Improve the way Irish is taught in schools today

Improve the way Irish is taught in schools today

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Summayyah Popoola started this petition to Joe Hugh (Minister of Education and Skills) and

Irish is, and remains the first official language of this country. It is also very close to extinction. As Irish is the native language of this island it should be given utmost priority. The syllabus in place and the way Irish is taught is not helping students to retain and understand the language.

Too much emphasis is placed on exam technique, with the result that apart from a few phrases learnt off for the oral, students leave school with very poor conversational Irish. Learning pages of paragraphs and several poems does not help students learn the language.

More emphasis should be placed on the oral and aural skills of students. This will ensure that they will be able to speak and understand the language. The answer is definitely not to make the subject optional or to get rid of it, but to teach the language for speaking not just to pass the upcoming exam.

The language needs to be taught like the way other languages are taught in schools. We need to do more dialogue and conversations. As soon as students leave the school gates it is forgotten as if it never existed. This is as a result that it is not being used in communities nor is it being portrayed as important.

I have just recently found out that the Irish language had an alphabet, this shocked me because for the whole 9 years so far that I have been learning Irish I was never taught the alphabet. I have always believed that to achieve a goal you must always start from the beginning, seeing this not being done in schools confuses me as schools are meant to be the building blocks for life.

According to 2016 Census by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 1,761,420 people mark themselves as being Irish speakers. That sounds like a lot of people but how many of these million and a half people use Irish as their first language? How often is it used on a daily basis? Saying ‘Go raibh maith agat’ to a customer in a local shop should not be surprising of odd.

We need to focus on conversations, getting people talking – use is the best way for us to restore our language. A simple Dia duit can be said to one another on a daily basis. In schools we need to translate more, letting the student know what their saying. We can get our language back if we try hard enough, bringing little bits of it into our daily lives can certainly change our situation.

Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam ''a country without it’s language is a country without it's soul''.

 

 

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