A NEW wide-ranging Gaelic-speaking programme is set to be launched across Scotland later this month.

The project will see SpeakGaelic classes delivered by Lews Castle College UHI (LCC UHI), which will also train community tutors for delivery via College and Community Learning Hebrides, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Adult Learning team.

The collaboration between the college and adult learning team will see SpeakGaelic delivered across the Outer Hebrides in the college, online and in local communities. Local classes have been planned for Ness, Lochs, Breasclete and Benbecula, with more to come next year to increase reach across the islands and beyond.

SpeakGaelic will offer users the option of face-to-face classes, self-guided online learning, and media content through a variety of platforms – or all three at the same time.

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As well as complete beginners, the programme will be aimed at enabling lapsed or less confident speakers to use their Gaelic with confidence. LCC UHI and Community Learning Hebrides have designed their delivery to complement each other and offer learners slightly different options.

The full SpeakGaelic A1 course will be offered by LCC UHI as face-to-face classes in its Stornoway and Benbecula campuses, as well as in community-based classes from this month.

Community Learning Hebrides will be delivering SpeakGaelic classes online, and will offer learners the opportunity to try out the courses in three 10-week blocks as well as offering an online conversation circle and its “Conversational Gaelic” course.

Angela Weir, Gaelic lecturer at LCC UHI, said: “LCC UHI and Community Learning Hebrides are pleased to offer Gaelic learners the opportunity to be part of this exciting new development in Gaelic language learning.

“Through the delivery of SpeakGaelic classes, LCC UHI and Community Learning Hebrides will increase access to Gaelic learning throughout the Western Isles.

“The course will be delivered in LCC UHI’s Stornoway and Benbecula campuses, but it is especially gratifying to be able to offer classes in the community.

“The co-operation between LCC UHI and Community Learning Hebrides has ensured that classes can be offered in a greater number of communities throughout the Western Isles, while our tutor training course, which is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, will ensure quality assurance in delivery of these classes.”