Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh

Language taster classes

We run Gaelic taster courses for staff and students in association with the Centre for Open Learning and the Edinburgh University Students’ Association.

Students listening in a seminar class

As part of the University's commitment to increase Gaelic awareness amongst its staff and students, the 6-week free 'taster' language course is the perfect ‘stepping stone’ into further language learning offered by the Centre for Open Learning.

Course summary

The aim of the course is to introduce staff and students to the basics of the Scottish Gaelic language. You will learn how to read and understand simple texts, what to ask and what to answer when you meet new people and how to talk about yourselves.

The Gaelic grammar is taught interactively. The language practice is based on small group and pair work, developing of oral communication skills, written home exercises and listening comprehension tasks. All materials are supplied by the tutor.

The course will consist of six two-hour classes over the course of six weeks.

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge is required.

Content of course

  • Introduction to Gaelic pronunciation and spelling and the role of lenition.
  • Greetings and introducing oneself.
  • Time and numbers.
  • The definite article, prepositional pronouns, direct object constructions.
  • Present, past and future tenses of verbs.

Teaching methods

The course is tutorial-based, with a combination of whole class activity and group work, and the use of audio-visual material as teaching aids.

In order to benefit fully from the course and to achieve the learning outcomes, you will need to devote some time out with classes to revision and homework.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course participants students should be able to:

  • Pronounce Gaelic with reasonable accuracy.
  • Understand the Gaelic spelling system.
  • Understand basic grammatical structures in Gaelic.
  • Understand and produce basic functional statements in Gaelic.


Handouts will be provided; there is no need to purchase a book.


Courses will run on the following dates:

  • Staff - The course has been advertised on the MyEd Events channel.
  • Students - The date is advertised by EUSA at the link below.


Places for the Gaelic language taster classes can be reserved through the MyEd Events channel (staff) and the Edinburgh University Students' Association (students).