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(Gaeilge) Scléip Gael Linn – craobhchomórtas 2016

January 29, 2016

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

(Gaeilge) Thar am aghaidh a thabhairt ar dhearcadh na ndaltaí ‘nach maith leo an Ghaeilge’

January 29, 2016

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Opinion: How to rescue the Irish language

January 29, 2016

How often do we hear people say that they wish they could speak their native language?

Despite 14 years of learning Irish, the majority of people are unable to speak their native language with confidence. In a recent survey carried out by the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) of our members, over half of the respondents stated that the strategy for Gaeilge is not clear and that they favour a “radical overhaul” of the Gaeilge curriculum.

With the many 1916 commemorative events taking place this year, the time is ripe to discuss the curriculum of our native language and how we can revive it among our children for generations to come.

A considerable amount of energy has been put into the teaching of Irish. Most teachers would agree that the teaching methodologies used to date have not been effective in developing fluency in the Irish language. Language competency is normally acquired through listening, speaking, reading and writing – in that order. However, rote learning is still a feature in preparation for exams and some teachers are over-reliant on the use of work books.

Too many children say they “don’t like Irish”. We have to ask the question why. The answer lies in differentiating between learning Irish as a living language through conversation and communication as opposed to learning Irish as an academic subject.

The new Primary Language Curriculum goes some way towards addressing these challenges. I am, however, proposing a radically different approach to the Irish curriculum across all primary and post-primary schools.
Early speaking

I propose that the focus at primary level, from junior infants to sixth class, should be on conversational Irish. This would be taught to all children in the Irish education system, with no exemptions and no assessment.

Throughout primary level, the emphasis will continue to be on aural and oral language skills. We need to focus on teaching the language through fun and games, including drama, songs, stories, proverbs, humour and jokes, etc. Every school could be a bilingual school.

Second-language learning does not have to be a burden. More than half of primary school principals who responded to the recent IPPN survey said that they wanted the time for Gaeilge to be increased but not if it is just more of the same failed methodologies.

In the same survey, principals said that they would like to see more time given on the curriculum to physical education. This is the perfect opportunity to integrate the two subjects – by teaching PE through the medium of Irish. This allows for interactive conversation in the present tense as opposed to language which reports events using the past tense.

In debates about the Irish language and the primary curriculum, there is often reference to a lack of competency of some teachers regarding their ability to teach Irish. Rather than blame teachers, we need to look at how they are being taught to teach Irish. The training of teachers and the focus on Irish in teacher-training college also needs to be reviewed in conjunction with these changes and all colleges need to work to the same standards.

At post-primary level, conversational Irish will continue to be taught to all students up to the end of the secondary cycle. In addition, Gaeilge will be offered as an academic subject with assessment, for those who wish to study it on the same basis as students taking Spanish or German.

Leaving Cert
While this approach would result in a smaller number of students taking Irish to Leaving Cert level, at least those who would choose it as an exam subject would be taking it for the right reasons.

In summary, my vision for the future of the language is that conversational Irish would be compulsory for all students, from junior infants to Leaving Cert; academic Irish would be optional and assessed accordingly at post-primary level.

There may be powerful arguments against adopting this as a strategy. However, in the words of Albert Einstein “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

We can’t blame Peig Sayers anymore.

Seán Cottrell www.irishtimes.ie


January 29, 2016

The new four classroom-based school was funded through the Department’s Accommodation Fund.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “This is a fantastic day for the pupils, parents, staff and wider community associated with Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach. Through hard work and total dedication you have reached this momentous stage of gaining a brand new school.

“In this purpose built environment this generation of pupils and indeed future generations have an excellent facility to complete their education.

“The Irish language is an integral part of our rich and shared heritage and I take great pride in witnessing and being part of a sector that continues to grow and thrive educationally, socially and economically.

“I wish everyone associated with the school every good wish for the future.”

Welcoming the Minister to the school for the opening, Principal Stephen Wallace said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new build. Our children’s faces lit up when they entered the building for the first time. It is safe, bright and a wonderful learning environment. Our school which has grown on separate campuses now has the opportunity to grow, play and learn together.

“The community leadership and support has been fantastic to bring the new build about. We have operated out of different buildings in the past in Crumlin and it is lovely to now have a place to call your own. The community has been extremely supportive over the years to ensure Irish-medium education thrives in Crumlin. More and more people are buying into Irish-medium and for different reasons too. I know that it has the ability to open doors and create opportunities in the future and we have a wonderful facility to realise this potential.

“We are also extremely grateful to Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta who supported us every step of the way on the road to the new build. Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta have been ever present to ensure the school thrives. The Department of Education was very dedicated and committed to ensure that the school was built within an extremely tight timeframe and the Education Authority provided the expertise to support the school during the construction period and beyond.

“It was also designed with an eye to future growth and while we are delighted with our bright beautiful build we are secure in the knowledge that we are building for the future.”

One parent and member of staff Donna Mc Kenna said: “The environment brings all the children together, communication is greatly improved and now we are able to provide the learning environment which is available to all other pupils in Crumlin. It is a great day indeed.”


(Gaeilge) Comórtas Díospóireachta Uí Chadhain 2016 – siar go dtí An Cheathrú Rua leis an dá chorn !

January 29, 2016

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

(Gaeilge) Folúntas: Gaelscoil Thiobraid Árann

January 29, 2016

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

(Gaeilge) Folúntas: Scoil Chaitlín Maude, Baile Átha Cliath

January 28, 2016

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

(Gaeilge) Foirne Scoil Chuimsitheach na Ceathrún Rua dochloíte i gCraobh na hÉireann de Chomórtas Díospóireachta Uí Chadhain

January 28, 2016

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

(Gaeilge) A thrí oiread Gaelscoileanna agus Gaelcholáistí ag brath ar chóiríocht shealadach

January 28, 2016

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Dúradáin Mheabhracha (Thinking Dominos)

January 27, 2016

Dúradáin Mheabhracha (Thinking Dominos) is a fun way to learn and strengthen Irish using the vital skill: CATEGORISATION.

Categorisation helps people to learn, organise and remember vocabulary. The game comprises 48 domino cards. The top half of each card shows the name of a category and the bottom half shows a picture of something from a different category.
Players join the domino cards making sure that pictures and words are joined to each other correctly.
Each box contains instructions in Irish and in English.

More information here

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