New Initiative Announced To Teach Irish Through Other Subjects

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today, Tuesday 23 April, announced a new project to support the learning of the Irish language through PE and other school subjects.

The three-year pilot, using the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach, will be developed in two phases. 22 starter schools and early years settings will benefit from September 2019 onwards, with the amount of facilities involved increasing as the project progresses.

Minister McHugh commented: "We have a duty and responsibility to try and make Irish relevant to the next generation. Seeing young people socialising and playing and having fun in a language is as good a test as there is of how vibrant and alive a language is. Through actions like this we can support our young people to connect with our language and own it.

"In a post Brexit global economy, we need to ensure that young people are engaged in a way that promotes bilingualism or even multilingualism, a skill that will support future economic growth."

The first phase of the project will be developmental and will run over the 2019/2020 school year. It will include the design of a professional development programme and resources for teachers and early years practitioners.

Starter schools and preschools taking part in the early phase will receive considerable support from teacher educators including the Department's support services. The teachers, practitioners and pupils involved in the first phase will then be ambassadors for the CLIL approach to language learning as the project progresses. 

School involved will promote the language by exploring various curricular areas while using Irish in the classroom. Minister McHugh added: "We should not stop here. Our goal should be to make this new approach a success and see the great potential to extend it to other subjects in schools like music, science, art or maths. I would encourage stakeholders to attend the upcoming CLIL information event and support teachers and young people in participating in this very important and innovative project."


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