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Is the Irish language standard for teachers being decided by social disadvanatge


BrightDay

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An article in today's Indo suggests that the standard of Irish required from entrants to the teaching colleges is to be kept at a low level to avoid a situation where those from "disadvantaged area" are refused access to such courses.

Since the Government is currently peddling the idea of a 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language and since the first exposure to Irish is from teachers at school (for the vast majority of children) I think it is important that teachers would have a high standard of Irish - spoken Irish in particular.

The point made by Aodhan O Riordain where he suggests that the teaching of Irish should be done in the Teaching Training college seems farcical. By that stage trainee teachers would have been exposed to Irish for 14 years - if they haven't got a grasp by then one has to ask whether they are capable of learning (and consequently teaching) the language.

Any thoughts?

Quinn is against plan to raise Irish level for teachers - Independent.ie
 

EoinMag

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You answer the question yourself:
" By that stage trainee teachers would have been exposed to Irish for 14 years - if they haven't got a grasp by then one has to ask whether they are capable of learning (and consequently teaching) the language."

If they can't speak the language by then no matter what the background then they have no chance. Disadvantaged background or not, why dumb it down to the lowest common denominator?
 
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Dylan2010

why not have specific Irish teachers. In my kids school there are specific language teachers that take each others classes. The idea that all primary teachers should teach Irish seems to be aiming for mediocre. It would narrow the selection pool of good teachers if they all must have excellent Irish, youd end up with a lot of excellent Irish teachers that might not be good at teaching maths
 

BrightDay

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why not have specific Irish teachers. In my kids school there are specific language teachers that take each others classes. The idea that all primary teachers should teach Irish seems to be aiming for mediocre. It would narrow the selection pool of good teachers if they all must have excellent Irish, youd end up with a lot of excellent Irish teachers that might not be good at teaching maths
I have no problem with that idea but unfortunately it's not how the system operates at the moment (in general) in the primary system. It might not be practical in smaller schools.

Personally, I believe that teachers should have excellent Maths, English and Irish since these are the core subjects in our system. Perhaps we should set a minimum standard for all three.
 

BrightDay

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You answer the question yourself:
" By that stage trainee teachers would have been exposed to Irish for 14 years - if they haven't got a grasp by then one has to ask whether they are capable of learning (and consequently teaching) the language."

If they can't speak the language by then no matter what the background then they have no chance. Disadvantaged background or not, why dumb it down to the lowest common denominator?
Probably because those who are resisting the setting of a minimum standard hope to gain politically from their stance.
 

Hitch 22

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Dec 26, 2011
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Surely money would be better spent teaching kids skills that can actually make them employable? Learning an obscure language spoken by sheep farmers in the hills of Donegal, Galway and Kerry is not going to be of any use to a young person in Dublin who needs to get a job.
 

Nermal

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Any thoughts?
Perhaps this would be the opportune time for some give and take: make Irish optional (at primary and secondary level), but allow the insistence on increased standards among the teachers who will actually teach it?
 

statsman

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Perhaps this would be the opportune time for some give and take: make Irish optional (at primary and secondary level), but allow the insistence on increased standards among the teachers who will actually teach it?
That's far to sensible an idea to ever be accepted. But you're right.
 

Schomberg

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Perhaps this would be the opportune time for some give and take: make Irish optional (at primary and secondary level), but allow the insistence on increased standards among the teachers who will actually teach it?
That's the only sensible way forward, so no doubt you'd not find a lot of support.

If this were the case you'd be left with a small but highly motivated group of students (some eventually becoming teachers) which surly is better in the longer term.

Sense and the Irish language Brigade are complete strangers.
 

RobertW

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I wouldn't consider a C in higher level Irish a low level to teach 4-12 year olds.

This is being proposed by the useless Teaching Council to promote literacy. . . . They're obviously oblivious to the fact that the vast majority of people in this country do not have Irish as their mother tongue,
 

Easilydistracted

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I live in Derry and my day to day work is all conducted through Irish. I have had an experience with a primary school in Dublin that left me in no confusion as to how pupils can end up not enjoying the language. This is all anecdotal but a teacher from derry who had got a job in this school and knew me through a mutual accuaintance. He asked me where he could get some irish language books for the kids because of my work and i brought him to the Cultúrlann. He could barely read any of the kids titles and i ended up choosing the books, he rang his principle and put me on the phone to her and thought it would be hilarious if i spoke to her in Irish as that "would really put her on the spot." The whole thing left me with very little confidence in the southern system. Either make Irish a necessary skill(my prefered option) or dont, this half assed approach doesnt cut it. I am fully aware that there are probably a lot of great teachers out there with great irish but this very much put me off
 

Sync

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Yeah I'm not on board with blaming the teachers for this. Particularly in secondary level, Students and parents who don't view Irish as a worthwhile skill that they're ever going to use outside of school aren't going to put the effort into learning it. That's not the teacher's fault.
 
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Dylan2010

there was a lady on the news recently that was passionate about getting Latin back into schools , I'd bite my arm off to have someone like that teaching my kids Latin over an average Irish teacher inoculating them against Irish
 

IbrahaimMohamad

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Surely money would be better spent teaching kids skills that can actually make them employable? Learning an obscure language spoken by sheep farmers in the hills of Donegal, Galway and Kerry is not going to be of any use to a young person in Dublin who needs to get a job.


It is not much use in London, NewYork, Calgary, Sidney or Frankfurt either.
 

BrightDay

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Yeah I'm not on board with blaming the teachers for this. Particularly in secondary level, Students and parents who don't view Irish as a worthwhile skill that they're ever going to use outside of school aren't going to put the effort into learning it. That's not the teacher's fault.
My view is that if teachers have a dislike of Irish because they are not comfortable speaking it that message gets through to young children very quickly. For that reason I think there is a logic in having a high minimum standard.
 

Schomberg

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My view is that if teachers have a dislike of Irish because they are not comfortable speaking it that message gets through to young children very quickly. For that reason I think there is a logic in having a high minimum standard.
I don't think that's usually the case. It's the unmotivated/uninterested students (and parents) that probably suck the life out of any teacher with an interest in the language. Removing the compulsory nature of the language should probably benefit it in the long term (smaller group, but far more proficient) but of course it would have a negative financial impact on various groups and particularly in the Gaetacht areas who benefit from students in language colleges in the summer (to the tune of about €50 million). Less students=less need for teachers etc etc. The argument against compulsion is primarily driven by money. I just wish they'd admit it, it's an industry.
 
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RobertW

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My view is that if teachers have a dislike of Irish because they are not comfortable speaking it that message gets through to young children very quickly. For that reason I think there is a logic in having a high minimum standard.
It's absurd to assume that standards in Irish IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS would improve on a basis of someone achieving a B rather than C in higher level Irish.

What's more . . There's absolutely no evidence to prove that.
 

Riadach

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Feb 9, 2007
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why not have specific Irish teachers. In my kids school there are specific language teachers that take each others classes. The idea that all primary teachers should teach Irish seems to be aiming for mediocre. It would narrow the selection pool of good teachers if they all must have excellent Irish, youd end up with a lot of excellent Irish teachers that might not be good at teaching maths
There could be argument then for doing this for ever subject.
 

sauntersplash

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Are there any primary schools in the country where Irish is not taught? I could think of more important things for my potential children to be spending their time learning.
 
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