Uk news Gaelic ambassador award for Airdrie student MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Katie MacFarlane was honoured for her popular language classes in North Lanarkshire and her enthusiastic work in promoting the language.
Breaking News ! A Calderbank student has been named young Gaelic ambassador of the year at a national awards ceremony in recognition of her work in teaching the language to adults and children across North Lanarkshire. Katie MacFarlane first began singing traditional songs in a Gaelic choir from the age of seven – with her passion for the language being inspired by relatives in North Uist, especially her late grandfather Colin Maclean, a native speaker. Although the 22-year-old only started to learn it in her first year at Glasgow University, she has since spent an immersive language study year in Skye and is set to graduate with a degree in Gaelic and Spanish this summer. She was honoured at the Scottish Gaelic awards for her enthusiastic work in teaching dozens of adults at classes in her hometown and online, and for providing popular sessions for children attending North Lanarkshire keyworker hub schools during lockdown. Read More Related Articles Airdrie musician hits high notes with single release Katie told the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser: “I was really surprised to be nominated and couldn’t believe it when I was announced as the winner; it’s a really lovely honour and I was so chuffed. “Everybody has been so pleased for me – my family and colleagues are all really pleased and I’ve had congratulations messages from students in my classes, which has been really nice. “It’s a big event in the Gaelic calendar so it’s lovely to have this award; I’ve been tutoring in North Lanarkshire since 2019 and really enjoy it, and working in the hubs was so rewarding.” The former pupil of Tollbrae Primary and Airdrie Academy took her first steps in Gaelic by singing with choirs in Falkirk and Cumbernauld. Click here for more news from the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser She said: “My papa was a native Gaelic speaker and my parents always tried to speak a wee bit of the language at home; I’d be taught wee songs and then got really interested in Gaelic from the age of seven by singing in it. “I went to a festival in Uist every year and fell in love with Gaelic songs, and singing in the choir really that started passion and made me feel I wanted to learn properly. “Although I knew wee bits growing up, I only started a beginner course when I went to university and couldn’t really hold a conversation at that time – I knew less then than I was teaching the children in the hubs last year. “I’ve worked up from there; I knew how to read and pronounce words from songs, which helped as Gaelic pronunciation is quite hard for a lot of learners, and then the year in Skye really helped my fluency level.” Katie combines her final-year university studies with her role as Gaelic support worker with North Lanarkshire’s community learning and development section.
. She said: “At the school hubs, we did games and activities like making weather forecasts, and learning simple things like colours and numbers. “It was blocks of lessons at some hubs and one-off sessions at others, but all the pupils seemed to really enjoy it and I soon saw a difference in how they’d improved, as they’d tell me random Gaelic words they’d remembered and would speak it at home with their parents. “A lot of the adults in our classes have children in Gaelic medium education in North Lanarkshire and want to learn, and there’s been a big uptake since things moved online. “We have other tutors too and there are also intermediate and conversation classes, plus sessions for council staff which are proving popular. “I’m now taking on the Gaelic co-ordinator role for North Lanarkshire which involves organising the classes, activities to promote Gaelic and looking after social media posts like our virtual advent calendar last month.”
The eighth annual Scottish Gaelic awards, sponsored by the Daily Record, were hosted online by broadcaster Cathy MacDonald – with Katie’s young ambassador award honouring “the outstanding young Gael who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of the language”. She added: “My papa was my inspiration and it was nice for him that I’d learned Gaelic; I’m so passionate about it and was so determined to learn, and now I’m always trying to promote the language. “I’ve had incredible Gaelic teachers and have been so lucky with the opportunities I’ve had; and I’m really grateful to the community learning and development department for giving me a platform to promote the language in our communities. “My whole family is so supportive – my mum just loves how much I love the language, as she does too, one of my sisters is in the Cumbernauld Gaelic choir which she loves, and my nieces are in Gaelic medium education so they love having me to listen to them reading and help with their homework!” Details on learning Gaelic in North Lanarkshire are available by emailing NLCGaelic@northlan.gov.uk or following @NLCGaelic on Twitter.
Source = MetiNews.Com