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.
We will help create the connections, but the motivation has to come from the caraidean-còmhraidh. No teacher will help set the times or formats for the conversations. After all, you are friends walking down the same path together.
This will take us a little time to suggest the right connections, but, if you are interested in having a Caraid-còmhraidh, here’s what you do:
- Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you are interested.
- Tell us where you are in your studies. Are you a beginner, intermediate learner, an advanced learner, or fluent? What are you using for study right now?
- What day(s) of the week and what time(s) would you be available to talk with your Caraid-còmhraidh? Would you prefer a half hour or hour conversation?
- Tell us any preferences you have regarding your Caraid-còmhraidh.
Once we’ve compiled our initial roster, we’ll get back to you with information on a potential Caraid-còmhraidh. We will not share your information without your permission.
That’s it really. No next step at this point.The offer is for anyone in the Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir and Gàidhlig Photomac learning communities.
We will be back in touch with you as quickly as we can, and we hope many warm and fruitful relationships evolve from this process.