Latest news and updates on foreign languages in Ireland, foreign languages in the media, and foreign languages in the workplace.
Published on Friday 10th June 2016
Over 10% of students now speak a home language that is neither Irish nor English - Supporting Multilingual Classrooms - Ireland hosts Council of Europe Workshop in Marino Institute of Education, Dublin
Teachers, school leaders and teacher educators around the country are attending the Council of Europe workshop, Supporting Multilingual Classrooms on 9 and 10 June.
The Dublin workshop, part of a series being held in a number of member states, is being hosted by the Post-Primary Languages Initiative in the Marino Institute of Education, a project of the Department of Education and Skills.
There are many motivations to learn a new language. It might be an interest in international travel and a desire to connect with the culture of the country on a deeper level, or it might be to improve their career prospects and employability.
Schools need to vary language teaching amid 'predominance of French', report suggests.
Education consultation paper is aimed at creating a new languages strategy by 2015. About 70 per cent of second-level students study a foreign language up to Leaving Certificate level but the number studying a third is "declining year on year", the Department of Education has warned.
Publishing a consultation document today on developing a new languages strategy, the Department cites an over-reliance on French as an option within schools.
A report from the Irish times - read more
The former West German chancellor Willy Brandt once explained the laws of linguistic engagement thus: “If I am selling to you I will speak English, but if you are selling to me dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.”
Brandt’s Law when applied to Ireland means that, when the Irish economy hits the skids, people start learning German to help find work and new opportunities. When the economy recovers, attitudes reverse and the Irish think Germans – and all others – should learn English. Read more
British Academy issues warning over UK monolingualism
The British Academy has warned of a "vicious circle of monolingualism" in the UK after applications for undergraduate language courses fell for the second year in a row.
In a report, Languages: The State of the Nation, the body says that despite rising global demand for language skills, too few UK students are studying too narrow a range of courses at university.
To Be Honest: A parent writes: I have three daughters in secondary school. They are all studying French. Every year we go to France because friends living there lend us their summer house. It’s a lovely arrangement and I always hoped that my daughters could benefit by practising their French each summer in between learning the language at school... read more
Forner Irish rugby captain Mick Galwey is one of more than 100 European personalities from the worlds of education, art, literature, economics, philosophy and sport who have signed an open letter to EU Heads of State and Government in support of the threatened Erasmus student exchange programme. Read more here
ARE WE ALL TRYING TO LEARN CHINESE?
We should hope so. China could soon overtake the US as the world’s largest superpower. Across Ireland, students are getting ready for a sea change in global politics. Chinese language and culture are set to form a core part of the overhauled Junior Cert syllabus (see panel). Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has also announced plans to offer Chinese as a Leaving Cert subject. University College Dublin and University College Cork already offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees with Chinese language and cultural components.
Read the article from the Irish Times here
Irish jobseekers and businesses are losing out because of their poor grasp of foreign languages... read more...
For TOO long we have allowed to creep insidiously into the educational assumptions of this State the myth that "everyone speaks English" - simply not true of three-quarters of the world's people. And so the State continues to languish firmly at the bottom of the EU league table of multilingualism. A Eurobarometer survey (2006) found that while 56 per cent of EU citizens say they can converse in a language other than their mother tongue, in Ireland two-thirds say they can't speak another language.
Read more here