Positive Herald editorial: Braw news that speaking Scots is helping pupils

The report that Scots can assist learners develop the skills required for success in national qualifications in English inspired a positive editorial in The Herald editorial dated 2 September 2017, worth reproducing in full for its fulsome public praise for an oft-maligned language,

A way with words is a wonderful thing. It allows for confident expression and easy interacting with one’s peers. Alas, for years, if the words were Scots, they were frowned upon and the speaker ridiculed. Now it transpires children speaking Scots at school are not only happier and more inclined to get involved, but they improve their chances of attaining English qualifications.

Education Scotland found evidence that including Scots in the curriculum increases the confidence of reluctant learners and encourages them to take leading roles. Speaking the leid persuaded them to participate in class discussions and led them to perform well in English.

From what we already know of the benefits of bilingual education, this comes as no surprise. Studies have shown high levels of attainment in Gaelic-speaking schools. Whether one sees Scots as a variant of English or a distinct language, it certainly has a different way with words. That is valuable for making comparisons, detecting connotations and widening rhythm and cadence.

Shunning Scots was to shut the doors on a child’s perception and make them feel they were doing wrong. Thankfully, such attitudes no longer prevail. Today, the rights and wrongs of language concern pronunciation, not discrimination. That speaking Scots improves English is braw, just as a good command of English makes for better blethering in Scots.

Herald View: Braw news that speaking Scots is helping pupils

A WAY with words is a wonderful thing. It allows for confident expression and easy interacting with one’s peers. Alas, for years, if the words were Scots, they were frowned upon and the speaker ridiculed. Now it transpires children speaking Scots at school are not only happier and more inclined to get involved, but they improve their chances of attaining English qualifications.

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