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Gap year student receives SMO’s Student of the Year award

The award for Student of the Year was given to Isabelle Flower, who undertook the first year course for fluent speakers – Gàidhlig is Conaltradh.  Isabelle is one of a growing number of students who come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig from Celtic of Gaelic depts at other universities to take a year out and study Gaelic in our immersion environment.

Originally from Dunbar, Izzy is a student at the University of Glasgow, studying Gaelic and French.  She always had a keen interest in languages, but it was only in her final year in James Gillespies High School that she got the opportunity to learn Gaelic.  Since then Izzy has done incredibly well, achieving fluency in Gaelic and is full of enthusiasm for the language and all that it entails.

Course Leader, Dr Tim Armstrong said:  “Izzy simply excelled in her coursework, but above all, Izzy was a unique, positive force this year outside of class.  The most important, and also most daunting, challenge that our students face each year is that we expect everyone, regardless of ability, to stick to our Gaelic language covenant while on campus, supporting our immersion environment and encouraging each other to use Gaelic as much as possible outside of class, and Izzy was exceptional in this respect.  Not only did she consistently use Gaelic herself, but she non-judgmentally and compassionately encouraged everyone around her to use Gaelic.

“Each year we have students who excel academically, and also students who are particularly gregarious and supportive of the Gaelic language community on campus, but Izzy was both.

Commenting on her award Izzy said:  “I am delighted to be awarded Student of the Year.  It was a real pleasure to do this course and it’s a great honour for my success to be recognised in this way.”

Dr Armstrong continued:  “It is encouraging that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is being recognized by students at other universities as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to complete an immersion year in the Gaelic language, and Izzy represents an outstanding example of what a highly motivated student can achieve in a year at the college and, in turn, what such students can offer back to a unique campus such as ours.”

Izzy has also been credited with Royal National Mòd award for Learner of the Year 2018 and will be presented with this award at the Mòd in Dunoon later this month.

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