01 SES 01 C, Language and Support in Learning Communities
The EU, under the Charter for Minority Languages, recognises Scots as a minority language (2000).The UK Government ratified Scots as such in 2001.However Scots is still often considered ‘bad English’ or positioned as romantic ‘tartanry’ within Scotland’s heritage 'machine' (Matheson and Matheson, 2000: 211-221).
The Scottish education system has traditionally ‘othered’ the Scots language and its speakers (Bailey, 1987: 131-142), potentially generating barriers for learning and compromising children's notions of identity, nationally and internationally (ibid.). “[A] broad range of high quality Scots language CPD training” (2010 National Survey, p2) for teachers is needed if the new Scottish Curriculum for Excellence requirement for Scots in schools is to be met.
The following research questions are explored within this paper: 1)What attitudes do Scottish teaching staff have with regards the status of Scots and b) its place in Scottish schools; 2)What links, if any, do said participants make between the use of Scots, ‘capital’ and identity; 3) a) How and why have these attitudes emerged and b) why do they perhaps remain; 4)What recommendations, if any, do participants have regarding the provision of Scots in the Scottish classroom; 5)What possible challenges, benefits and caveats are staff privy to in implementing Scots in the classroom.
In the paper I draw on Bourdieu’s theory of ‘social’ and ‘cultural capital’ (Bourdieu, 1986: 241-258) as a theoretical framework to help explore these themes further.
Bailey, R. W. (1987) Teaching in the Vernacular: Scotland, Schools, and Linguistic Diversity, in: C. Macafee and I. Macleod (Eds) The Nuttis Schell: essays on the Scots language (Great Britain, Aberdeen University Press) Bourdieu, P. (1986) The Forms of Capital, in: J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (New York, Greenwood Press). Web, at: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/fr/bourdieu-forms-capital.htm (Accessed 9/6/2013) Matheson, C. & Matheson, D. (2000) Languages of Scotland: culture and classroom, Comparative Education, 36(2), p211-221 McPake, J. & Arthur, J. (2006) Scots in contemporary social and educational context, Language, Culture and Curriculum, 19(2), 155-170 Ryan, G. & Bernard, R. (2003) Techniques to identitfying themes, Field Methods, 15, 85-109
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