Supporting Children with Language Disorders who are in Gaelic-medium Education. Can you help?

A new research project is underway at Edinburgh University, aiming to develop materials for teachers and Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) to assess the language abilities of children who are in the early stages of Gaelic-medium primary Education (GME).    The long-term goal is to create resources to help support children who have language disorders in GME.

It is important to remember that speaking and using more than one language with your child will not cause speech or language disorders.  If a bilingual child is being assessed or treated for a speech or language disorder, both their languages should be assessed and respected.

When considering the development of a bilingual child’s languages, it is also vital to reflect on: the age in which they started hearing and learning each language, the quality and quantity of the input they have had so far, the status of their languages, the contexts in which they hear and use each language and the relationship between their two language as well as their age.

An audit found that 18% of those with addition support needs (ASN) in GME had speech and language disorders (MacLullich, 2014). Whilst there are many resources available to assess English skills, the availability of resources in Gaelic is limited.  This study will develop assessments tasks which are: comparable across both English and Gaelic; specific to unique grammatical properties of Gaelic, and which consider a child’s full language experiences.

It is also important to have well-researched information about how language typically develops.  This will allow for comparison of a child’s current language skills with what would be expected amongst other children of the same age. As there has been limited research about how the languages of Gaelic-English bilingual children develop, we need to gather information about when certain Gaelic words are learned.  To find this out, we have developed a survey which asks adult Gaelic native speakers, to consider the age in which they have learned these words.   They will also be asked to name and rate pictures to make sure they are suitable as assessment materials for children

If you are interested in completing this survey, please follow this link:

Or e-mail:

It should take around 3 hours and you will be offered £15 of Amazon voucher if you complete the study.

This project is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and is ongoing until September 2018.

This post is also available in Gaelic

Speak Your Mind