Parental engagement and involvement in supporting (language) learning: lessons from the "bringing Gaelic home" study

Ingeborg Birnie, Kerrie Kennedy

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This paper explores the findings of a small-scale mixed methods study set in one school which set out to investigate the effects of the school closures because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent home-learning periods, on language acquisition in children in lower primary of Gaelic medium education. Using data collected through parental and teacher surveys, together with information from in-class observations and assessments as well as learning conversations with the pupils themselves, this study found that there were limited opportunities for most children to use Gaelic in the home, before and during the school closures, but that the provision of different online learning materials, audio-visual materials (in particular those produced by the class teacher) but also online games enabled children to continue their (language) learning and provided opportunities for taking Gaelic into the home in a way that also helped overcome the caregivers’ anxieties regarding Gaelic medium homework and made them feel included in the learning process of their children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2023


  • Gaelic
  • Gaelic medium education
  • minority language education
  • parental engagement


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