Susie Hardy and Pete Chapman from An Cùrsa Inntrigidh pictured with current student Val Hodginkson and graduate Lesley Hayes who has since completed the first year of the Gaelic and Related Studies Degree Scheme
An Cùrsa Inntrigidh, the supported distance-learning course produced by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for complete beginners of Scottish Gaelic, is one of seventeen UK projects to be awarded a European Award for Languages in recognition of its innovative approach to language learning. The Award, which is a European-wide initiative supported by the European Commission, recognises creative ways to improve the quality of language teaching, motivate students and make the best of available resources. It also requires that award-winning initiatives serve as a potential source of inspiration for projects in other contexts, languages and even other countries.

An Cùrsa Inntrigidh, which began as a pilot course only 3 years ago, has proved a tremendous success with learners and currently has over 150 students enrolled worldwide. Written by Iain Taylor and Murdo MacLeod, the course combines a range of distance learning material with new media and technologies and aims to give learners the confidence to speak practical Gaelic by prioritising speaking and listening skills. Susie Hardy, Distance Learning Co-ordinator at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig said, "We are delighted to be amongst the winners of this prestigious award having been shortlisted from over 100 UK projects. An Cùrsa Inntrigidh has broken new ground to ensure that those wishing to learn Gaelic have an effective tool to do so. It may be that in the next census the full effects of this course will become apparent as the decline of Gaelic speakers is arrested."

Representatives from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig will attend the Award Ceremony with Sir Trevor McDonald at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the 27th September as part of a special celebration of the European Day of Languages. Other winners included a video-conferencing project, a creative writing initiative and language modules for those working in the tourist industry. An Cùrsa Inntrigidh was the only winner whose project focused on the Gaelic language.