Photo of student using An Cùrsa Inntrigidh learning materialsAn Cùrsa Inntrigidh, the innovative access course produced by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for complete beginners of Scottish Gaelic, has been shortlisted for a European Award for Languages.

The supported distance-learning course, 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, An Cùrsa Inntrigidh offers the opportunity to learn Gaelic from home and includes live, interactive telephone tutorials, monthly regional tutorial groups, weekend schools and online back up materials.

"When writing the course, we were hoping to provide an opportunity for people learning Gaelic to connect with other learners, and very importantly, to be able to speak to other learners, no matter where they were", said Iain, "We wanted to provide a system of support for all those trying to learn Gaelic on their own."

The European Award for Languages is a European-wide initiative supported by the European Commission. The Award 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.

Joanna McPake and Eugene McKendry, members of the panel responsible for judging the Awards, visited Sabhal Mòr Ostaig last Thursday to see the project in action and to speak to teachers and learners involved. Susie Hardy, the College's Distance Learning Co-ordinator said, "We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award and we were greatly encouraged by the judges' visit. We believe that we have an excellent product and look forward to hearing the judges' final decision".