The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have called for a change in the way the Irish language is taught in primary, secondary and third level.
A study will be done to in collaboration with some Irish language organisations, teacher-training colleges and teachers’ unions alongside students, teachers and stakeholders.
The union was decided at its recent annual congress, they want to help devise a multilateral strategy on the teaching of the language at primary and post primary level.
The union says it hopes that the teaching of Irish “as a language” would aid greatly in the enjoyment of the subject which would lead to students having a greater degree of fluency in the language.
“The way Irish is taught in schools isn’t working,” Kevin Donoghue, USI president, said, “There needs to be more of an emphasis on the spoken language. Fluency is best reached through submersion, which is why we’re recommending all students go to the Gaeltacht. USI is concerned about the teaching of the Irish language at secondary level in Ireland and noted that many students believe that the Irish language is not “taught as a language” and that too much focus is put on literature instead of the oral practice.”
With the recent changes in the Leaving Cert, where they have put a greater emphasis on the actual spoken language and the changes in the teaching structure are going in the right direction but they still need to be greatly improved to be a more attractive subject to students.
“While Irish students across the country are patriotic and proud of their native language, it is not as widely spoken across the Ireland as it should be,” Donoghue said.
What do you guys think of this? Should there be a change in the way our native language is being taught to the younger generation?