Sgrùdadh air riaghladh com-pàirteachail agus fèin-stiùireadh coimhearsnachd a tha bunaiteach ri bhith a’ toirt taic do choimhearsnachdan dùthchasach Gàidhlig 

Access Iain’s full preliminary report as a pdf here:

This research study builds on the legacy of the Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community research (GCVC)[1] through exploring community agency and participation factors relevant to how Gaelic development interventions engage with the Gaelic vernacular community.

This small research project sought to gain an initial understanding of the extent to which community agency and participation are observable at the community level in relation to policies aimed at local Gaelic development priorities.  Sustaining the position of Gaelic as a viable community language will require that development agencies and communities work together to strengthen the  socioeconomic and sociolinguistic conditions which will enable a better future for the language. A key recommendation from the research is that a LEADER-type programme be adopted to put Gaelic development on a sustainable pathway for change.

Sgrùdadh air riaghladh com-pàirteachail agus fèin-stiùireadh coimhearsnachd a tha bunaiteach ri bhith a’ toirt taic do choimhearsnachdan dùthchasach Gàidhlig 

Tha an sgrùdadh rannsachaidh seo a’ togail air dìleab an leabhar-rannsachaidh ‘Staing na Gàidhlig anns a’ Choimhearsnachd Dhùthchasaich2 tro bhith a’ sgrùdadh factaran riaghladh com-pàirteachail agus fèin-stiùireadh coimhearsnachd a tha a’ buntainn ri leasachadh na Gàidhlig anns na coimhearsnachdan dùthchasach Gàidhlig. Tha an sgrùdadh seo mar a’ chiad cheum ann a bhith a’ togail tuigse air dè na ceanglaichean com-pàirteachais a tha follaiseach aig ìre na coimhearsnachd a thaobh poileasaidhean a tha ag amas air leasachadh na Gàidhlig ann an sgìrean ionadail. Tha toraidhean an rannsachaidh stèidhichte air co-chomhairleachaidh agus sgrùdadh ann an dà sgìre dhùthchasach Ghàidhlig, aon ann an taobh an iar Leòdhais agus an sgìre eile ann an taobh tuath an Eilein Sgitheanaich. Chaidh an rannsachadh seo a dhèanamh aig àm cuingealachaidh COVID-19, agus mar sin, bha an rannsachadh a’ sireadh sealladh ionadail a thaobh a bhith a’ gabhail ri dùbhlain mar sin agus sgrùdadh a dhèanamh air dòighean anns am faod coimhearsnachdan tighinn a-mach às na suidheachaidhean sin.   

Tha na ciad toraidhean bhon rannsachadh seo a’ sealltainn gu bheil na feartan a tha bunaiteach do riaghladh com-pàirteachail agus fèin-stiùireadh coimhearsnachd caran briste mar a tha iad sin a’ buntainn ri poileasaidh Gàidhlig agus cùisean dealbhaidh ceangailte ri gnìomhan sòiseo-chànanachas an luib choimhearsnachdan fa leth. Tha ceanglaichean gu ìre lag eadar poileasaidhean cànain agus na coimhearsnachdan dùthchasach Gàidhlig a-rèir freagairtean bho na coimhearsnachdan a ghabh pàirt anns an rannsachadh seo. Tha e cudromach gum bi suidheachadh na Gàidhlig mar chànan coimhearsnachd stèidhte air bunait sheasmhach agus airson sin tachairt feumaidh co-obrachadh agus conaltradh nas fheàrr a bhith ann eadar na buidhnean-leasachaidh oifigeil airson gum bi com-pàirteachas ann a tha comasach le bhith a’ dèiligeadh leis na duilgheadasan bunaiteach sòiseo-eaconamach agus sòiseo-chànanach a tha nan cnapan-starra do bhith a’ togail agus a’ cleachdadh na Gàidhlig an luib choimhearsnachdan. 

Thathas a’ moladh modhan-leasachaidh na Gàidhlig a chur air slighe ùr agus radaigeach, stèidhte air prògram coltach ri LEADER. Bhiodh goireasan agus dealbhadh leasachaidh sòiseo-chànanachais aig ìre ionadail fo smachd dhìreach urrasan coimhearsnachd ionadail agus / no co-chomainn. Thathas cuideachd a’ moladh gum bu chòir prìomhachasan leasachaidh na Gàidhlig aig ìre ionadail a bhith stèidhichte air fòram riochdachail coimhearsnachd a tha ag obair fo sgèith urrasan coimhearsnachd / co-chomainn. Ann a bhith a’ stèidheachadh fòram riochdachaidh airson a’ choimhearsnachd dhùthchasaich Ghàidhlig, coltach ri ‘Seanadh Saoranach Coimhearsnachd’, tha seo air fhaicinn mar eileamaid chudromach ann a bhith a’ dèiligeadh ris an neo-chothromachadh deamocratach anns an dòigh anns a bheil poileasaidhean a tha buntainn leis a’ Ghàidhlig air an dealbhachadh agus air an cur an gnìomh anns na sgìrean dùthchasach Gàidhlig. 

Iain Caimbeul

Iain Campbell specialises in small-language policy and planning with extensive experience and knowledge of Gaelic language development processes. Career experience has included project management; strategy development; socio-economic and economic impact analysis; change management and policy reviews; benchmarking; and evaluations of public sector programme initiatives.

Iain Campbell is currently a Research Fellow with the Language Sciences Institute of the University of the Highlands and Islands.   Recent employment positions have included: Director of Hecla Consulting and Senior Manager of the Soillse Gaelic Research Project. Iain Campbell has held public sector appointments as a Board Member, Cathraiche (Chair) and CEO of Bòrd na Gàidhlig; a Board Member of MG ALBA and a Member of the BBC Trust Audience Council for Scotland.  https://pure.uhi.ac.uk/en/persons/iain-caimbeul

An exploration of agency and participation factors relevant to supporting Gaelic vernacular communities. 

This research study builds on the legacy of the Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community research (GCVC)1 through exploring community agency and participation factors relevant to how Gaelic development interventions engage with the Gaelic vernacular community. The study is a first step in developing an understanding of the extent to which community agency and participation are observable at the community level in relation to policies aimed at local Gaelic development priorities. Research outputs are based on consultations and surveys in two rural Gaelic vernacular districts, one in west Lewis and one in the north area of Skye. This research was conducted during the period of COVID-19 restrictions, and thus sought to ascertain local perspectives on adapting to such challenges and to explore mechanisms by which the communities can emerge from these circumstances.  

Preliminary research outputs signal that the critical factors of community agency and participation are fragmented as these relate to Gaelic policy and socio-linguistic planning matters amongst individual communities.  Linkages between language policy and the vernacular Gaelic group are weak according to the members of the two communities who participated in the research. It is critical that Gaelic as a community language is set on a sustainable footing. This will require cooperation and communication linkages to be strengthened between official development bodies and relevant communities in order to address current socioeconomic and sociolinguistic problems which act as barriers to normalising Gaelic as the language of the community.     

It is recommended that a new and a radical approach based on a LEADER-type programme be adopted to put Gaelic development on a pathway for change. The suggested new approach would put resources and local sociolinguistic planning under the direct control of local community trusts and/or cooperatives. The research also suggests that a community forum be established under the auspices of local community trusts/cooperatives. The establishment of a representative forum for the Gaelic vernacular community, analogous to a citizens’ assembly, will be an important element in addressing the democratic imbalance which community members attach to the current approach to language policy and planning as this relates to Gaelic development actions within the vernacular community.  

Access Iain’s full preliminary report as a pdf here:

See: Ó Giollagáin, C., Camshron, G., Moireach, P., Ó Curnáin, B., Caimbeul, I., MacDonald, B. and Péterváry, T. (2020) Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community: A comprehensive sociolinguistic survey of Scottish Gaelic (GCVC). Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.

See also: Agency and Participation Factors: the Gaelic Vernacular Community.