A’ mairsinn beò – A Review of the Year at Sgoil Gàidhlig

A chairidean chóir,

As the saying goes, time has flown by.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that a group of three met at Liam Flynn’s Alehouse on North Avenue in Baltimore City to learn Gàidhlig from Scott Morrison.  Yet, here we are now with a fully incorporated organization and a solid body of students.

The past year has been a busy and productive one. Sgoil Gàidhlig incorporated in the State of Maryland in August 2018 and recently received 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status from the IRS.  It feels like we are adults now. We have survived our organizational childhood, grown and learned, and seem to be making a more mature contribution to the survival of the Gàidhlig language (a’ mairsinn beò).

On the 31st of May through the 2nd of June we held our first immersion weekend, Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais, in cooperation with Gàidhlig Photomac, which was so successful that we intend it as an annual event, perhaps even expand the program. There may be more to announce in this regard after our July Board of Trustees meeting.  It was an honor to host so many committed and loving people.  

The ever deepening relationship with Gàidhlig Photomac has bonded Maryland and Virginia Gàidhlig language communities as we become a true language community of the Chesapeake region. Liam Ó Caiside of Gàidhlig Photomac sits on the Sgoil Gàidhlig Board of Trustees and the two communities now cooperate in most all discussions regarding the growth of the Gàidhlig language and community in the region.

Sgoil Gàidhlig started floating a Language Village concept to area Celtic festivals whereby we create a space in the festival devoted to speaking and learning Gàidhlig, as well as incorporating other Celtic languages when those language communities are interested in partnering in the Language Village.  Some interest has been expressed in this concept and we will hold our first Language Village this August during the Celtic Weekend at Historic London Town and Gardens in Edgewater, Maryland. This will give us the opportunity to test out and refine the concept. We hope more festivals will incorporate the Language Village into their festivals during next year’s festival season.

We have also amended the schedule and format of our céilidh series.  With as many classes as we now run and the addition of the immersion weekend this year we no longer have the capacity to hold a céilidh every six weeks. In truth, it was always a stretch. So, we have changed the schedule to hold a quarterly céilidh, and are designing them to be mini-immersions.  The program for each céilidh is designed to teach Gàidhlig in context, such as our Còcaireachd anns a’ Chidsin (Cooking in the Kitchen) session and our hike along the Potomac, build conversation, share more songs, and hear more offerings of music, poems, and stories.

Lastly, the first year of Sgoil Gàidhlig’s new curriculum has concluded, and we are happy to say that the new curriculum has worked very well.  Assessing the last year of classes and making adaptations will continue through the summer, but we are now taking registrations for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.  

All of this kept us so busy we did not make it to festivals as of yet this year.  We regret missing the festive gatherings and meeting those who come to our tent. Hopefully, we will see many of you soon.

Would you like to join us on this journey?
Click here for information on learning Gàidhlig with us.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd dhuibh.


Hold the Date for our First Language Village – 10 & 11 August

Our first Language Village will be at the Celtic Weekend at Historic London Town in Edgewater on 10 and 11 August, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.  The setting is a twenty-three acre park and historical site, featuring archaeology, horticulture, and history on the South River.  It’s a beautiful site.

The Language Village will be an interactive, engaging space where Gàidhlig is being spoken, people are being introduced to the language, and everyone can take part in singing, learning, and other activities. We will run a variety of language activities throughout the festival designed to appeal to children as well as adults, including displays, waulking songs, poetry, music, and introductory Gàidhlig classes.

We hope to build on this first one and be able to host a Language Village at other area Celtic festivals. The core language we teach at Sgoil Gàidhlig is Scottish Gaelic, so that is our focus.  However, we would love to see representatives of the other Celtic languages be involved at any festival and see the Language Village expand. 

Other activities at the Celtic Weekend include live music with Tweedsyde and the Devil’s Tailors, hearth cooking with the Appin Regiment, woodworking with Seneca Creek Joinery, the Robert Burns Society of Annapolis showing examples of tartan and doing a poetry reading by Burns, and 18th century games.

Nach tig thu?
Please come!
 We’d love to see you, learn with you, and celebrate with you there.

Would you like to join us on this Gàidhlig journey?
Click here for information on learning Gàidhlig with us.

B’ e coimhearsnachd ghasda ghrinn a bha ann aig ‘Gàidhlig san Taigh-Sholais’

On a spit of land at the narrowest part of the Chesapeake Bay in full view of the Calvert Cliffs, an intentional Gàidhlig-speaking community formed for a late spring weekend. 

Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais had three purposes: Building Gàidhlig language skills, Gàidhlig thinking, and Gàidhlig community.  Take a look at scenes from the weekend. Twenty people spent a weekend at Cove Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay immersed in Gàidhlig. This was the first Gàidhlig language weekend in Southern Maryland.  It was organized by Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taighe Mhòir and Gàidhlig Photomac – two regional Gaelic Learning Communities – and sponsored in part by An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA).

Our little ad hoc community had a wide range of experience with Gàidhlig, from beginner to fluent, and came from a wide range of places, from Virginia to Vermont.  Yet, bonds were quick to form and at the end everyone felt they had experienced a real sense of community. Continue reading

Get on the Sgoil Gàidhlig New Student List for 2019 – 2020


Have you wanted to learn Gàidhlig or build on the Gàidhlig you have?  This is a great opportunity.

The first year of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhòir’s new curriculum is drawing to an end, and we are already getting inquiries for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.  The next year of classes will begin in September 2019, but we are not yet ready to release a schedule for the upcoming academic year. However, we are building a waiting list of learners who will be the first new students contacted about placement in the 2019 – 2020 classes.  

If you are interested in studying Gàidhlig with Sgoil Gàidhlig, write to us and get your name on the new student list.

We currently have four  levels of syllabi: New Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2.   We have syllabi for Advanced 1 and 2, and Fluent, in production.  Each level runs one complete academic year. Continue reading

New News on the Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend on the Chesapeake Bay

immersion weekend promotion cover version 2

Space for overnight participants in
 san Taigh-sholais (Gaelic in the Lighthouse) is now full.

Effective 5 March 2019 we are accepting only:

  1. Registrations from those who can commute to and from the site.  The full course of study and all meals are available to commuters.  If you would like to attend and can commute, please use the normal registration form and note on it that you will commute. Click here for the registration form.
  2. Single day registrations from those wishing to attend the Saturday session only.  While we prefer to have participants take part in the entire weekend of sessions, we have made this option available because of the interest in the program. Meals on Saturday are included. Doors open on Saturday at 8:00 am.  The Saturday-only session is $60 per person. If you would like to attend Saturday only, please use the normal registration form and note on it that the registration is for Saturday only. Click here for the registration form.
  3. Names of people who wish to be put on a waiting list for any overnight space that may open should a current registrant have to drop out.  These spaces will be offered on a first come first served basis. To have your name put on the waiting list, please write to sgoilgaidhlig@gmail.com.

Click here for a full description of the immersion weekend.

Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais
(Gaelic in the Lighthouse)

Continue reading

Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais: A Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend on the Chesapeake Bay

immersion weekend promotion cover version 2

Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir agus Gàidhlig Photomac


Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais
(Gaelic in the Lighthouse)

A Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend on the Chesapeake Bay

DihAoine, 31mh An Céitean – DiDòmhnaich, 2na An t-Òg-mhìos 2019
Friday, 31 May – Sunday, 2 June 2019
Cove Point Lighthouse in Lusby, Maryland
Pre-registration is necessary
Click here for the registration form

Beginner and Intermediate tracks

Use and grow your Gàidhlig language skills within a community setting

On a spit of land at the narrowest part of the Chesapeake Bay in full view of the Calvert Cliffs we will form our own little temporary Gàidhlig-speaking community as we learn together in a beautiful setting. The immersion weekend is only two days, but it will be packed and we  hope you leave having had an extraordinary experience that strengthens the Gaelic you use at home. Continue reading