If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you will know that we are Gaelic speakers and that the boys attend a Gaelic school, where their education is all in Gaelic. They do learn how to read and write in English, but not until their third year of Primary school.
Despite attending a Gaelic school, the fact that they speak Gaelic at home puts them in the minority there. Some parents have chosen to send their children there because they themselves had a parent or grandparent who were Gaelic speakers and they want to bring back the language in their families.
Don't forget that a few generations back it was considered uneducated to speak Gaelic. English was the language of schools and to get ahead in life you were expected to speak English. Because of this belief there were many families who didn't pass the language on to their own children. I have a few friends who have Gaelic speaking parents who didn't speak it to them. These friends now wish that they had been given the chance to learn the language when they were young, as it's a difficult language to learn when you are older.
My parents both spoke Gaelic to us as our first language, and when I started school I had more Gaelic than English. My husband isn't a native speaker, although he knows a little of the language, and it always seemed natural that we would bring our boys up bilingual. I speak to them in Gaelic, he speaks to them in English. From a very early age they know the difference in sounds between the two languages and will naturally speak the correct one to any adult speaking to them.
Anyway, I seem to be digressing from my original point here!
As well as the families at the school who have a Gaelic heritage in previous generations of their families, there are also plenty parents who have chosen to send their children there because they believe in the benefits of a bilingual education. Many of these families also speak more than one language at home. One of the boys in Alasdair's class has an Italian father and a Spanish mother. They both speak to him in their own language and he learns in Gaelic at school!
This week all the children in the school are learning about the different countries that families within the school come from. Would you believe that there are actually 24 different nationalities represented in the school?!
Each class is learning about the countries that some of their classmates' families come from.
David's class of 8 year olds are learning about the United States as the mum of one of the girls in his class (the one pictured with him in the old photo of their first day at school I shared a couple of weeks ago, and who plans to marry him one day) is from the US.
He has been loving learning about the country. Today he told me that France and Germany could fit into Texas. I didn't know this, is it really true?! They have been learning all about baseball and have been playing it in the park beside the school. He has been singing the baseball song, 'Take me out to the ball game' over and over and over!
We have a jigsaw of all the states in the US that my husband bought on a trip there when David was a baby and he has been trying to memorise where all the states are.
He knows a few people from the US, other than his friend's mum, and I told him that some of the people reading my blog were from there. He knows of our friends in Washington State and his friend's mum is from Tenessee. Oh, that's another thing he learned - how to spell Mississippi really fast! But he would really like to know where any other readers are from. And not just those of you reading in the US.
I told him we wouldn't have a list of 24 different countries like there are at his school but he would really love to see where everyone is from.
So, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, how about we help him out and let him know where you are from with a little comment?
Near or far, he's curious as to how far across the globe people are reading about his multi national Gaelic speaking school!