New Beginner Class in Scottish Gaelic Forming

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Sgoil Gàidhlig and Gàidhlig Photomac joint learning session at Carderock Recreation Area

A number of people approached our language tent at festivals this summer expressing interest in classes. In response, Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhòir (The Baltimore Scottish Gaelic School), is forming a new class of start-up students.  Always wanted to learn Gaelic? Now is your chance.  At this point we are recruiting. A schedule for the class will be set once we have determined interest.

Interested in what others in our community say about their path to learning Gaelic?  Check out the interviews at Gaels on the Chesapeake.

The classes are held once every two weeks for 1 and 1/2 hours each on Skype.  All the information regarding the classes, the schedule, and registering can be found here.

The new academic year calendar can be viewed here.  You can see that we group each ”unit” into three classes and the year runs across eight of these ”cycles” of classes.  All class materials can be obtained through a google file sharing process (except for the book which must be purchased separately).  We also have 6 levels of syllabi: New Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Advanced 1, and Advanced 2.  Each level runs one complete academic year.

As a Sgoil Gàidhlig student, you’ll also have access to many events planned for the near future including:
  • an immersion weekend
  • a language village experience at the local Celtic festivals
  • a music/poetry competition
  • ceilidhs directly tied into the syllabus
  • off-week conversation practice sessions, directly tied to the syllabus
Please join us, learn some Gaelic and become part of a unique community that we are building here in the Baltimore area (living IN the Baltimore area NOT required!! 🙂
If you have any questions about the curriculum, please write to Scott Morrison at sammallets@gmail.com.  If you have questions about registration, please write to Rick Gwynallen at richard.gwynallen@gmail.com.

Le gach deagh dhùrachd (With all good regards),
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Join us this summer and learn to speak Gàidhlig

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A charaidean, Check out above our most newly minted and upcoming Gàidhlig speaker, Riley Rose.  Just born on March 14th and already at our tent.  How about you? Will you start learning with us?

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir runs a set of online classes for complete beginners, advanced beginners, and intermediate learners.  All online classes are taught by Scott Morrison.

Thigibh ann cuide ruinn! (Join us!)

We are currently using Skype.  Participation requires that students have a Skype alias and a microphone on their computer.  Your Skype alias will have to be provided before your first class.

The text we are using is Teach Yourself: Complete Gaelic, by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor, supplemented with lessons from Taic.

The fee for the classes is: $10 per class, with tuition payments made in increments of $30 (3 classes).

To support your language learning and the development of our little community we hold an in-person conversation session every two weeks and a céilidh every six weeks, free of charge.

For complete information on classes go to the Class Schedule page.

To register, or for more information contact: Richard Gwynallen at richard.gwynallen@gmail.com

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd dhuibh.
Suas Leis a’ Ghàidhlig!

cum gaidhligbeo

The Festival Season Approaches

A charaidean,

Blossoming trees, blooming flowers, warmer breezes, a wild array of colors (on kilts), bagpipes, Highland dancers, and people tossing telephone pole-size logs head over end (hopefully) – all the things of Spring, including the stream of Celtic festivals that extend into the autumn.

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir will again have tents at two local festivals this spring – Southern Maryland Celtic Festival (28 April) and Mid-Maryland Celtic Festival (16 June).

Gaelic tent at Southern Maryland Centic Festival - 1

We hope you will come to these wonderful gatherings
and stop by our tent!
Share some music, songs, stories, and Gàidhlig.
Tha sinn a’ gabhail fadachd ri d’ fhaicinn!

cum gaidhligbeo

Còmradh-caraid – A new Gàidhlig learning opportunity

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A chairidean choir,

We have been thinking about how our learning programs have evolved over the past few years, and we’re very happy to have been able to create varied opportunities for language learning, in-person and online.  The challenge that we see right now is having the appropriate venues for people to actually use the language often enough to develop good conversational facility.  Most of our learners know more than they think they do, but lack enough avenues for the kind of casual use of the language that is so important to developing easy familiarity with it and confidence in daily settings.  If a couple or a parent and child are learning together they have the ideal partnership for developing fluency.  However, most of our students do not have those relationships.

We are considering a couple new formats to open in 2018 to foster more use of the language, at whatever level you are currently comfortable.

One of those options is connecting study partners. This is as simple as it sounds. Two people who are in comfortable range of each other’s language abilities become friends.  This is a method used at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye, where they refer to a learning partner as còmhradh-caraid, conversation friend (or perhaps more accurately a dialogue between or among friends).  It’s a good label because that’s what we see the friends doing – connecting by phone, Skype, in-person, or however it’s best for at least weekly casual conversations.  They can certainly learn new things together, but the main point is to build confidence in using the Gaelic.

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir and Gàidhlig Photomac will partner on this new initiative. Continue reading

Interview with Scott Morrison

Gaels on the Chesapeake Interview with Scott Morrison

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Scott was born in 1969 in Nashville, Tennessee. The family moved to Silver Spring, Maryland in 1982.  Music and teaching form the core of Scott’s life.  He graduated from Frostburg State University in 1994 with a B.S. in Music, double concentrating in K-12 Music Ed and Percussion Performance.  He expects to graduate from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Gaelic College, Skye, Scotland in December 2018 with a B.A. in Scottish Gàidhlig Language and Culture.  He studied through the college’s distance learning program.

dileab-phreisel-1Scott started teaching Gaelic in 2010, and is a former president of An Comunn Gàidhealach Aimeireaganach (Scottish Gaelic Society of America).  In addition to teaching, he is a freelance Celtic musician in the Baltimore/D.C. area. Scott has been teaching classical and folk music lessons since 1993, and as the owner of Rimshots Percussion Studio since 1997.  He lives in Howard County with his wife and four children.

RG: What brought you to the study of Gaelic? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey into Scottish Gaelic. How does it fit into the story of your family and your personal experience and identity? Continue reading

It’s a big week for things Scottish in the Baltimore/DC area

A chairidean chóir,

This is a week you can immerse yourself in all things Scottish.  First, this Thursday (25 January) you can attend one of the warmest, most intimate Burns Nights you’ll come across and celebrate the life of the ¨Ploughman Poet” in Baltimore’s most authentic Irish pub.

Then, on Saturday (27 January) gather in an Alexandria, Virginia Irish pub to enjoy readings and songs of some of Scotland’s greatest Gaelic poets,once again in a warm, intimate environment.  For this one, space is very limited and nearly full.  Contact the group very soon.

In the end you’ll have traversed the Scots and Gaelic language cultures of Scotland, and felt you were welcomed with great hospitality.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd dhuibh.

7th Annual Burns

7th Annual Burns Night at O’Flynn’s in Baltimore

Thursday, 25 January, 2018
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

O´Flynn´s Crab & Cask House
3432 South Hanover Street
Baltimore, MD 21225

Join us as we celebrate the 7th Annual Scottish Dinner as we celebrate the ¨Ploughman Poet¨ of Scotland, Robert Burns.

The evening´s events include Piping In & Address of the Haggis, a four-course meal featuring a Kale Waldorf Salad, Cock-a-leekie Soup, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Arran Whisky Cream Sauce, Raspberry Cranachan. Enjoy llive Traditional Music and lots of awkward poetry reading.

Special guest performances by Aaron Halevy and Sean Alexander Gearhart.

Featuring Innis & Gunn from Scotland:
Enjoy the unique bourbon ageing process of our featured Innis and Gunn with flavours like vanilla and toffee with the malty characted of the Scotch Ale to create an incredible taste experience.

Buy tickets here.


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Oidhche nam Bàrd: Gaelic Poetry Night

Sponsored by
Gàidhlig Photomac (The Potomac Scottish Gaelic Society)

Saturday, 27 January 2018
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant and Bar
112 King St, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

For our first big event of the new year, we’ll celebrate some of the works of Scotland’s great Gaelic poets, enjoying readings and songs in a relaxed atmosphere with appropriate food and libations at Daniel O’Connell’s in Old Town Alexandria! This event will be appropriate for learners at all levels — and those just interested in Gaelic language and culture.

We’ll start at 5 pm with drinks and a welcome, and follow at 5:30 with a brief conversational Gaelic lesson. At 6 pm we’ll order supper, and at 6:15 begin our poetry program. We’ll introduce to you to six poets, from the middle ages to the present day. Some of our members want to share poetry with you. And we’ll have songs and music and, at the end, a toast to ALL the bàrds.

With limited space in the Fitzgerald Room, attendance is limited to 20 people, so sign up here or at our Meetup.com page. Any questions? Contact Liam at willbcassidy@gmail.com.

C`eilidh na Callainne (New Year’s Céilidh) – 21 January

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Sunday, January 21 at 3 PM – 6 PM
Ó Flynn’s
3432 S. Hanover Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21225

Join us for for our C`eilidh na Callainne (New Year’s Céilidh) We will have some home made Haggis by Liam Flynn (and other delicious food), hear about the history of the Haggis dish and it’s complicated relationship to the G`aidhealtachd and the Galldachd in Scotland, learn a traditional New Year’s song and the Gaelic version of Auld Lang Syne, and more – all in the warm, convivial environment of Baltimore’s Best Irish bar, Ó Flynn’s.

Aig a’ chèilidh (At the céilidh)

Gaelic Immersion session – Build your Gaelic through conversation

The Haggis Story

Sharing of songs, stories, music, and poetry – Learn some songs as we sing together and bring your own tunes, poems, stories or songs to share (in Gaelic or otherwise).

Chì sinn uile aig a’ chèilidh sibh! (We’ll see you all at the cèilidh)
Suas Leis a’ Ghàidhlig!