The Marra o a Simmer Skweel in Scots: Bit far's the Beens?
Author(s): Sheena Blackhall
Copyright holder(s): Sheena Blackhall
Fa's the Simmer Skweel aimed fur? Gin it's teachers, they'll be sikkin information on educational resources, an wyes o deliverin thon resources. I've wirked in near eneuch twa hunner skweels fae the North East doon tae Brechin an Montrose, fae Nursery up tae Secondary level promotin Scots, an there's a rowth o difference in the wye ye approach the age reenges, ay, an the teachers as weel.
Mebbe ye'll wint tae attract oral historians? Mebbe ye should...foo mony interviews hae ye heard far the questions are pit in English an ye can hear the subject warsslin tae reply in English aa the time translatin fae the Scots they hear in their inner lug! Fin the polis interview a suspected ne'er dae weel, hoosaeiver, the hale interview is set doon in the naitural spikk o the accused an the accuser. Noo there's a study inno urban Scots wytin tae be daen!
Ye should ettle tae bring Teacher Trainin bodies thegither wi publishers an students at a Simmer skweel. The morn's students gaun intae the skweels will be orderin buiks fur eese wi classes. Whyles, I've gaen intae the Gaelic unit in Aiberdeen an watched their wye o wirkin wi bairns. They prent oot Gaelic thirsels fur readin schemes an glue it ower the English..it's chaip, I dinna ken if its legal, bit it's ae wye roon the problem o readin schemes gin ye iver get the length o haein a Scots nursery, or a dedicatit Scots unit.
Fit aboot non-spikkers at a Simmer skweel? Last year I pyed masel ontae an Arvon Foundation course at Moniack Mhor on screivin poetry, led bi a Dublin poet, Paula Meehan an John Hegley, a Sassanach performance poet. It wis Hegley fa insistit we aa screive a poem usin Scots wirds. He photocopied pages fae a Scots glossary an ilkie ane o's hid tae pyke oot twa wirds, staun in a cercle an say them oot lood tae get the taste o them in wir moo. Efter thon, we'd tae tell aabody roon aboot fit the wirds meant in English...an tae feenish, pit aa the wirdies (echt o them) inno a poem. (the 'drap in' wye o learnin Scots). The computer programmers fae Lunnon an the like war fair taen wi Scots...fit we aften forget is that ither cultures LIKE tae hear the native leid spukken. Gin we iver shakk aff the Scottish cringe an stop apologisin fur wir ain linguistic distinctiveness, we micht stert tae celebrate oor ain culture insteid o rinnin it doon.
Fitiver ye produce in Scots should be relevant fur eenoo: preservation's fine fur Egyptian mummies bit nae muckle eese fur a livin leid. Fa's designin SVQs in Scots? Fit incentives dae teachers hae tae promote Scots? Dis current publishin serve the needs o the curriculum tae the full?
There's a wee group o thespians in the North East fa tour the skweels pittin on plays tae brakk doon prejudice aboot mental health. They gie a hard-hittin performance syne there's an open debate. Fit aboot screivin them a play brakkin doon steretypes aboot Scots? Fit aboot showin THON at a Simmer skweel?
Will there be media representation at a simmer skweel? The bairns in the Gaelic Unit are aften on TV, daein Gaelic raps. It gies them a heist. It gies them 'street cred'. It gies their leid prestige. Foo mony skweels get thon amount o recognition in mainstream education?
Fit aboot representatives fae the Muckle Furth? Whyles I get a wee sup royalities frae the Netherlands or Norway efter a BBC programme on dialect/ leid's bin on. Fit aboot producin on-line simmer skweel wi video-conferencin?
The Boslit initiative gies Scots a heist, makkin eese o the leid in translation. Ae wye roon the spikker/non-spikker dilemma micht be tae hear the twa read ane efter tither....English, syne braid Scots.
Ye should definitely hae Scots music in ony simmer skweel as weel's a ceilidh tae feenish. Music's ane o the best ambassadors Scots ains. Fin I gyang roon the skweels I'm aye welcomed bi teachers because Scots can be cross-curricular. It lowps fae ae subject tae anither in the 5-14 curriculum nae bother ava. Whyles, though, there's a thochtie resistence....'We've deen Scotland last term ' they micht say, or 'Burns is nae or neist month.'
'Ah, bit hae ye dane Scots Music?' I speir. Usually they hinna because there's nae siller tae fund a music specialist, sae I wheech Scots in wi the guitar. The bairns screive their ain class sang in Scots tae a cannie wee tune, usually tae suit fitiver project they're daein, the Romans, say, or the Egyptians.
By thon time the teacher's fair trickit an ye can gie her Scots poems tae suit the Egyptians....J.K. Annand's 'Muckle Crocodile' , or 'The Puddock' (wis there nae a plague o them in the Auld Testament?) an ony ither breets ye can fin in gweed Scots Anthologies....failin thon, screive yer ain. Bairns is easy pleased. This is kent as 'Environmental Studies'. Did ye ken that Scottish Natural Heritage produced an official brochure entirely in North East Scots fur its Forvie Nature Reserve a puckle years back? Noo thon fairly DID grab media attention! A pity there wisnae mair o thon.
While yer aboot it, Scots is gran fur aerobics an translates weel intae the latest wee educational fad, 'Mind Gym'..... duntin, raxxin, birlin, lowpin......oh ay, aa Simmer Skweels should hae a wee bit relaxation. I'm telt that SCAT ceilidh dauncin is popular wi Scots an non Scots alike.
Elphinstane Institute rin bothy & traditional ballad-screivin wirkshops at Cullerlie. Fowk enjoy them. They screive their ain, aboot consarns o the 21st century. Les Wheeler trains North East Librarians tae storytell bi brakkin up Scots ballads like a daud o shortbreid inno three bittickies an splittin his trainee group up, tae digest each daud an syne retell it. Efter aa, the ballads aye deal wi love, daith an war, sae are timeless. Mair importantly gin ye've a group o fowk wi little or nae Scots ava, the ballads are screived in fit's bin described as 'wattered doon Scots', anely a twa three wirdies non-spikkers micht hyter ower. Aa this could weel be components o a simmer skweel, some like the Gaelic Feis that I've taen pairt in. The Gaels ken that peels taste better sugaret...
Finally, a Simmer Skweel, in the best tradition o the seannachie, should hae some trainin in storytellin. Interactive storytellin is a gran wye o winklin Scots ooto the tichtest buckie. 'An fit happens NOO?'....
Bit that's an endin ye maun screive fur yirsels, faiver his the kittlesome darg o designin a Simmer Skweel in Scots. I wish them weel!
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The Marra o a Simmer Skweel in Scots: Bit far's the Beens?. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1499.
"The Marra o a Simmer Skweel in Scots: Bit far's the Beens?." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1499.
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