Latest news and updates on foreign languages in Ireland, foreign languages in the media, and foreign languages in the workplace.
The education secretary, Michael Gove, has proposed that every child aged five or over should be learning a foreign language, and promised to "pull every lever", including encouraging longer school days, to make it happen.
"Just as some people have taken a perverse pride in not understanding mathematics, so we have taken a perverse pride in the fact that we do not speak foreign languages, and we just need to speak louder in English. It is literally the case that learning languages makes you smarter. The neural networks in the brain strengthen as a result of language learning."
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IRISH college students are almost the worst in Europe when it comes to speaking foreign languages.
They are second from the bottom of a 25-country league, where Turkey is placed last.
In most European countries, at least 20pc of third-level students claim to be proficient in at least two foreign languages.
But in Ireland, the figure is a miserly 5pc -- better only than Turkey, where just 2pc claim to speak two foreign languages, according to a new report.
A multi lingual country
A question on foreign languages was asked for the first time in census 2011. The results show that over half a million (514,068) Irish residents spoke a foreign language at home and that, unsurprisingly, Polish was by far the most common, followed by French, Lithuanian and German.
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