Should the Irish Language be compulsory in schools?

pocleary

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JDLK said:
(Topic shamelessly lifted from Adrian Kennedy phone show, I only caught the last few mins of what sounded like an interesting debate though)

Should Irish be a compulsory or optional subject in school(like French or German)? Bearing in mind that school prepares us for the big bad world should people who dont see a place in their life for Gaeilge be forced to learn it?
yes, its our language, the other non anglo europeans don't even question if they should use their native languages,
and if the germans, french, belgians. spanish, italians etc can make it in the market place with english as a second language why not us, have the gov so little faith in the ability of irish people as a whole,
 


constitutionus

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no.

it promotes hatred of it. particularly in an age where every single point can determin whether you get the course you want in college or not.
 

madura

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JDLK said:
(Topic shamelessly lifted from Adrian Kennedy phone show, I only caught the last few mins of what sounded like an interesting debate though)

Should Irish be a compulsory or optional subject in school(like French or German)? Bearing in mind that school prepares us for the big bad world should people who dont see a place in their life for Gaeilge be forced to learn it?
It should remain compulsory since this is, sadly, the only means of preserving Irish in existence. As I stated on another thread recently, this unfortunate situation is due to the fact that Irish is competing with THE language of international communication and commerce, English. If the de facto mother tongue of most Irish people had happened to be Dutch when independence was achieved, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

This applies for as long as the goal of preserving the language in existence remains as a commitment of this state.
 

JDLK

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pauriceenjack said:
Should we have a referendum?
Yeh but would the referendum be in Irish or English or would we have a choice of the two??

:lol:
 

pauriceenjack

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Both obviously

mind you a lot would manage a Nil

Surely the case for compultion acknowledges that its dieing and that it would dwindle under free choice.

Why not make both languages optional and let the population decide. If the people want it it will become the dominant language, if they dont it wont.

Anything else is fascism
 

madura

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pauriceenjack said:
Both obviously

mind you a lot would manage a Nil

Surely the case for compultion acknowledges that its dieing and that it would dwindle under free choice.

Why not make both languages optional and let the population decide. If the people want it it will become the dominant language, if they dont it wont.

Anything else is fascism
Have you any evidence that the population doesn't want compulsion to continue? And by evidence I don't mean your own wishes or perceptions.
 

Schuhart

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madura said:
It should remain compulsory since this is, sadly, the only means of preserving Irish in existence.
I feel that 'only means' is a bit of an overstatment, particularly when we consider how little is being achieved.

The whole debate does just go ding-dong depending on whether someone has grá for An Teanga or not, or at least whether someone wants to purport to have such grá. After all, surveys showing Irish people to have ‘goodwill’ towards the language contrast with practical experience.
June 07, 2005

Exemptions from taking Irish exams on the rise

Although the teaching of Irish remains compulsory in the Republic, the numbers of students gaining exemptions from taking Junior and Leaving Cert exams is on the increase. According to the Irish Times (subs only) "only 1,719 students secured an exemption in 1994 compared to 6,588 last year". Just as worryingly for the health of the language, the numbers taking Irish the highest grade at Leaving Cert last year dropped to only 14,000 students. It compares to 15,000 who took French.
I’ve a dim memory of demands for the Thought Police to stamp out abuses of the Irish exemption scheme, so I don’t know if the figures have changed since.

Whatever view someone wants to express, I think there needs to be acknowledgement of just how much we are spending on Irish and how little is being achieved.
On cost, we have the estimate of the Irish Language Commissioner
Mr Ó Cuirreáin has indicated that teaching Irish may cost as much as €500m annually although this figure would constitute a non-saveable “opportunity cost” rather than an additional cost to the State.
By ‘opportunity cost’ tangent, what he essentially means is that primary teachers handle all aspects of the curriculum (leaving aside specific resource teachers and the like) – not that this is not money spent. He also acknowledges these resources are not achieving much.
The State may not be getting an adequate return for the money it invests in the teaching of Irish according to the inaugural report issued by An Coimisinéir Teanga, Seán Ó Cuirreáin.

The report states that pupils receive almost 1,500 hours of tuition in Irish over a period of 13 years yet many go through the educational system without attaining basic fluency in the language.
In the year in question, 2005, total expenditure on primary and secondary education amounted to about 5,350 million. This means that Irish alone accounts for over 9% of the total budget. That’s a significant portion of expenditure to be getting no return on.

Clearly, the Irish Language Commissioner wants to see those resources used effectively to teach Irish – and that would be an improvement on the present situation, as at least we’d have something to show for our money. He is also to be commended for acknowledging there is an issue.

However, clearly an issue for people to whom Irish is not a ‘core value’ will query if we actually need to continue to invest this level of resource in the language. It would seem intuitively clear that we could achieve the same results - a small number of enthusiasts and a larger number not that pushed or skilled in the language - with less resource.
 

meriwether

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My own belief is the problem with Irish in Schools is that it is taught through Irish, whereas French from 1st year to 3rd year is mainly Through English, so you know what most of it means.
Thats actually an interesting point.
I cant tell you the amount of times I sat through an Irish class as the teacher tried to explain an abscure Irish word through other difficult words, or miming the action.
A simple one word of english, give us the direct translation, write it down - 10 seconds maximum, instead of the tortured mime going on that took upwards of a minute to get through.
 

JDLK

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madura said:
pauriceenjack said:
Both obviously

mind you a lot would manage a Nil

Surely the case for compultion acknowledges that its dieing and that it would dwindle under free choice.

Why not make both languages optional and let the population decide. If the people want it it will become the dominant language, if they dont it wont.

Anything else is fascism
Have you any evidence that the population doesn't want compulsion to continue? And by evidence I don't mean your own wishes or perceptions.
Do you think its kind of hypocritical for voters to tell their children how important the language is and force them to learn it through compulsion yet they cant even speak it themselves??
 

pauriceenjack

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Any survey on the question would have been carried out by pro language people.

they would hardly select a sample adverse to their cause or indeed their bread and butter
 

meriwether

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Riadach said:
JDLK said:
Alliance said:
JDLK said:
I have to agree, the lack of interest is a huge factor but does that stem from it not being a practical asset or from resentment attained by by having it forced upon us.

From my point of view I always hated it in school, but at the same time Ive heard of the resurgance of it amongst kids by the modern trend of sending kids to "Irish" schools- you know the ones I mean
I know a lot of people are now sending their kids to Irish schools thesedays. Seems to be the "new thing", however you have to ask the question: what good does it do? They leave school and then what? We're not going to suddenly turn around and have Irish at work. Kids aren't going to speak Irish to their mates on a saturday night.

You don't learn Irish in school, you reguritate some nonsensical rhyme that you learnt off after repeating it 200000 times. If someone wants to send their child to learn Irish, than thats fine with me. I don't mind paying my taxes for them to do so. Likewise though I reserve the right for my child NOT to learn Irish. Prehaps if Irish wasn't put up there as some kind of Irish holy grail which you need to be a good Irishman, then people would feel less coerced and more enthuastic. After all, enthuasism is what you need to learn a langauge above all else.
I agree that the irish language has been hijacked by some kind of nationalist hierarchy of Irishmen as a stamp of Irish authenticity. I think its pretty obvious its never going to become the national language again (in the practical sence) but is it dead?? Is it time to bury it?
It only takes a generation to revive a language. What's required is a motivation.
Does compulsion breed motivation?
 

madura

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JDLK said:
madura said:
pauriceenjack said:
Both obviously

mind you a lot would manage a Nil

Surely the case for compultion acknowledges that its dieing and that it would dwindle under free choice.

Why not make both languages optional and let the population decide. If the people want it it will become the dominant language, if they dont it wont.

Anything else is fascism
Have you any evidence that the population doesn't want compulsion to continue? And by evidence I don't mean your own wishes or perceptions.
Do you think its kind of hypocritical for voters to tell their children how important the language is and force them to learn it through compulsion yet they cant even speak it themselves??
No. Acknowledgement of personal failure is not hypocrisy.
 

madura

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266
Schuhart said:
madura said:
It should remain compulsory since this is, sadly, the only means of preserving Irish in existence.
I feel that 'only means' is a bit of an overstatment, particularly when we consider how little is being achieved.

The whole debate does just go ding-dong depending on whether someone has grá for An Teanga or not, or at least whether someone wants to purport to have such grá. After all, surveys showing Irish people to have ‘goodwill’ towards the language contrast with practical experience.
June 07, 2005

Exemptions from taking Irish exams on the rise

Although the teaching of Irish remains compulsory in the Republic, the numbers of students gaining exemptions from taking Junior and Leaving Cert exams is on the increase. According to the Irish Times (subs only) "only 1,719 students secured an exemption in 1994 compared to 6,588 last year". Just as worryingly for the health of the language, the numbers taking Irish the highest grade at Leaving Cert last year dropped to only 14,000 students. It compares to 15,000 who took French.
I’ve a dim memory of demands for the Thought Police to stamp out abuses of the Irish exemption scheme, so I don’t know if the figures have changed since.

Whatever view someone wants to express, I think there needs to be acknowledgement of just how much we are spending on Irish and how little is being achieved.
On cost, we have the estimate of the Irish Language Commissioner[quote:18qopk0t]Mr Ó Cuirreáin has indicated that teaching Irish may cost as much as €500m annually although this figure would constitute a non-saveable “opportunity cost” rather than an additional cost to the State.
By ‘opportunity cost’ tangent, what he essentially means is that primary teachers handle all aspects of the curriculum (leaving aside specific resource teachers and the like) – not that this is not money spent. He also acknowledges these resources are not achieving much.
The State may not be getting an adequate return for the money it invests in the teaching of Irish according to the inaugural report issued by An Coimisinéir Teanga, Seán Ó Cuirreáin.

The report states that pupils receive almost 1,500 hours of tuition in Irish over a period of 13 years yet many go through the educational system without attaining basic fluency in the language.
In the year in question, 2005, total expenditure on primary and secondary education amounted to about 5,350 million. This means that Irish alone accounts for over 9% of the total budget. That’s a significant portion of expenditure to be getting no return on.

Clearly, the Irish Language Commissioner wants to see those resources used effectively to teach Irish – and that would be an improvement on the present situation, as at least we’d have something to show for our money. He is also to be commended for acknowledging there is an issue.

However, clearly an issue for people to whom Irish is not a ‘core value’ will query if we actually need to continue to invest this level of resource in the language. It would seem intuitively clear that we could achieve the same results - a small number of enthusiasts and a larger number not that pushed or skilled in the language - with less resource.[/quote:18qopk0t]

I think a case could be made for more efficient use of resources and a reduction in the time allocated to Irish in primary schools. It is not an argument against the compulsory status, though.
 

JDLK

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Messages
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Do you think its kind of hypocritical for voters to tell their children how important the language is and force them to learn it through compulsion yet they cant even speak it themselves??
No. Acknowledgement of personal failure is not hypocrisy.
I agree with that (do as I say not as I do) but we're telling them its important- why?? Is it important??
 

Schuhart

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madura said:
Schuhart said:
madura said:
It should remain compulsory since this is, sadly, the only means of preserving Irish in existence.
I feel that 'only means' is a bit of an overstatment, particularly when we consider how little is being achieved.

The whole debate does just go ding-dong depending on whether someone has grá for An Teanga or not, or at least whether someone wants to purport to have such grá. After all, surveys showing Irish people to have ‘goodwill’ towards the language contrast with practical experience.
June 07, 2005

Exemptions from taking Irish exams on the rise

Although the teaching of Irish remains compulsory in the Republic, the numbers of students gaining exemptions from taking Junior and Leaving Cert exams is on the increase. According to the Irish Times (subs only) "only 1,719 students secured an exemption in 1994 compared to 6,588 last year". Just as worryingly for the health of the language, the numbers taking Irish the highest grade at Leaving Cert last year dropped to only 14,000 students. It compares to 15,000 who took French.
I’ve a dim memory of demands for the Thought Police to stamp out abuses of the Irish exemption scheme, so I don’t know if the figures have changed since.

Whatever view someone wants to express, I think there needs to be acknowledgement of just how much we are spending on Irish and how little is being achieved.
On cost, we have the estimate of the Irish Language Commissioner[quote:2ynf3ht4]Mr Ó Cuirreáin has indicated that teaching Irish may cost as much as €500m annually although this figure would constitute a non-saveable “opportunity cost” rather than an additional cost to the State.
By ‘opportunity cost’ tangent, what he essentially means is that primary teachers handle all aspects of the curriculum (leaving aside specific resource teachers and the like) – not that this is not money spent. He also acknowledges these resources are not achieving much.[quote:2ynf3ht4] The State may not be getting an adequate return for the money it invests in the teaching of Irish according to the inaugural report issued by An Coimisinéir Teanga, Seán Ó Cuirreáin.

The report states that pupils receive almost 1,500 hours of tuition in Irish over a period of 13 years yet many go through the educational system without attaining basic fluency in the language.
In the year in question, 2005, total expenditure on primary and secondary education amounted to about 5,350 million. This means that Irish alone accounts for over 9% of the total budget. That’s a significant portion of expenditure to be getting no return on.

Clearly, the Irish Language Commissioner wants to see those resources used effectively to teach Irish – and that would be an improvement on the present situation, as at least we’d have something to show for our money. He is also to be commended for acknowledging there is an issue.

However, clearly an issue for people to whom Irish is not a ‘core value’ will query if we actually need to continue to invest this level of resource in the language. It would seem intuitively clear that we could achieve the same results - a small number of enthusiasts and a larger number not that pushed or skilled in the language - with less resource.[/quote:2ynf3ht4]

I think a case could be made for more efficient use of resources and a reduction in the time allocated to Irish in primary schools. It is not an argument against the compulsory status, though.[/quote:2ynf3ht4]Indeed, and while I do have hostility to the idea of compulsion, I can accept that a situation where we invested a similar level of resource but actually achieved a general level of competence in Irish would be better than what we have.

I just think its important that, whatever view someone is taking, we set it in the context of considerable resources being spent to little effect. That, to me, suggests that radical change is needed - regardless of whether someone feels the language is important or not. At the moment we seem to have the worst of both worlds.
 
9

905

Lads, it's time for me to wheel out my surveys argument. As I constantly point out, surveys were done a couple of years ago which showed that younger people were in favour of compulsory Irish. One survey stated that 69% of school-goers - that's the people actually affected - favoured compulsory Irish. I'll keep wheeling these surveys out till someone explains them.

Let's keep compulsory Irish then, listen to the kids rather than be guided by our own prejudices.
 

eddiebatt

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I believe it should be compulsory- mainly conversational and they should drop the standard to the extent that it would be the easiest subject to get an honour in at Leaving Cert level.
 


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