Our Role

PPLI is an agency of the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland whose role is:

  • to provide expertise and support for foreign languages education at post-primary level in Ireland
  • to promote multilingualism (use of multiple languages in society) and support plurilingualism (use of more than one language by individuals)
  • to support the lesser taught languages
  • to facilitate the introduction of more languages in to the curriculum via new short courses for Junior Cycle
  • to conduct applied research that will inform and support policy


Brief History:
The Post-Primary Languages Initiative was set up in September 2000 to diversify, enhance and expand the teaching of languages in second-level schools in Ireland. To diversify so that a wider choice of languages would be available to students; to enhance by strengthening the position of these languages and offering support to teachers in the form of materials and in-service; and to expand them so that they would be more available to more students in more schools.

The initial languages targeted by the initiative were Spanish, Italian and Japanese, and Russian was added a few years later. We see our role now as widening to encourage, promote and support the learning of all languages at post-primary level, and to develop policy and structures for the introduction of other new languages based on research of best practice and on the experience of the initiative in relation to the existing languages.