In an effort to overcome the very strong threat from English to Irish and Gaelic, and to enhance communication between speakers of these languages without having to revert to the larger dominant language, Colmcille has, since its inception,been funding Gàidhlig courses for Gaeilge speakers, and Gaeilge courses for Gàidhlig speakers.
Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic speakers can often understand a great deal of what the other says, but there are obstacles, new vocabulary and different rules. The courses aim to facilitate communication between the two groups without abandoning Gaelic for English.
Two week–long courses take place each summer for Gaeilge speakers at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. Here Gaeilge speakers are provided with modern facilities in the heartland of the Scottish Gàidhealtachd to learn Gàidhlig. Further south, on the island of Islay, Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle (ICCI), hosts a 5-day course in Gàidhlig for Gaeilge speakers later in the summer. There have also been courses in Irish Gaelic for Scottish Gaelic speakers, and it is hoped to develop these.
The Glaschu nan Gàidheal project has provided a weekend course in Scottish and Irish Gaelic, and an opportunity for both groups to meet. Language classes have also been built into exchange programmes, and festivals such as Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy.