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Gaelscoileanna Teo. welcomes invitation to dialogue on early Total Immersion

November 17, 2008

 Friday, November 14th, 2008 – 1300 Hrs




Gaelscoileanna Teoranta has welcomed the supportive comments of Minister for Education and Science Batt O’Keefe on the question of early total immersion in Irish language teaching.


Speaking at the annual Gaelscoileanna Conference in Bettystown Co. Meath this morning Minister O’Keefe said "I consider immersion education to be a really good system for promoting and maintaining the Irish Language, and I look forward to meeting with Gaelscoileanna Teoranta for a wide discussion on the Department’s curriculum policy."


"Evidence from around the world and in Ireland strongly indicates that early total immersion is extremely successful as a model of education for children of varying heritage languages," said Uachtarán Gaelscoileanna Teoranta, Mícheál Ó Broin.  "95 per cent of children entering Gaelscoileanna do so from an English or other language speaking background.  We do not impose language as a barrier to be overcome but as a bond between children who can better communicate across a range of voices and accents."


"The Minister’s willingness to listen and review the department policy on early total immersion is a welcome move.  We simply cannot afford to let go a model which is applauded throughout the world."




For further information or to arrange an interview with Mícheál Ó Broin, please contact:


Rob Hartnett

Director, Hartnett McClure PR on (086) 3851955