Languages to be introduced to primary schools on pilot basis

Posted in Teaching on May 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The teaching of foreign languages is to be introduced to primary schools from third class onwards on a pilot basis. The ‘language sampler module’ will be targeted at third- to sixth-class pupils in more than 100 primary and special schools …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 May]

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Mixed Reaction to Online Language Learning

Posted in Teaching on December 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Many students feel that in-person interaction is crucial to their learning of a language at Third Level. Language students have been hopeful for the return of language labs on campus for semester two. Unfortunately, this looks unlikely as the use of headsets and microphones are essential in labs and it would prove quite difficult to disinfect them after every student …” (more)

[Mary Raftery, SIN, 2 December]

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School of Languages to Move Online Until At Least November

Posted in Teaching on September 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“All teaching in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies will move online until at least the week ending November 13th. In an email to students, Tracy Corbett, a communications officer in the School, said that the School would be ‘closely monitoring all public health advice to determine whether we will deliver face to face teaching after the 13th November, or whether we will continue to deliver online teaching’ …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 24 September]

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Foreign languages could be taught in preschool and primary – Department

Posted in Teaching on June 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Teaching foreign languages should be considered in preschools and primary schools, according to Department of Education school inspectors. In a new report on the quality of teaching practice, inspectors said pre-school teachers could be trained to integrate languages such as French, German and Polish in early learning settings …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 June]


Belfield Euphoria

Posted in Life on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Would you do it if you weren’t paid? I wouldn’t lecture for nothing, that’s for sure. I absolutely dread those draining performances. But the tutorials and workshops (which form the bulk of my teaching anyway): no question. They make me feel so useful and so alive. And no, it’s not just those student-facing fixes that I love …” (more)

[In a Strange Land, 15 April]

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Schools may drop foreign languages due to lack of teachers

Posted in Teaching on November 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Some secondary schools say they will be forced to reduce pupils’ access to foreign languages due to difficulties recruiting qualified teachers, according to a Department of Education audit. The report also shows evidence of a class gap in access to language tuition, with students in fee-paying secondary schools much more likely to have a choice of languages to study …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 November]

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Not having a second language hurts job opportunities, experts warn

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on September 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Concerns are being raised that job-hunters don’t have a second language. says it is proving a challenge for recruiters and it is warning of a potential skill shortage. It says companies are looking for workers who speak German, French, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 16 September]

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Major multinational employers concerned at language skills of Irish graduates

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Major multinational employers are concerned that Irish graduates from college and further education fall short in their ability to speak foreign languages. Satisfaction ratings with the foreign language skills of new entrants to the workforce are low among foreign-owned employers here, according to a report for the Higher Education Authority, seen by the Sunday Independent …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor and John Walshe, Independent, 27 January]

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Minister Bruton Launches Campaign to Encourage Learning of Foreign Languages and Announces Funding for School Exchanges

Posted in Teaching on September 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Government prioritizes teaching of foreign languages in context of Brexit. €15,000 for schools to offer school exchanges. Upskilling opportunities for teachers and new website launched as resource for schools, students and teachers. The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD today (17th September 2018) launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of foreign languages and announced new funding for teacher upskilling and school language exchanges …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 17 September]

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Brexit ready: how the education sector is preparing already

Posted in Governance and administration on February 14th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Brexit presents challenges across every area of the country and public policy sector. The education system is no different, with enor mous changes coming down the track as a result of the British departure from the EU. The Action Plan for Education 2018 says Brexit also presents opportunities for Ireland to diversify its offerings in a changed international market …” (more)

[Independent, 14 February]

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Universities resist quotas on teacher-training courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on February 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges are resisting plans by Minister for Education Richard Bruton to introduce quotas on the number of teachers they train in specific subjects. As part of a series of measures to boost the supply of teachers in key subjects such as science, maths and languages, Mr Bruton has announced plans to introduce subject quotas for postgraduate teacher education programmes at second level …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 12 February]

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Students to learn more foreign languages under post-Brexit plan

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“More students will be encouraged to learn foreign languages and study abroad under a plan to build closer links with Europe following Brexit. The Government’s action plan for education acknowledges that Ireland needs to prepare for a changed dynamic in the EU following the UK’s departure and the rising importance of non-English speaking countries globally …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 February]

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Bonus points for everything?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The new foreign language strategy is to explore the potential of bonus points for languages for school-leavers planning to study languages (‘Plan for more school pupils to study foreign languages’, News, November 4th) …” (more)

[Seán McDonagh, Irish Times, 5 December]

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How language teacher MAs could be in line for financial incentives

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Government is considering giving financial incentives for people who want to complete a language Masters, with a view to becoming school teachers. Education Minister Richard Bruton said he would like to introduce a ‘straightforward subsidy’ for people who are proficient in a language …” (more)

[Kevin Doyle, Independent, 5 December]

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Plan for more school pupils to study foreign languages

Posted in Teaching on December 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“An ambitious Government strategy aims to dramatically increase the number of students taking two foreign languages in the State exams despite an acute shortage of qualified teachers for these subjects. The 10-year foreign language strategy seeks to prepare Ireland for Brexit through a series of steps such as potential bonus Central Applications Office (CAO) points for studying foreign languages, boosting the availability of languages in schools and the introduction of Chinese to the curriculum …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 December]


Why is the quality of our multilingual graduates so poor?

Posted in Teaching on June 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“For many Irish people of a certain vintage, France was an exotic overseas destination. Parents packed the kids into the car, drove on to the ferry and went to a campsite in Normandy. On Wednesday, almost half – 46% – of Leaving Certificate students sat Leaving Cert French, compared with the 14% who sat German and the 13% who sat Spanish …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 14 June]


Number of students taking more than one foreign language is on the rise

Posted in Teaching on May 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The number of students taking more than one foreign language for Leaving Certificate has jumped in the last two years. French is by far the most popular foreign language at Leaving Cert level, followed by German.A total of 1,063 Leaving Certificate students took two or more languages other than English or Irish last summer. This was 15% more than the 923 in 2015 and 925 the year before …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 1 May]

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Foreign languages at second level

Posted in Teaching on April 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – You report that the Government plans to increase the number of Leaving Certificate students taking foreign language subjects and to diversify the foreign languages available to second-level students (‘Chinese to be added to Leaving Cert curriculum’, April 19th) …” (more)

[Seamus Lennon, Irish Times, 28 April]

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Language strategy destined to fail unless teacher supply problems are addressed – Byrne

Posted in Teaching on April 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD says the system for training teachers in Ireland is in need of urgent reform. Deputy Byrne says the current system is antiquated as it is unplanned and uncoordinated which has given rise to a shortage of teachers for certain key subjects, particularly for foreign languages …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 19 April]

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All Junior Cert pupils to study a foreign language under new plan

Posted in Teaching on April 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“All pupils will study a foreign language for their Junior Cert by 2021 under ambitious new plans being announced by the Education Minister. The strategy also aims to increase the number of Leaving Cert Students studying a foreign language by 10% …” (more)

[Stephen McNeice, Newstalk, 19 April]

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