Dept of Education to review how Irish exemptions are granted


Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
I was canvassing for FG in Dun Laoghaire in 2011 when the question on most peoples minds was whether they would have a job or whether their pensions would be paid, yet the issue that surprised me most was the opposition to FG's proposal to remove compulsory Irish. To put it in context, I had abortion raised once but compulsory Irish 5 or 6 times. BTW, while I agree with teaching it to everyone, I think compulsion is a waste of time.
Yes - understood. There is a connection and an affection for Irish. Not much for speaking of course, except for the few words. But definitely as a respected symbol of our independence. The two elements were intertwined in past state policy but I think that now they are gradually separating.

Seeing the elements as separate, would reflect your position: teaching it or introducing it to everybody in school but after a certain point making it a subject of choice and not compulsory.
 

DJP

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
12,195
Website
darrenjprior.blogspot.ie
Although be they compulsory or not, the most classes don't actually teach Irish in any worthwhile sense.
It's around 50/50 in my view. There are good Irish teachers out there and most people in Honours Irish classes and some in Ordinary and Foundation Level classes want to learn the Irish they are taught. Most schools have two Irish language classes for Leaving Cert- one Honours level and one Ordinary level.
 

A Voice

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
7,198
14 years. Loads of hours per week. Irish kids could learn 2 or 3 Continental languages with just about the same efforts. Continental languages are much easier because they still have a place where their speakers have poor English. Unlike irish.
You obviously know very little about Irish kids, and the teaching and learning of continental languages in Ireland.
 

A Voice

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
7,198
I am heartily sick of making the point that people leave school with similar levels of attainment in Irish as they do in other subjects. Its just that it is pretty damn hard to engage in self delusion regarding your levels of competence in irish if you cant tell whether the nuacht is talking about the price of beef in claremorris or the fall of the Peruvian government.

Yet they will happily imagine they have competence in mathematics despite, after the same 14 years of study, barely being able to carry out simple arithmetic mentally let alone integrate an equation or work out the area of the circular dining room table.
And even if they nod in recognition that something like , say , the concept of a differential exists they will assume this reflects understanding , yet would not , I hope, infer general fluency just from recognizing that a given word is an irish one and seems correct in its usage.
Exactly. And you can extend this to the woeful levels of "French" "mastery" on display after 5-6 years. Or geography or anything else.

People obsess about Irish and cite two elements: 1) command, 2) compulsion. Command has been dealt with by you, and me previously, and we all know it anyway. The compulsion grievance is dealt with with reference to popular opinion. Wombat's experiences while canvassing are an example. Attitudes from polling provide further evidence.

So if crapness is universal and not confined to Irish, and compulsion is not a problem with the people, then it's game, set and match.

Not that the whiners will give up. It's all some people ever think about! :giggle:
 

DJP

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
12,195
Website
darrenjprior.blogspot.ie
Not that the whiners will give up. It's all some people ever think about! :giggle:
To be fair there is a vacumn in Ireland when it comes to speaking and promoting Irish. Donal/FWI attempts to fill it most of the time on this site; I wouldn't engage with him otherwise. The fact is that most people in Ireland do not speak Irish and, I think personally, teaching Irish to people who have no interest in learning it is not productive.
 

Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
It's around 50/50 in my view. There are good Irish teachers out there and most people in Honours Irish classes and some in Ordinary and Foundation Level classes want to learn the Irish they are taught. Most schools have two Irish language classes for Leaving Cert- one Honours level and one Ordinary level.
I bow to your knowledge of the language experience of various learners. And, anyway, who would criticise teaching a subject on the grounds that every student did not reach high technical achievement in it.

The particular problem with Irish is that the political drive behind it distorts the learning experience. If it were left to the teachers to winnow the corn there would be a better harvest by far.

(The Exemptions bruhaha may actually bring us nearer to that.)
 
Last edited:

McTell

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
6,079
Twitter
No
Exactly. And you can extend this to the woeful levels of "French" "mastery" on display after 5-6 years. Or geography or anything else.

People obsess about Irish and cite two elements: 1) command, 2) compulsion. Command has been dealt with by you, and me previously, and we all know it anyway. The compulsion grievance is dealt with with reference to popular opinion. Wombat's experiences while canvassing are an example. Attitudes from polling provide further evidence.

So if crapness is universal and not confined to Irish, and compulsion is not a problem with the people, then it's game, set and match.

Not that the whiners will give up. It's all some people ever think about! :giggle:

Totally agree. Even so, the whole language movement from 1900 was based on false premises that we were an irish "Race" that should naturally speak a nearly-gone language, and play gaelic games and music, being our identity.

By definition the early enthusiasts were aspergically fixated on everyone speaking it.

Fact is, we have always liked a choice, and cultural items get taken up and dropped all the time. I don't copy my nan putting out a saucer of milk for the fairies. Someone ordering me to do it because it was a part of the culture, and expecting me to pay for the compulsive procedure, would not be very irish either. But this is how the language was pushed in the past century.

As for teaching skills, and the number of kids mad keen to learn, these must vary. If parents badly want their kids to be fluent at age 8, then they can't sit back and expect teachers to do all the work.

The logic of exemptions is that the better teachers will be teaching a smaller number of keener kids, and surely that's going to work better if "we" want to keep the language going into the 2200s.
 

DJP

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
12,195
Website
darrenjprior.blogspot.ie
(The Exemptions bruhaha may actually bring us nearer to that.)
There is a review at the moment going on I believe in relation to the Leaving Cert. in general and there has been consulatations with a lot of teachers and students at second level. If the review says that Irish should be optional for the Leaving Cert then I can see Fine Gael accepting that- the main impediment to it being if FF are against that. This is an internal Department of Education review though and the results of it should be accepted.
 

Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
There is a review at the moment going on I believe in relation to the Leaving Cert. in general and there has been consulatations with a lot of teachers and students at second level. If the review says that Irish should be optional for the Leaving Cert then I can see Fine Gael accepting that- the main impediment to it being if FF are against that. This is an internal Department of Education review though and the results of it should be accepted.
Yes - I have noticed that review. My guess is that, given the demand of school time for other subjects, any review will tend towards greater freedom of choice for students.

As for the Government and FF - I wonder how they feel about Irish being used as a political barricade in the North? Surely not benignly.
 

Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
...........

As for teaching skills, and the number of kids mad keen to learn, these must vary. If parents badly want their kids to be fluent at age 8, then they can't sit back and expect teachers to do all the work.

The logic of exemptions is that the better teachers will be teaching a smaller number of keener kids, and surely that's going to work better if "we" want to keep the language going into the 2200s.
Adrian Kelly, writing in his book "Compulsory Irish" (Irish Academic Press - 2002) had this:


"The attempted revival through the education system illustrated the dangers of allowing ideology win over pragmatism in the formulation of policy. Had realism been the guiding force behind the language revival policy in the schools, then some degree of success could well have been attained. However idealism far outran practical considerations and by the 1960s the school-based revival policy had become discredited. At most, the generality of students received a passing oral knowledge of Irish and a more indepth written knowledge of it. Yet, this could have been achieved through the simple teaching of Irish as a subject, and with a hugely reduced educational and financial cost to the State and the students"
 

DJP

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
12,195
Website
darrenjprior.blogspot.ie
Adrian Kelly, writing in his book "Compulsory Irish" (Irish Academic Press - 2002) had this:


"... this could have been achieved through the simple teaching of Irish as a subject, and with a hugely reduced educational and financial cost to the State and the students"
I would presume that Irish was taught as a subject. What do you mean by saying it wasn't?
 

Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
I would presume that Irish was taught as a subject. What do you mean by saying it wasn't?
Kelly's point is that fixing the Irish language on the school curriculum as a political-ideological imperative did not lead to more Irish being acquired than if it had been taught simply as another subject.
 

Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
The way Irish is taught you don't learnt he language properly at all. When you think about how long the average student "learns" Irish in primary & secondary school you wonder why there are not more fluent Irish speakers in the country.
For the same reason that we are not Spanish-speaking - it is our national choice to be English-speaking.

The "Revival of Irish" is an exercise in political symbolism and nothing else. It has no moral or intellectual authority whatever and no purchase in the minds of the people.
 

redneck

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
6,305
For the same reason that we are not Spanish-speaking - it is our national choice to be English-speaking.

The "Revival of Irish" is an exercise in political symbolism and nothing else. It has no moral or intellectual authority whatever and no purchase in the minds of the people.
How do you know what the "people" want? Are you the Taoiseach?
In the recent Presidential election, Michael Dee Higgins, a staunch Gaeilgoir, romped home. He won easily. Bíonn bua ar Michéal O hUiginn.
 

Baron von Biffo

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
11,234
How do you know what the "people" want? Are you the Taoiseach?
In the recent Presidential election, Michael Dee Higgins, a staunch Gaeilgoir, romped home. He won easily. Bíonn bua ar Michéal O hUiginn.
Being a gaeilgoir was pretty irrelevant in the Presidential election. Ni Riada is also fluent in Irish and made a point of speaking it at every debate but she still came in a humiliating fourth.
 

McTell

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
6,079
Twitter
No
How do you know what the "people" want? Are you the Taoiseach?
In the recent Presidential election, Michael Dee Higgins, a staunch Gaeilgoir, romped home. He won easily. Bíonn bua ar Michéal O hUiginn.

Lenin had this famous saying that in 1917 the russians "voted with their feet".

In 1922-2018 the irish people have voted with their tongues to speak english. Irish is enjoyed most by nice middle class people who have safe jobs.

If everyone was speaking irish there would be no need for compulsion, would there? I don't mind anyone being compelled to wear a seatbelt, I do mind anyone being compelled to speak a language to further an exclusive cultural-political-racial ideal that had died by the 1960s.

The penny has dropped for the rest of us, and as with divorce, abortions, the church, the border, etc, it's high time for the political class to catch up. So some TDs might lose 20 votes the next time out, big deal.
 

Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
How do you know what the "people" want? Are you the Taoiseach?
As for the language that the Irish people want - no problem about knowing that. You might carry out some field research yourself by walking down any street.

But there is a special feature to the language situation with Irish people. We also know of a particular language that they have particularly chosen NOT to speak - Gaelic (Irish). The political class have tried everything - cajoling, cultural kitsch, bullying, phony claims, bribery, threats, and a virtual Niagara Falls of bull***t for nearly a century to try to get the Irish people to speak Irish.

And the people said "NO".
 

Fun with Irish

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
2,583
...............

If everyone was speaking irish there would be no need for compulsion, would there? I don't mind anyone being compelled to wear a seatbelt, I do mind anyone being compelled to speak a language to further an exclusive cultural-political-racial ideal that had died by the 1960s.

.......................
Especially when the compulsion was both futile and culturally sterile.
 

redneck

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
6,305
The most popular electoral parties in this country are:
Fine Gael
Fianna Fáil
Sinn Féin
The least popular are People before Profit/Solidarity and Communist party of Ireland.
The most popular sporting organization is : GAELIC athletic association. Or Cuman Luath Cleas Gaeil
 
Top