Méid an Téacs

St Ciaran’s College languages department continues to excel

Samhain 18, 2013

A HUGE congratulations to three Year 10 pupils from St. Ciaran’s College Ballygawley – Darragh Canavan, Niall McElvogue, Sarah Gartland and Ellen Rafferty who came 2nd out of 400 participants in an Irish quiz organised by Gael Linn in Dun Uladh!

St. Ciaran’s has a strong track record at this annual event, with school teams regularly successfully competing and bringing back awards. Ellen Rafferty, one of the pupils in the winning team said; “I am delighted to have come second out of so many competitors. I feel really proud of our achievement and grateful of the support our Irish teachers have given us.”

Irish and French students at St. Ciaran’s College are regularly involved in many extra-curricular activities in order to strengthen their understanding of the languages and develop their conversational skills further. Last term, Year 13 French and Irish students went to two local primary schools; Glencull and St. Mary’s Ballygawley to teach primary schools students there over a 6 week period.

This was a great success and Damian Cullen, principal of St. Mary’s Ballygawley said: “As a school, we have very much appreciated the input St. Ciaran’s students gave our Years 5, 6+7 pupils. It has been invaluable to the children at St. Mary’s in giving them an insight and a positive introduction to the language.”

This mutually beneficial initiative meant that both the primary school pupils being taught French and Irish and the Post 16 language students delivering the programme were learning and gaining invaluable experience.

Last year, Year 13 and 14 French and Irish students took part in the Juvenes Translatores contest, organised by the European Union. Pupils had to translate a one-page text in any of the 552 language combinations of their choice from among the EU’s 24 official languages and received certificates for their participation.

This year, St. Ciaran’s college is one of only 17 post-primary schools taking part in the contest later in November.

As well as this, ten Irish students from St. Ciaran’s attended the Gaeltacht over the summer months, with 6 of them being awarded scholarships for Gael Linn and the school was also awarded the Father Murray shield by Comhaltas Uladh for best spoken Irish in a secondary school.

Three students were also awarded scholarships for the Gaeltacht from Comhaltas Uladh for excellent oral work- Shauna Kelly, Grainne Gormley and Niamh Donnelly.Irish students ranging from years 8-11 thoroughly enjoy participating at the Feis each year and last year Shauna Stevenson, a current Year 11 pupil, received a scholarship from the Feis.

To coincide with the European Day of languages at the end of September, the French Onatti Theatre group came to the school to perform a play in French which was a great success and was enjoyed by pupils from years 9-14. This gave the pupils the fantastic opportunity to see live theatre in a different language and gain a greater appreciation of the language.

The Modern Languages department is a core one within St. Ciaran’s and is vital in offering students the opportunity to foster their knowledge and appreciation of both the Irish language as the native language as well as a deeper understanding of the French language and culture.