An Invitation to Participate in the Gaelic Song Education Project
Language in Lyrics is launching a new project to further integrate Gaelic songs into the community learning process. We are inviting Gaelic language instructors to join us in creating lesson plans organized around Gaelic songs. Teachers will be paid for these lesson plans and they will be made publicly available under a creative commons license.
To prepare for lesson planning, free professional-development sessions were offered to Gaelic language teachers in June 2021. The goal of these sessions is to have participants produce accessible and high-quality language lesson plans that other teachers can use and adapt.
Background of Education Project
Songs convey the story of a people’s experience, and for many generations, songs were the primary form of creative literary output for the Gaels. Not only do Gaelic songs provide examples of community connections and worldview, they may also serve as a basis for language instruction. Indeed, in songs we find a range of teachable items such as grammar, idioms, pronunciation, and dialectal features, to name a few.
In addition to the use of songs as a medium for language instruction, the act of singing them with others is a traditional activity, which aside from being a lot of fun, serves to support Gaelic community and language renewal. The Language in Lyrics project has indexed around 3,000 Gaelic songs that were known in Nova Scotia, and many of the titles can be found in our Google Sheets document, which continues to be updated by our team.
The June series was comprised of three (3) virtual sessions via Zoom Webinar scheduled for every Monday beginning June 14th from 4:00-5:30pm (ADT). Workshop sessions for participants to showcase their lesson drafts are planned for later in the summer.
- Session 1: Monday, June 14th: Group Discussion on Song Use in Lessons: Moderated by Beth Anne MacEachen
- Session 2: Monday, June 21st: Overcoming a Fear of Singing: Presented by Dr. Heather Sparling
- Session 3: Monday , June 28th: Resources for Lessons Based on Gaelic Song: Presented by Dr. Heather Sparling, Màiri Britton & Mary Jane Lamond
For the purposes of researching how song and music can support language learning and language revitalization, Dr. Heather Sparling will be making observations and taking notes during all project activities. She may report on particular aspects of the professional development sessions. She will not, however, use any names or identifying characteristics. By participating in project activities, you consent to having your comments or interactions observed and possibly reported upon anonymously.