Lunchtime classes, bilingual online messages and even a teddy bear could soon all play a key role in promoting and developing Gaelic in Aberdeenshire.
The local authority has come up with an action plan to boost the number of people who can speak the language, and held a consultation on the plans earlier this year.
Tomorrow members of the policy and resources committee will be asked to approve the draft Gaelic Language Plan, which was drawn up at the request of quango Bord na Gaidhlig.
The plan contains responses to the consultation, and shows there are mixed feelings about promoting Gaelic in the heart of Doric country.
One respondent said: “Right now, as an Aberdonian, the Gaelic language feels as relevant to me as Olde English.”
Another said: “It is a great pity that a West Coast/Irish language should be forced into an area with a very strong tradition of Doric that is being slowly eroded away by the whims of the few holding the purse strings. Our language in Scotland and Great Britain is English and any language plan should be focused on teaching the youngsters how to read, write and communicate properly in English, not on some regional archaic tongue.”
However, another respondent was more positive and suggested: “I think all primary pupils should get the chance to learn some really basic Gaelic words and phrases so they can appreciate that dimension to their identity and culture.”
The draft plan includes proposals to bring Gaelic into workplaces, schools and homes.
Actions include offering council staff lunchtime, evening or online language classes and putting messages on social networking pages in Gaelic.
The authority has ruled out putting Gaelic on road signs due to the cost and says in the report awareness can be raised in other more positive ways – such as developing a logo to use when advertising events, and putting up welcome signs in Gaelic at all of its headquarters and new schools in Alford, Drumoak, Ellon, Hillside, Kintore and Inverurie.
To promote the language among children from as young an age as possible, specific Bookbug sessions will be held in libraries – while a Gaelic speaking teddy bear will be provided to all nurseries to practice colours, shapes and numbers.