Hebridean language project awarded European accolade

CILT – The National Centre for Languages

Press release
24 September 2007

Hebridean language project awarded European accolade

Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, working with Cothrom Training Ltd of South Uist, has received a prestigious European award for its bilingual video project reflecting the lives of a Hebridean community. The materials started as a language resource for Gaelic learners but the project has quickly evolved into an interactive library where participants contribute video clips themselves.

Examples of the videos include a day centre client recording his own Gaelic voiceover and Polish and Latvian workers at a local shellfish processing plant making a film about their lives. By showing what is possible with a laptop and camera the initiative has inspired a range of community language teaching enterprises.

The European Award for Languages judges said of Guthan nan Eilean (Island voices), ‘From its origins as a resource addressing the need for technology-assisted language teaching for lesser used languages it has developed into a way of empowering learners to develop their own films and consequently raise their own ICT and language skills’.

Local Co-ordinator, Gordon Wells, said ‘The Island Voices project aims to reflect the naturalness of bilingual life and work in the Hebrides. The project could not have succeeded without full community participation and it’s wonderful to have everyone’s contribution recognised through this award’’.