Tha mi as déidh coimhead air 'S Ann An Ìle tro iPlayer, agus anns a phrogram (mu 6 min) cho-fhreagair iad am miotas nas chunnartaiche sa th' ann chun a' Ghàidhlig:
Fior.voiceover wrote:The Gaelic unit is a vital resource...
Not especially.voiceover wrote:...for families in which only one parent speaks Gaelic.
Not true.interviewee wrote:Andy is learning Gaelic and when we are speaking to each other we speak English. But in order to ensure that Ailig and Maeve have Gaelic we'll have to speak it all the time.
One Parent One Language.
A child can learn a language from one parent -- the trick is context and consistency.
In a basic nuclear family there are three main linguistic contexts, from the child's point of view: mother and child; father and child; both parents and child. Each of these can support it's own language, if the parents are both bilingual with only one shared language. If one parent is bilingual and the other monolingual, then you're naturally reduced to two languages, which means that one parent's language becomes also the family language. This is fine.
The experience worldwide is that one-parent-one-language leads to kids producing in both languages, but delaying or reducing the use of one language will put it at constant disadvantage as kids will always chose the stronger language.interviewee wrote:My parents speak Gaelic to them so they are hearing it but we need to make more effort to ensure that they are able to speak it as well as understand it.
If you leave Gaelic out of the home to start off with, it rarely comes in later. No amount of schooling or TV or grandparents can ever make up for the lost opportunity of a parent who could speak it but doesn't.
The whole world seems to know this except us English speakers. Many old Gaelic speakers grew up in monolingual Gaelic households and went to monolingual English schools, and then being told that it was a choice of either/or brought their kids up in monolingual English households, because unlike most of the world they had never experienced a bilingual household.
All it takes is for people to be told this, but no-one does it. You've got Finlay's CNSA and half of Comann nam Pàrant telling people (including learners) to go monolingual in Gaelic, but you've got no-one willing to stand up and promote the bilingual household. Every parent is left believing the old myth of either/or and if you believe in either/or then anyone but a fanatic would raise their kid in English.
So if you know anyone preparing for a family in a couple where Gaelic is spoken, pleeeeease explain one-parent-one-language to them.
Tell them that kids don't get confused.
Tell them that it's not "leaving one parent out" any more than one of them having a conversation with the kid before the other gets home from work is "leaving one parent out", or having a conversation while the other's in a different room is "leaving one parent out". It does not distance a family.
Tell them that it seems like a difficult habit to develop at first, but if you stick at it from the day the child is born, it'll be automatic by the time the baby is a year old, and that's when language learning really starts to set in.
It's eeeeeeeeeeeasy, and the whole world seems to know it but us!