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Flodigarry course one of many highlights in this year’s Short Courses Programme

06/2013

As part of this summer’s short courses programme, students will have the chance to immerse themselves in the language, heritage and communities of the north of Skye as part of ‘Learning Gaelic in Flodigarry’. Those who take part in the Flodigarry Week will be welcomed by the people of northeast Skye where they will have the opportunity to improve their Gaelic and learn about the culture, history and literature of the area. 

The course runs over five days and is aimed at advanced Gaelic learners. There will be a trip each day for students within the Trotternish peninsula, where they will visit various places of historical and cultural interest as well as having the chance to meet local people. The course will cover a wide variety of subjects, all through the medium of Gaelic, such as fossils, place-names, crofting, and proverbs. There will also be informal ceilidhs where students will have a chance to get to know and chat with people from the community. The course will be held during the week 15-19 July, and then again on 26-30 August. As part of the second Flodigarry Week, students will have the opportunity to learn Gaelic song from one of Gaeldom’s most renowned singers, Arthur Cormack.

According to Mhàiri Britton who accompanied students on the course last year: “I spent last summer working on the short courses team at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and as part of the job I was lucky enough to spend two weeks up in Flodigarry, supervising and participating on two of these wonderful week-long courses. It was one of the absolute highlights of my summer to such an extent that I have asked to return as a volunteer this year to experience it for a third time!

“I came back from both courses with so many new words, phrases, friends and lovely memories. I think my Gaelic improved substantially, and I felt far more natural after having spoken very little English all week. I have also fallen in love with the area: there is something so special about being introduced to a place by people who love it and call it home and it helped me form a connection to Flodigarry unlike any other I have on Skye. It is now without a doubt my favourite place on the island and I can’t wait to go back again in July. I hope to welcome many new faces there this year!”

Flodigarry Trust Chair, Christine Nicolson said: “This is an ideal opportunity for advanced learners to speak and respond to native speakers in a natural setting. The courses will include short walks, visits to places of interest, workshop activities through the medium of Gaelic and the enjoyment of locally prepared cuisine.”

In addition to the Flodigarry courses, Sabhal Mòr will as ever be offering a wide range of short courses all summer. Students can hone their skills in music, language and many other subject areas within the beautiful surroundings of the college which is situated in South Skye.

From piping and fiddle to Gaelic language and song, a diverse and special selection of short courses is on offer during this special 40th anniversary year for the college.

Commenting on this year’s Summer Short Courses programme, the Short Courses Manager, Alasdair MacKay, said: “We are incredibly lucky at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig with the tutors on our short courses that are known not just here in Scotland but in fact have international renown. Every year we see students from many different backgrounds and ages from each part of the UK and Ireland but we also attract an increasing amount of students from the world over who have an interest in Scotland, in particular the Highlands, the Gaelic language and our rich culture.

“The Flodigarry Course is a fine example which combines all these elements, where students can spend an amazing week amongst the culturally rich community in that part of Skye.  The knowledge, traditions and heritage which the course introduces to the student are still at the very heart of the people and the hospitality received is second to none. I would recommend this course to anyone who wishes to reach a level of fluency whereby they can actually use Gaelic in a very practical and natural way with local speakers. Any student of Gaelic or anyone wishing to get a very real understanding of Skye should aim to do this course at least once!”

This year’s short courses include: Piping and Drumming for under 18s; Gaelic Song with Christine Primrose; the Accordion with Addie Harper, Robert Nairn and Fergie MacDonald; Fiddle with Alasdair Fraser; Cello with Natalie Haas; Exploring Skye with Gaelic with Muriel Fisher; Clàrsach with Ingrid Henderson; Digital Photography with Cailean MacLean; Skye Gaelic Songs and Traditions with Mary Ann Kennedy; and Gaelic classes for various levels.

For more information on the Flodigarry Week or any of the Short Courses, contact the Short Courses on cg.smo@uhi.ac.uk or 01471 888 240