Aim to double number of speakers of Manx

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Friday 1st July 2022 5:16 am
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A strategy to more than double the number of people learning and speaking Manx by 2032 has been launched.

It was launched at Queen Elizabeth High School in Peel last week.

The joint Strateysh son y Ghaelg 2022/32 is the second plan to be developed by a network of Manx language professionals called Jeebin.

This network includes representatives from the Isle of Man Government, Manx National Heritage, Culture Vannin and Mooinjer Veggey.

Jeebin also draws on expertise from Manx speakers, teachers and voluntary organisations to boost the appeal of learning the language.

The plan will see multiple agencies work together in a bid to increase the number of Manx speakers to 5,000 over the next decade by improving resources, training and provision.

The island’s native language has seen a revival in recent years and nearly 2,000 children are now taught it in schools, as well as increasing numbers of adults taking it up locally and further afield.

This upsurge in interest means it is now recognised internationally as an example of best practice for other minority languages.

The plan will see a concerted effort to broaden the appeal, understanding and use of Manx and includes achievable and measurable targets for its sustainable growth, both on island and internationally.

Julie Edge MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘The Manx language helps bring a deep sense of identity and creativity into our schools.

‘It builds speaking networks and communities, encourages lifelong learning, and contributes to the economy.

‘Learning and using our native language can also improve wellbeing and be used to positively promote the Isle of Man on the global stage.’

Chris Thomas MHK, Chair of Culture Vannin and Minister for Infrastructure, added: ‘Much has been achieved over the past five years, most notably a higher profile for Manx, both nationally and internationally.

‘Jeebin is delighted to see public and private sectors embrace the language and know that they are part of its continuing story.’

The new strategy outlines actions that are designed to boost the Manx language in the island, including:

l To produce a forward plan for the digitisation of the Manx language items in the library and archives collections, including criteria for assessing priority items based upon significance and usefulness to the Manx speaking community

l To produce a texting app for Manx to ensure Manx can be used with modern technology

l To support the creation of museum education resources through making existing resources available in a format easily converted to Manx

l To develop up to 25 resources annually to support bilingual education at nursery and primary school and in the home

l To endeavour annually to produce original digital content in Manx covering subject such as maths, history and science, that would also be suitable for intermediate and advanced adult learners

The strategy in full is available to view on the Culture Vannin website at culturevannin.im/manxlanguage/

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