About Me

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Isle of Canna, Scottish Highlands, Highlands, United Kingdom
I am a Gaelic singer living in the Highlands.I have produced 4 CDs - the most recent being "Archipelago- Songs of the Scottish Islands in Scots 7 gaelic""released on the Greentrax label. The other Cds are " A Good Suit of Clothes- emigrant Songs" "Duan Nollaig" - a unique Gaelic Christmas double CD( also on Greentrax, 2007) and "Orain nan Rosach" ( 2006). Since May 2015, I have been lucky enough to be working as the Canna House archivist on the Isle of canna, for the Nationl Trust for Scotland, looking after the incredible folklore archives fo John Lorne and Margaret Campbell.I look forward to keeping you up to date with my music, gigs, news www.fionamackenzie.org Tapadh leibhs! Thank you!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Gaelic in the News today- Gaelic Medium education a parents right?

An important debate for Gaelic took place today in the Scottish Parliament. Should every parent have the legal right to have their children receive a Gaelic medium education?
I have been in the lucky position of having that option for my children to e educated through the medium of Gaelic- our local school provided that option for us, at least for child 2 and 3. But we had to fight for it. And it has been worth every drop of sweat, blood and many tears. I have no hesitation in recommending GME for any family- not only because of the cultural and linguistic benefits but also for the more broad mainstream education benefits. Learning another language opens a childs mind, they soak things up like no adult can. It is easier for a child to learn another language, that has been proven.
So this whole debate is not just about the economics of the matter- we shoudl also remember that the heart of any populace is formed by the identity of a People- and if we dont have our languages and cultures, then we are missing part of our identity - that which forms who and what we are. We must remember also that we are LUCKY to have our own indigenous language - so many countries have lost that, their own tongues submerged by English. There are economic benefits ofr Gaelic too of course- tourism for one, with the many 1000s of tourists who ocme to Scotland to soak up that Gaelic culture.
So for that culture to survive, there has to be education - and it has been proven over and again that children who have come through GME suffer NO ill effects from not learning to read and write english till they are in p3/4. Indeed my sons kept abreast - and overtook- their mainstream peers in more than one subject- in primary and secondary education.
So please, support GME- we're lucky to have that option - please dont waste all the time and effort by so many parents over the years, including myself, who have fought to have that right.

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