Choice of Scottish Gaelic-medium and Welsh-medium education at the primary and secondary school stages: Parent and pupil perspectives

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Abstract

Results are presented of a comparative study of the reasons for parental choice of Scottish Gaelic-medium and Welsh-medium primary education in the year 2000, and of the reasons for pupils’ decisions to continue with Gaelic or Welsh-medium education at secondary school in 2007. Parents in both contexts cited the quality of Celtic-medium education to similar extents in the choice of Welsh or Gaelic-medium education, but parents in the Welsh context more frequently cited employment rationales, and parents in the Scottish context more frequently cited heritage and the benefits of bilingualism. The Welsh-medium and Gaelic-medium pupils cited a preference for learning in Welsh or Gaelic, a wish to continue to be educated with friends, heritage, quality of Celtic-medium education and employment rationales to similar extents in the choice of Celtic-medium secondary education. However, Welsh-medium pupils more frequently cited the Welsh-medium education experiences of older family members, and Gaelic-medium pupils more frequently cited valuing bilingualism as a reason for such a choice. The results are discussed in relation to previous research on choice of Gaelic and Welsh-medium education, and in relation to contextual factors, such as linguistic demographics, and the level of institutionalization of Gaelic and Welsh within each national context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-259
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jun 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Gaelic-medium education
  • Welsh-medium education
  • school choice
  • immersion education
  • language planning

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