Gaelic is magic!

First year pupils at Kilmarnock Academy had Gaelic lessons with a difference this week. The Teacher of Gaelic at the school, Miss Shannon Howie, teamed up with the well-known Glasgow based magician, Mark Wallbank, to produce a Gaelic Language Magic Workshop where pupils learned new vocabulary through doing magic tricks.

Mark is renowned for his close-up and stage skills and is employed by many of the top firms across the UK including the BBC, The Commonwealth Games (2014), Zurich and Oxfam.  He also regularly performs magic across Scotland and England.

Over the course of three days, 125 young Gaelic learners had the opportunity to attend a number of different workshops with the magician performing tricks using some of the basic vocabulary pupils need to learn in order to progress in with the Gaelic language. This is the first time that an attempt to teach through the medium of magic has taken place in East Ayrshire schools.

Gary Reid, Principal Teacher of Modern Languages and Gaelic said: “We were really pleased to be able to give Gaelic learners the opportunity to see the language used in such an innovative way. Gaelic language is an important part of the curriculum here at Kilmarnock Academy and, as it is a growing subject within East Ayrshire, we felt it was a great opportunity for pupils to engage in the language in an enjoyable way.”