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End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert


tallman

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Apr 24, 2008
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3
I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.
 


thebrom

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Jul 2, 2007
Messages
69
Website
blogs.greenparty.ie
tallman said:
I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.
It will never happen. The Gaeltacht lobby is far too strong and it would be very difficult to form a government without Gaeltacht votes.
 

tallman

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Apr 24, 2008
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3
Ironically, it could be the thing that would benefit the Gaelteacht lobby most.
 

Jaydock

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Jan 14, 2007
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Scrapping Irish in the Leaving Cert would be the death blow to the Irish language, and in one move would destroy one of Europe's oldest languages. Reform in needed in the teaching of Irish at Leaving Cert level and all levels of the education system, that's for sure. But scrapping the language as compulsory without even trying to fix it's problems is a short-sighted and ultimately counter-productive move in promoting the Irish language, and by extension, Irish culture.
 

earlyandoften

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Apr 3, 2008
Messages
16
thebrom said:
tallman said:
I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.
It will never happen. The Gaeltacht lobby is far too strong and it would be very difficult to form a government without Gaeltacht votes.
Most people I know in the Gaeltacht are against compulsory Irish. No subject should be compulsory.
 

Evil Eco-Fascist

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Feb 10, 2008
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491
Can someone please answer me this question - Why do people who are forced to go to gaelscoileanna come out fluent? (Myself, being a good example. My parents choice, not mine. I went there kicking and screaming). By the rationale of the people who blame compulsion for the abysmal state of Irish teaching, I should hate Irish and not be able to speak it, yet I can and like it very much, as did just about everyone else I knew in my Irish school. People sing the praises of gaelscoileanna, yet rally against 'compulsion', yet most of the time, gaelscoileanna are just a more holistic form of compulsion. Can you honestly tell me that a 4/5 year old who is sent to a gaelscoil is making some informed 'choice' about their education. Why do people who have a problem with compulsion not complain about that?

And lets be honest about choice in schools; it's parents who make the choices, not the kids. I distinctly remember numerous peers of mine, in numerous different schools, being forced to make various academic choices by their parents that they didn't want to make themselves. But it's the kids who have to do the subjects and it is they who either develop the love or hate for it, not the parents. So this whole logic of 'choice' is very warped.

It was recently revealed that Irish students are performing badly in Maths and Science, yet virtually no one seems to suggest making those subjects optional, so that students will do them out of love. Maybe that's because it's a bit ridiculous as a serious educational proposition, yet it makes perfect sense to some people when it comes to teaching Irish. Shouldn't we be teaching students to love Maths and Science too? If so, why not make them optional? Nobody denies that in purely utilitarian terms, they will be more 'useful', but if the 'compulsion is bad' argument is apt for Irish, should we not be consistent and apply it to others? No, for Maths and Science, everyone agrees that it is the teaching methods, yet not for Irish?

I've been educated in both English-medium and Irish-medium schools and I've gone on numerous Gaeltacht courses in all three main Gaeltachtaí and I can assure you all, that it's the teaching method and not the compulsion that is the problem. There is no socio-linguistic study that says that making something optional improves the fluency levels in a language amongst students (at least not that I've ever seen, though I'm open to correction).

So to summarise for those who are a bit slow or may be talking out of their arse:

1. It's the teaching methods
2. It's the teaching methods
3. It's the teaching methods
 

green

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Apr 21, 2003
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136
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Evil Eco-Fascist said:
Can someone please answer me this question - Why do people who are forced to go to gaelscoileanna come out fluent? (Myself, being a good example. My parents choice, not mine. I went there kicking and screaming). By the rationale of the people who blame compulsion for the abysmal state of Irish teaching, I should hate Irish and not be able to speak it, yet I can and like it very much, as did just about everyone else I knew in my Irish school. People sing the praises of gaelscoileanna, yet rally against 'compulsion', yet most of the time, gaelscoileanna are just a more holistic form of compulsion. Can you honestly tell me that a 4/5 year old who is sent to a gaelscoil is making some informed 'choice' about their education. Why do people who have a problem with compulsion not complain about that?
Totally agree. I come from an English-speaking family, in one of the most defiantly English-speaking cities of the Galltacht. Irish was never heard when I was young. When I was four,I was sent to the local Gaelscoil where people told me to learn this funny language with eye-splitting diphthongs, impossible consonants and strange slanty lines over the vowels. To hear that someone had been caught ag labhairt as Béarla always sent a chill down our spines, because we knew that s/he was in very deep sh*t. All this for a language I can't ever remember myself or any of my friends speaking outside the school confines. I hated every minute of it and attended an English-language secondary school, where Irish was still a compulsory subject, but I was light years ahead of my class in terms of competence in the language.

I caught up with some of my class six years later in college, when we found that we were all taking Irish as part of our degree. Now a significant part of my work is through Irish, and it's given me a whole string of professional opportunities that many of my non-Irish-speaking friends will be waiting for years to grasp.

Compulsion worked.
 
S

Starkadder

tallman said:
I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.
Oohhh, you're for it now. The extremist wing of the Irish language lobby will be baying for your
blood ;) .
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
16
yes it certainly should be an option for LC but Compulsory up to JC the students have the option whats the point of having a language forced upon us that will not help us after leaving school if only to get us into 3rd level.
Just a simple example 5thy year Irish in my school has 4 Irish classes comprising 97 students.only 33 students are doing higher level the rest are split up into 3 ordinary level classes.please let the government see some sense have make it an option for LC students
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
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No subject should be compulsory.
I disagree. Maths,English and a 3rd language(French/German/Spanish etc) should be compulsory and they should only be compulsory for LC students
 

earlyandoften

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Apr 3, 2008
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johnmcgahon dundalk YFG said:
No subject should be compulsory.
I disagree. Maths,English and a 3rd language(French/German/Spanish etc) should be compulsory and they should only be compulsory for LC students
So it's ok not to do Maths for the Junior Cert. but I have to do it for the Leaving?
How the hell is that supposed to work?
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
16
apologies phrased it wrong i meant those three subjects should be the only compulsory subjects for the LC,
were as maths,English,Irish,3rd languages,history geography,business,science and cspe
 

Ataxia

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Feb 5, 2008
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117
The thing is, compulsory English and Maths serve a rather obvious utilitarian purpose. Irish does not. In fact it serves no purpose whatsoever.
 

sickpuppy

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Oct 24, 2007
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In scotland they have a gaelic language university on the isle of skye and the place is vibrant, perhas we need something similar over here?
 

Corcaigh33

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Oct 9, 2006
Messages
86
3rd time I have posted this today alone. This Irish language attack is relentless.

An Ghaeilge is not spoken (as opposed to hated) by a large proportion of the population because of the way it was taught to them in school. It has nothing to do with the spoken language itself or Scots Gaelic or anything else. If you tried your damnedest in school at a subject that you just couldn't get and barely scraped a pass and were mangled in school and at home for not doing better - then it stands to reason that a) you can't speak it and b) you have no interest in it, as to have an interest in it would remind you of your school experience.

Have posted my solution to this problem on numerous occasions before and not going to post it again. Suffice it to say that an Ghaeilge should be thought as a spoken language only for the majority of Primary school, with basic written work (essays, everyday paperwork (applications), letters etc) coming into the curriculum in 5th or 6th class and into Secondary school. Keep the same proportion of oral to written in secondary school and make honours for the Leaving the only place where anyone gets to see Dúil or Peig or Tóraíocht etc etc.

This guarantees that the spoken language, let's not forget that that's it's primary purpose - to be spoken, will be able to be spoken by whoever who wants to and I suspect it will become a bit like Welsh, where people can naturally switch from English to an Ghaeilge whenever they wish.

So to quote one of the posters above in this thread - it IS the teaching methods not the language itself.
 

Squire Allworthy

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May 31, 2007
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1,404
johnmcgahon dundalk YFG said:
No subject should be compulsory.
I disagree. Maths,English and a 3rd language(French/German/Spanish etc)
I agree. We need to improve our level of language skills generally. Irish should be an optional subject. Haven't found much use of it in Berne or London.
 

Corcaigh33

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Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Messages
86
Squire Allworthy said:
[quote="johnmcgahon dundalk YFG":m49fzdpk]
No subject should be compulsory.
I disagree. Maths,English and a 3rd language(French/German/Spanish etc)
I agree. We need to improve our level of language skills generally. Irish should be an optional subject. Haven't found much use of it in Berne or London.[/quote:m49fzdpk]

That's a bit like a Frenchman saying he hasn't found much use for French in Ballydehob in West Cork. :roll:
 

Ataxia

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Feb 5, 2008
Messages
117
Déise said:
Ataxia said:
The thing is, compulsory English and Maths serve a rather obvious utilitarian purpose. Irish does not. In fact it serves no purpose whatsoever.
Apart from the use in speaking it of course.
Sorry, I should have said "no useful purpose".
 

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