The Full Story
The journey to creating an online Gaelic language business has long been a dream of Ann Desseyn. Her love for the Gaelic language began at an early age and in her early twenties, she began to research Universities that would teach Gaelic as a core subject but was met with disappointment on discovering that the universities in her native Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Germany did not offer such a course and as a result, began searching further afield for a way to learn the language.
She began a distance learning course with the Gaelic college Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Skye in 1999 and in April 2000 completed the NC (national certificate) Gaelic 1 and Gaelic 2. Learning in those days was very different to that of today and was a time when all lessons were sent through the post on tape and then having the option to attend the college to complete an exam at the end of the course.
In the year 2000 Ann moved to Newtonmore to take up a full-time job and began studying for a BA (Hons) in Humanities and History which she graduated in 2004. During this period she also followed her Gaelic education dream and completed a Pre-Higher course in Gaelic at Telford College, Cùrsa Inntrigidh with SMO 2004 and Cùrsa Chli Gàidhlig in Perth in 2005 before moving to the Gaelic college for a year to complete the Cùrsa Comais in 2005-2006. Unable to secure a development job within Gaelic at this time she moved to Fife and secured a job as Internal Auditor and HSEQ Assistant with Bosch manufacturing till 2013.
Despite the setback of not finding a job within the Gaelic world she continued her quest to achieve more Gaelic qualifications and in 2010 completed the Ulpan teacher training and in her spare time set up and successfully expanded the Fife Gaelic Community Development project that promoted Gaelic learning with adults and schools.
With a deep passion for the Gaelic language and eagerness to increase the learning of it, Ann taught evening classes for Fife Council and set up her own Gaelic teaching business for adults in 2010 while still working full-time at Bosch. In 2013 Ann decided to become a PGDE Gaelic Medium Secondary (history) school teacher at the same time as some of her friends after a recruitment drive by BnaG. Graduated from Strathclyde University in 2014. In 2015 she completed a Probationary year in Portree High school before moving to Uist to cover for a teacher who intended to take time out to study Gaelic. Sadly on arrival, it turned out that she was not taking time out and as a result, the contract to teach Gaelic and History was not fulfilled and Ann left for Glasgow to work as a social studies supply teacher while still keeping her house in North Uist.
In 2016 she returned to Uist, married a crofter and focused on building her Gaelic business, using her training, skills & experience, hereby securing audit and HSE contracts in manufacturing & Gaelic students. Despite all her learning within the Gaelic language, there was still a lack of full-time permanent GME teaching jobs which was making it hard to settle down in a place. In 2018 she took on a 6-month contract with e-Sgoil to teach Gaelic online but no full-time permanent jobs were available long-term. Thereafter, only a few hours were available per week for a few weeks sporadically, very unreliable as a source of income. She taught adult learners and high school students in Mull online and then went to Islay High School to teach Gaelic as supply teacher but was met with even more obstacles and returned to Uist as it was too expensive to maintain the commute and two residences. The lack of sufficient Gaelic teaching jobs for all Gaelic teachers made it impossible to complete her ATQ teaching Gaelic as a subject a well, so she finally gave up her teacher registration.
From 2019, she has solely focused on further developing the Gaelic teaching adults side of her business which over the past years has consequently grown into a sustainable island business. With satisfied students from across the world and continued refining and development of her online resources, Ann hopes to be able to expand the business, hire and train new Gaelic teachers in the years to come and help them set up their own business.
Some of her Qualifications
BA (Hons) Humanities with History
Dip. European Humanities
Postgrad Cert. Integrated Safety, Health and Environmental Management (OU)
Cert. Gaelic and Related Studies - Cùrsa Comais
PGDE Secondary (History) English & Gaelic Medium
ISO 9001QMS/Quality Lead Auditor – IRCA
Award in Leadership - ILM
Certificate in International Auditing (CertIA) - ACCA
Certificate in International Financial Reporting - ACCA
F1 Accountant in Business - ACCA
Bosch Internal Controls Auditing
Prince2 Practitioner - Project Management
Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) RegulationsImprovement in Energy Efficiency and Reduction of CO2-emissions for sub-project managers at Bosch Rexroth AG
UK National Air Cargo Security level D
Access and Identity Management
Data Protection & Information Security
Bosch Protection Security
Benchmark Quality Audit
Emergency Planning - Massey University
Mass Fatality Management - Columbia University
Elements of Leadership - Decision-making & Problem-solving under Emergency Conditions - Columbia University
Climate Change: Public Health Preparedness and Response - Columbia University
Public Health Risks of Ionizing Radiation - Columbia University
Analysis of Information in Humanitarian Emergencies - Columbia University
Sea Level Rise and Flood Risk - Columbia University
International Organizations Management - University of Geneva
Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination - West Virginia University
Introduction to Coaching & Mentoring - Kaya Humanitarian Leadership Academy
L.C.H. Dip. in Life Coaching