The Motivation to Learn Gaelic Among Scottish Adults: a Questionnaire
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The revival of Scottish Gaelic (henceforth “Gaelic”) has received much attention over the past years. However, while motivation is a crucial predictor of second language acquisition, there are no instruments yet for identifying attitudes essential to the motivation to learn Gaelic. This study composed a questionnaire that aimed to measure the motivation to learn Gaelic among Scottish adults who do not deem themselves learners of this language. Especially integrativeness, the genuine wish to gain fluency in the target language, the concern for the language’s survival, and the extent to which people see speaking the language as a vital element of their national identity appeared to be important predictors of the motivation to learn Gaelic. These four attitudes formed the subscale of the questionnaire, counting 34 items in total. The questionnaire was completed by 85 participants, after which it was analysed for reliability and adjusted accordingly. The results state that the questionnaire is internally consistent, with a Cronbach’s alpha of .965. In future research, the questionnaire can be adjusted further and used to assess these attitudes across Scotland. In this way, funds and resources for the revival of Gaelic could be spread across regions with regard to the wishes and interest of the local population.