Like other newsreaders, Catriona Shearer is careful to use English during broadcasts. She compares this with the history of the Scots language. In the 16th Century, Scots was spoken in the Parliament and most official documents were in Scots. Now Scots is often just seen in poetry. Since Devolution, Scots is increasingly being heard.We see Liz Lochhead reading a poem by Edwin Morgan at the opening of the Scots Parliament in 2000. The original news report in English is contrasted with a Scots language version.
Encourage students to look at the BBC News School Report website and to record their own version of the day’s events, first in English and then in Scots. Script a news programme which chronicles the life of your school. Once again, present a version in English and in Scots. The text of Edwin Morgan’s poem for the opening of the Scottish Parliament could be studied with emphasis given to the words in Scots. Focus on imagery, word choice and verse structure. Look at the phrase “a nest of fearties“ and ask students to illustrate what this image suggests to them.