standards, Welsh-medium schools have better results then other local schools of comparitive demography.

    I read recently of an old inuit woman who had written the complete guide to her native language: it was an incredible achievement, but she herself and the other locals chose to teach their kids english or french. The native language is down to 4 speakers, and will never recover.
    Once a language stops being taught, it dies.
    Man it seems, will never again invent a whole new language, as the world is too small. In 2,000,000 years of lingistic development, this is what was produced, generation by generation.

    Who are you to decide that this painstaking process of building a language, forming an identity around it and enduring centuries of strife was for nothing?


    you deride heritage: its not your heritage
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    (Original post by BigBadSaint)
    Who are you to decide that this painstaking process of building a language, forming an identity around it and enduring centuries of strife was for nothing?

    you deride heritage: its not your heritage
    I understand the situation just fine, thanks, and you'd be wise not to make such assumptions about people. The celtic language I'd otherwise speak died out in the early twentieth century, with the last person who spoke it passing away in the seventies, and we as a people are a minority in our own homeland. Having said that, the language has begun to see something of a resurgence of late, and I've even been trying my hand at learning it, so don't presume to condescend with this proud celt act, as if anyone who disagrees with you is either English, ignorant, or some kind of traitor to his or her heritage.

    I disagree with compulsory lessons in such languages because, to be quite honest, I'd prefer people to be able to choose whether they want to learn them and to appreciate them in their own right, rather than petition the state to make it an obligation. Culture and national character is a natural product of a society, not something that's manufactured for a specific purpose by diktat. Artificially increasing the number of speakers and readers of a language by compulsion at school is no more genuine or worthy a manifestation of culture or heritage than would be making kids wear some quaint regional peasant dress or sticking them in folk dance classes.
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    They should certainly be offered. However, the problem therein could well be that they may be incredibly unpopular with students.
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    Well I'm not Welsh so I wouldn't want to learn it. Spanish is a beautiful language though.
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    (Original post by Big Kabz)
    Well I'm not Welsh so I wouldn't want to learn it. Spanish is a beautiful language though.
    You don't have to be Welsh to want to learn the language, you know. (But it helps! :p:)
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    Hey I'm not Spanish either but I like to learn it. Same with French.

    Personally I think French and Spanish will benefit me more than say Welsh or Gaelic. I don't have any Scottish/Irish/Welsh roots or anything so why would I want to? I just don't see the point when they can speak English. It's not like it's a major world language (unlike French and Spanish)
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    It strikes me as entirely pointless learning a language for the sole point of "keeping it from dying out." There are no practical advantages to learning a language like Cornish, so it would be a waste of time, effort and money seriously teaching it in schools. And this is coming from a languages student!
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    (Original post by Big Kabz)
    I just don't see the point when they can speak English. It's not like it's a major world language (unlike French and Spanish)
    What an incredibly narrow-minded person you are.
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    It's not relevant enough to justify being taught in state schools. Private schools can do what they like with their own money, though.
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    (Original post by tom//)
    I believe Welsh is, not too sure about Gaelic, but what about Cornish as well?
    In those schools which have a sizeable minority of those whose close ancestors (ie parents, grandparents, great grand parents) spoke a celtic language, then, as part of their cultural heritage, yes, there should be tuition in those languages on offer even if it has to be taught extra-curricularly.

    We aren't always restricted in the school curriculum to those subjects that will be useful to us in great measure....poetry, geography, music, gym are just a few subjects that are not essential to our future lives (unless we are going to be working with those subjects as a career.)

    Learning is also about 'enhancing' our lives; and if we can learn the language of our recent forefathers - which also inculcates our heritage within us too - then this not only enhances, but also enriches.
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    I had to do welsh in primary up to the compulsary Welsh GCSE and think its pointless. You just don't meet that many Welsh speaking people in North Wales! xD Call me controversial but I think its a useless language to be taught, I have absolutely no use for it and would've got far greater benefit from studying Chinese, Spanish, Japanese etc.

    I don't think anyone in the classes enjoyed it either, it was just doing it because we were forced.
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    (Original post by MrShifty)
    I understand the situation just fine, thanks, and you'd be wise not to make such assumptions about people. The celtic language I'd otherwise speak died out in the early twentieth century, with the last person who spoke it passing away in the seventies, and we as a people are a minority in our own homeland. Having said that, the language has begun to see something of a resurgence of late, and I've even been trying my hand at learning it, so don't presume to condescend with this proud celt act, as if anyone who disagrees with you is either English, ignorant, or some kind of traitor to his or her heritage.

    I disagree with compulsory lessons in such languages because, to be quite honest, I'd prefer people to be able to choose whether they want to learn them and to appreciate them in their own right, rather than petition the state to make it an obligation. Culture and national character is a natural product of a society, not something that's manufactured for a specific purpose by diktat. Artificially increasing the number of speakers and readers of a language by compulsion at school is no more genuine or worthy a manifestation of culture or heritage than would be making kids wear some quaint regional peasant dress or sticking them in folk dance classes.
    Looking back my post seems pretty belligerent sorry for that
    You're right I did make an assumption. I assumed that you believe that a language is not something which should be preserved in the name of heritage.
    I do not want Welsh (or other Celtic Languages) to suffer the same fate as your language ( incidently what is it? ) where only a very few dedicated learners exist. Increasing the numbers by compulsory teaching in school is not an 'artificial' way of increasing the numbers is it? I mean, they study some outstanding literature while emerging as real speakers who are part of a community that already exists.


    'Culture and national character is a natural product of a society, not something that's manufactured for a specific purpose by diktat.'

    I don't really get what you are saying here. Could you elaborate?

    btw I can't think many schools will take on trying to teach a language out of their own pockets
 
 
 
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