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What does Scotland look like? What languages do they speak? Read and find out!

Scotland is a country in Great Britain, to the north of England. Scotland has nearly 800 islands, but people only live on some of them. Scotland is a beautiful country with many mountains, forests, beaches, rivers and lochs (the Scots word for lakes).

About five million people live in Scotland. Most people live in the south of the country in and around the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Dundee.


There are three languages in Scotland. Most people speak English and Scots. Scots is spoken by young and old people and sometimes people mix Scots and English. Around one per cent of the Scottish population speak Scottish Gaelic; an old Celtic language.


At public and cultural events you can often hear traditional music and see traditional dancing. Pipers play music on bagpipes, a Celtic wind instrument with pipes and a bag.


The most popular sport in Scotland is football. Another popular game, golf, was invented in Scotland in the Middle Ages. You can go skiing or snowboarding in winter at Scotland's five mountain ski resorts. In rural, Gaelic-speaking regions people play shinty, a traditional sport similar to hockey.

The famous Scottish Highland Games are a combination of culture and sport. Competitors do heavy sports like "caber tossing", where they throw big tree trunks, and there is traditional Scottish music and dancing.


Blue is a colour which is often associated with Scotland. The Scottish flag is blue with a white X-shaped cross called the St Andrew's cross.

Activity 1 - True or false

Are the sentences true or false?

1. All of Scotland's islands are populated.        True False

2. Scotland is a country of great natural beauty.     True False

3. Most Scottish people can speak Scottish Gaelic.     True False

4. You can hear bagpipes at public and cultural events.   True False

5. Shinty is a traditional sport similar to hockey.  True  False

6. A caber-tossing competition involves throwing big tree trunks.  True False

7. The Scottish flag is red and white.           True  False

Answers 1. False; 2. True; 3. False; 4. True; 5. True; 6. True; 7. False

To find more English language activities visit www,britishcouncil.org/learnenglishteens

(c)British Council 2018