In 2021, Language in Lyrics launched a new project to further integrate Gaelic songs into the community learning process. We invited Gaelic language instructors to join us in creating lesson plans organized around Gaelic songs. In March 2022, as result of this project, we launched Cànan tro Òrain (Language through Songs), an open online Scottish Gaelic language educational resource for instructors.

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.

June 2021 Sessions

To prepare for lesson planning, free professional-development sessions were offered to Gaelic language teachers in June 2021. The goal of these sessions was to have participants produce accessible and high-quality language lesson plans that other teachers can use and adapt.

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).

  • 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.

Tapadh leibh!