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Ulster-Scots: Parents must be encouraged to speak it at home to their children

By Noel McAdam

There is "extensive public interest" in the Ulster-Scots tradition, a Stormont document has suggested.

But the promotion of Ulster-Scots needs an agreed road map that will involve 'standardisation' of the written language.

And a strategy to promote the language says measures to encourage the speaking of Ulster-Scots in the home need to be identified and implemented - including 'early intervention'.

"Recognition of the use of Ulster-Scots in the home and in everyday life needs to be promoted," the document states.

But it goes on: "An agreed road map for the standardisation of the written Ulster-Scots language needs to be developed drawing on the experience of stakeholders and speakers.

"Sensitivity needs to be shown in relation to linguistic issues such as spelling and pronunciation, which have previously proven problematic not only locally but in Scotland also.

"Early intervention is a vital factor to increase the number of Ulster-Scots speakers and to ensure that the richness of the language will be passed to the next generation.

"Families where parents can speak Ulster-Scots need advice and guidance on how to effectively pass the language onto their children.

"And the experience of Guernsey, Cornwall, Ireland, Wales and Scotland will be of value in terms of the practical actions which they have taken to enhance and develop their respective minority languages..."

It says boosting Ulster-Scots should involve a baseline of those families and others who still use Ulster-Scots in the home to be identified.

It also calls for ways in which the transmission of Ulster-Scots from one generation to the next can be identified, developed and improved.

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