There is one Talking item that helps make up your final mark. It is worth 30 marks, 25% of the final mark.

You will need to use detailed and complex language.

Ten minute discussion

You will engage in a discussion lasting approximately ten minutes with your teacher or lecturer. This will usually be in spring after you have completed most of the course, to ensure you have learnt as much Gaelic as possible. Don't worry about that ten minute time limit, if you prepare well, hopefully it will go smoothly - and quickly as well!

Prepare thoroughly

This discussion is about you in that you are talking about subjects you know a lot about, you need to prepare thoroughly and should be aware of the vocabulary you will need. You will have a lot of vocabulary already by this point in the course, but use a dictionary and other resources to identify any extra vocabulary you think you will need beforehand.

Decide on two contexts

You must talk about at least two of the four contexts that are covered in Higher – Society, Learning, Employability, Culture. You must tell your teacher or lecturer which two you are going to cover beforehand. You can cover other contexts and in fact, a good performance will often range over all four contexts. For example, you might want to start by talking about your school experiences that year (Learning) then move on to the job you would like when you leave education (Employment), but along the way you could talk about your favourite sport (Culture) and whether you think you lead a healthy lifestyle.

Speak as much Gaelic as possible in preparation

Throughout the year during your Higher course, aim to have short conversations in Gaelic with your teacher and classmates, or other Gaelic speakers. Cover information such as:

  • what are you doing at school
  • what you did at the weekend
  • hobbies
  • interests
  • films you have watched
  • what you plan to do next year.

This will help you to familiarise yourself with Talking and develop your grammatical accuracy.

Take the initiative

This is a discussion, not a presentation, so if you can ask questions as well as speak that can improve your mark.


In Performance-talking you can achieve one of the following marks:

  • 30 or 27
  • 24 or 21
  • 18 or 15
  • 12 or 9
  • 6 or 3
  • 0


You are allowed some prompts and/or visual aids. These can be useful for keeping your content comprehensive, relevant and organised. You can have five headings of not more than eight words each – so around 40 words – but be careful not to read them out word for word. One final thing on notes, if you are using a word from your notes – make sure you can pronounce it properly!