Islands Research Overview

21/06/2015 Leave a comment

The Soillse research network is gearing up to conduct a major research project on Gaelic in the Western Isles and some neighbouring islands. At a recent meeting in Stornoway of the Gaelic Advisory Group of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Department of Education and Children’s Services, the Soillse Director, Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, gave a presentation on the plans as they stand, together with an explanation of the background to the project. Also in attendance was Gordon Wells, Soillse Project Manager, who reinforced the importance that Soillse attaches to working in close consultation and collaboration with the community. The project, as described, was welcomed by group members, with positive additional suggestions forthcoming. You can view Professor Ó Giollagáin’s presentation, on which he based his talk, here:


Research Overview

Categories: Community, Research

Brown Paper Packages

01/06/2015 Leave a comment

AlasdairMacPackWhen Catherine Eunson taught music in Balivanich School, she noticed the speed and facility with which the then headmaster, Alasdair MacGillivray (now retired), would wrap parcels, for example when the annual nativity play came round. It reminded her of the same skills that her own shopkeeper grandfather had.

Recently, she went round to Alasdair’s house to find out how it started, and discovered the secret lies in his family background. Listen here to find out how and when he learned, and to witness a demonstration. Alasdair still puts his skills to good use, as his grandchildren will happily testify!

Here, Alasdair explains it all in Gaelic.

And here he does it again in English.

Categories: Community, UGC, Video

Neach-Rannsachaidh Òg Eile

01/06/2015 Leave a comment

Stuart DunmoreChaidh a’ cho-labhairt aig Soillse ann an Sabhal Mòr Ostaig a chur air dòigh leis an Sgioba Rannsachaidh fo stiùir Tim Armstrong. Tha tòrr dhaoine òga sa bhuidheann seo, agus tha iad gu math beothail agus gu math comasach.

Tha iad air a bhith stèidhte ann an Oilthigh Ghlaschu, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann, Oilthigh Obar Dheathainn, agus Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, ach uile ag obair còmhla airson rannsachadh air staid na Gàidhlig a thoirt air adhart.

Seo ball eile – Stuart Dunmore – a’ bruidhinn mu dheidhinn na seiseanan san robh e fhèin an sàs air a’ chiad latha.

Categories: Community, Research, UGC, Video

Trang aig a’ cho-labhairt

29/05/2015 Leave a comment

MarsailiNicolaTha a’ cho-labhairt air tòiseachadh aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig air an Eilean Sgitheanach. ‘S e cuspair na co-labhairt “Foghlam dà-chànanach agus ath-bheothachadh cànain – bho Theòiridh gu Gnìomh”.

Seo agaibh guthan òga ùra ag innse dhuinn mu dheidhinn bùth-obrach a chuir iad air dòigh air a’ chiad latha. Bha deagh dheasbad ann, agus bha cothrom aig a h-uile duine a bha ann na beachdan agus na ceistean aca fhèin a thogail.

‘S math a rinn iad!

Categories: Community, Research, UGC, Video

Double Act Dà-chànanach

05/05/2015 2 comments

TimagusConSeo agaibh fiosrachadh air co-labhairt aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig air a cur air dòigh le Soillse, agus cuireadh airson a dhol ann… ‘S cinnteach gum bi na cuspairean inntinneach. Deagh dheasbad ann an àite brèagha!

Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin and Dr Timothy Currie Armstrong deliver a bilingual introduction to the May 2015 conference on Bilingual Education and Language Revitalisation at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, and an invitation to attend!

More conference details here:


Categories: Community, Research, Video

Island Voices Unleashed

20/04/2015 2 comments

FicheadEunThumbnailToday, April 20th, Gordon Wells moved on from his Projects Officer role with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. This means that he will be withdrawing from his active co-ordinating function with the Guthan nan Eilean project and website. This does NOT mean that the project comes to an end. Rather, it means that the project moves even further along the route, mapped out for it some time ago, towards being a grassroots “bottom up” affair to which any and all community members are welcome to contribute their own materials.

Over the past few years it has been very encouraging to see many individuals trying out their hand with the “new media”, creating blogs, making their own audio and video recordings and so on. There have also been some interesting collaborations, with local groups like Stòras Uibhist and Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath tackling bigger projects with some help from Island Voices where and when it was needed. Now that it has started, this kind of work will surely continue in one form or another, even without the active engagement of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Projects Officer.

Although Gordon will no longer have the time for actively assisting with the creation of new materials, the intention is to keep the website “open for business” for other community members who have produced something they would like to share. If you feel you have a contribution to make and want to find out how, just phone or text 07879 644984, or e-mail

One thing the project has always tried to do is to build a stronger connection between the ordinarily bilingual people of these island communities and those with a professional interest in language teaching and/or research. Over the years we’ve been pleased to place occasional contributions from academics such as Professor Richard Johnstone, Professor Rob Dunbar, Dr Emily McEwan-Fujita, and others, alongside those of local community members. And we have maintained a dedicated page for research and reports, with summaries for Am Pàipear readers where possible. Gordon is now moving on to work with Soillse, the inter-university Gaelic research project, but will keep a keen interest in the Guthan nan Eilean website. Perhaps we can look forward to the research interest continuing to complement and support the ongoing creative outputs of “ordinary” Island Voices!

Categories: Community, Research

Gaelic Development Officer

09/04/2015 Leave a comment

liamal2Liam Alastair Crouse has recently arrived in Uist to take up employment with Ceòlas as Gaelic Development Officer. Here he talks to Gordon Wells in Gaelic about his Rhode Island background and his interests in Gaelic and Archaeology. He then goes on to explain a bit about his job and what his hopes are for it.

He is keen to meet and talk to anyone in the community with an interest in Gaelic. He gives his e-mail contact details at the end of the interview.

You can also read more about his posting on the Ceòlas website here.

Mar a chluinneas sibh, tha Gàidhlig mhath aige. Gur math a thèid leis!


Categories: Audio, Classes, Community, Research

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