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News and Updates

Find out what the latest is at PPLI, what are we involved in, what are we up to, what are we doing, what you can do for us! 

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Thursday, 29 June 2017 13:25

Summer 17 Newsletter


PPLI Newsletter

Short Courses in New Languages available for piloting

Short courses in Irish Sign Language, Japanese, Polish (for heritage speakers) and Russian (further languages planned) are now available for piloting. Why offer a short course in a new language?
 • open doors to new people, new cultures and more career opportunities
 • diversify the range of languages offered in order to begin to meet the real and emerging needs in business and society
 • provide mother tongue support for students who speak languages at home other than English or Irish
 • provide professional development for participating teachers
 • have foreign language or Irish Sign Language learning accomplishments recognised in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement as well as benchmarked against the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
 • provide opportunity for students not currently taking any language to fulfil the statement of learning “The student listens, speaks, reads and writes in L2 and one other language at a level of proficiency that is appropriate to her or his ability
 These 100 hour courses are based on the Framework for Junior Cycle and on the NCCA Junior Cycle Short Courses Draft Handbook ‘Developing Short Courses in Junior Cycle’. They are also aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), the European benchmark for modern languages. The courses also encourage students to engage with e-Portfolios which ensures that students are actively involved in monitoring their own progress.

 For more information click here

Supporting Multilingual Classrooms

Following a productive workshop with some of the teachers involved in this work in December, it was decided to create a succinct suite of resources that could be used for CPD that could be accessed freely online among teachers and in schools.

We are still in the process of putting these resources together but two videos are currently available as a taste of what will be there. The picture above is from a video made with Dr Dee McGarry and her students in St Mark's Community School in Tallaght where examples are shown of how the school is supporting English language acquisition through use of the L1 (first language) and the role of the Language Support Programme in supporting L1 use. If you or your school is interested in ideas on how to support use of the L1 the video is a must see and can be accessed here.
The second video was created by Martha Brassil and her team in Mercy Mounthawk Tralee. It is full of ideas on how you and your school can support newly arrived refugees but many of the ideas can be used in a wider context. It is entitled 'Intercultural Learning' and is available here
We hope to have the resource package with accompanying materials available for schools early in the new academic year.
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Castilla y León es de película

Castilla y León es de película was the theme of this years’competition for 5th year students of Spanish. The competition is organised in collaboration with the Consejería de Educación de la Embajada de España en Dublin and sponsored by. La Junta de Castilla y León and the Spanish Tourist Office in Dublin. This year we had a record number of entries and we are delighted to see the standard of the videos getting higher and higher each year. These are the wonderful winners who will spend a week in Castilla y León.

1st place: Katie Ecock and Aisling Kelly for The Incredibles Rathdown School in Glenageary, Co Dublin

2nd place: Matthew Harris and Luca Cambursano for Trainspotting Wesley College, Ballinteer, County Dublin.

3rd place: Clodagh Hegarty and Aoife Kate Atkins for A Few Good Men Eureka Secondary School, Kells.


How the CEFR relates to the new Junior Cycle MFL specification

We were delighted to welcome stakeholders in curriculum design, curriculum implementation, quality assurance, assessment and training for the new specification to a RELANG workshop in MIE from the 24th-26th May. The RELANG initiative offers training to stakeholders in the Member States of the European Union and the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in relating language tests and examinations to the CEFR in a valid way and exploring relationships between foreign language curricula and the CEFR.

We were looking at the CEFR and how it relates to the new specification because the new specification is broadly aligned with the CEFR (A1/A2). The CEFR is a benchmark but it is also a reference tool used to develop curricula and was used in the development of the JC MFL specification. As a reference tool it is also used to inform and design the development of good teaching and learning materials and to assist in assessment. As such it is an instrument that can facilitate the implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle in the context of the MFL specification.

There was a lot of very interesting discussion and learning and sharing of ideas and we came away with lots of reasons to continue the discussion.

A new umbrella group for Language Teacher Associations has been set up between PPLI, JCT, PDST, FTA GDI, ATI, ATS, JLTI (Japanese teachers), Polish Teachers Association and Association of Russian Teachers,

The focus on MFL teachers rather than teachers of particular languages, shared pedagogy, a stronger voice for language teachers, the opportunity to learn from each other, avoiding the duplication of efforts, encouraging communities of MFL teachers to work together including in schools, and support for Junior Cycle reform.

The idea is to encourage Communities of Practice which facilitate meetings with other language teachers, sharing pf ideas and expertise, learning from others, exploring new or different ways of doing things, and collaborating.

The first Community of Practice was established in Cork on the 18th May and those who attended really enjoyed it.


Something for Summer!

If you haven't yet seen these tutorials in Strategies for Use of Target Language by Teachers and Students why not look at them at your leisure over the summer. They feature videos of classroom practice as well as interactive activities to help teachers identify strategies and improve on their practice. Key messages, ideas on how to use strategies in the classroom, and supplementary resources are also included.

1. Introduction
2. Teachers• Use of the Target Language
3. Students• Use of the Target Language
4. Planning and Progression
5. The role of English/Gaeilge
To view the tutorials go to http://bit.ly/TLTutorials or click on the image above. No need to register, and feel free to dip in and out. Thanks again to all the teachers who so generously contributed.

According to a press release from Minister Bruton published on April 17th, the Foreign Languages Strategy is due to be published soon.

'Ireland should benchmark ourselves against the best English-speaking country in the world for foreign languages and aim to emulate that performance within a decade, the Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton TD said at the TUI conference in Cork.

Minister Bruton also said that we should aim to be within the top ten in Europe in this area. The Minister was speaking ahead of the publication of his Department’s ten year strategy for foreign languages, a key commitment in the Action Plan for Education. The plan acknowledges that in general, Ireland, in common with other English-speaking countries, has not, prioritised learning of foreign languages when compared to other countries, tending to regard English as a common international language of communication'

For full press release click here

Folllow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page in order to stay informed of what is happening.

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It is also useful in terms of keeping up generally with what's happening in post-primary languages and being able to access other material of general interest to anyone interested in Modern Foreign Languages education.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:27

MFL Communities of Practice

Cork May 2017

Click here to let us know you are coming: https://mflcopcork.eventbrite.ie



Monday, 10 April 2017 14:18

MFL Communities of Practice

Meet and share with other language teachers

 MFL teachers communitiy of practice CPD             Venues and dates

                  Wexford Education Centre

                   25th April 2017  18:00h - 20:00h

                   Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                   To register click here:  https://wexfordmflcop.eventbrite.ie

                  Cork Education Centre

                  Thursday 27th April

                  19:00h - 21:00h

                  Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                  To register click here: https://corkmflcop.eventbrite.ie
















Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:51

Poster Competition!

*POSTER COMPETITION* Why are you studying a foreign language? Could you come up with a snappy motto all language learners could relate to? The entry with the combined best content, most creative composition and most imaginative visual effect will win a €50 One4all voucher and their creation will be displayed on all our social media sites as well as languagesinitiative.ie. To enter post your creation on our Facebook timeline. Canva is a great online design tool that allows you to use your own photos and create beautiful results! A tutorial is attached here. Good luck!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 12:17

Action research for MFL teachers


 ecml action research for MFL teachers

An action research project of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML), the Post-Primary Languages Initiative and Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board

We would like to invite teachers in post primary schools to engage in a small Action Research Project. The project should take place between January and 20th February 2017.  This is a small project that should take place within 2 or 3 lessons

.  Read more

Friday, 02 December 2016 11:06

5th Year Spanish Competition

Spanish 5th year competition

¡Castilla y León es de película!

The Post-Primary Languages Initiative in collaboration with the Consejería de Educación de la Embajada de España en Dublin is delighted to announce its annual competition for 5th year students of Spanish. La Junta de Castilla y León and the Spanish Tourist Office in Dublin are sponsoring the competition


Create a 1 to 2 minute long film set in Castilla y León. The short film should be your own adaptation of any existing movie or TV series. The film should include both narration and dialogue in Spanish


1st prize: 3 scholarships to cover the cost of flights, accommodation and language school for a week in Castilla y León during the summer of 2017 for 2 students and their teacher

2nd and 3rd prize: 3 scholarships each to cover the cost of a one week language course and accommodation for 2 students and their teacher during the summer of 2017


Guidelines and resources

It is important that your production has the feeling of a real short film.  Here you will find some tips to help you:  We suggest these easy steps to produce your video:

1. Get your partner and have a planning session.

2. Do your research

3. Decide who will do what

4. Prepare the storyboard

5. These are some sites that will help you: http://www.storyboardthat.com/  Tutorial on Movie Maker : or iMovie . You will find some general advice here.  Do have a look because you will find tips and ideas that will enhance your video.  You can use images from the Junta de Castilla Y León website for your video

6. Shoot the video using a camera, a smartphone or a webcam. Take lots of footage, you can always cut later

7. Consider using a microphone for better sound quality and be mindful of background noise

8. You can insert videos and audio files into your own clip

9. Edit the video (cut the parts you do not like, add the sound, include credits)

10. Once you are happy with the results, upload the video to the Post-Primary Languages Initiative Facebook page www.facebook.com/LanguagesInitiative and Like the Spanish Tourist Office in Dublin Page www.facebook.com/spaininireland


Your film will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Adherence to guidelines (does the video follow time and presentation guidelines?)
  • Creativity (is the video original? Do we want to see more?)
  • Use of language (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and fluency)
  • Production (the film is well planned, sound and image quality are good)


  • Entries must be embedded on the Post -Primary Languages Initiative Facebook page before the 27th  of March 2017  on the Post-Primary Languages Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LanguagesInitiative
  • Entries should be prepared by teams of 2 students and not exceed 2 minutes of duration, including credits.
  • Videos should contain the name of the authors and the school name, town and county
  • All music and images used must be credited/acknowledged. We suggest you use copyright free music, or simply play yourself! It is the entrant’s responsibility that the film does not infringe copyright
  • The jurors’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. The jury will select the best videos based on their creativity, final production, and content


By entering the competition the entrants agree to abide by the rules. The entrant retains copyright over their original work, but by uploading a video, the entrant grants permission to the Post-Primary Languages Initiative to use for mash-ups, instructional purposes, promotional material or as examples of exemplary learning. Users who abuse the messaging system as a way to request “likes” for their video will be disqualified. This is against Post-Primary Languages Initiative policy.

Further information is available from:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or 01-8057794


Friday, 18 November 2016 14:06

General Knowledge Competition! #landmarks

Enter our competition to be in with the chance of winning a €50 voucher for Easons!

To enter like us on facebook and take our landmark themed general knowledge quiz!

To win you must get 10/10 and then your name will be entered into our draw! Good luck!


Friday, 11 November 2016 10:46

General Knowledge Competition! #signposts


Enter our competition to be in with the chance of winning a €50 voucher for Easons!

To enter like our Facebook and take our international signposts themed general knowledge quiz!

To win you must get 10/10 and then your name will be entered into our draw! Good luck!


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Tuesday, 08 November 2016 13:02

General Knowledge Competition! #food

Enter our competition to be in with the chance of winning a €50 one 4 all voucher!

To enter like our Facebook, follow us on Instagram and take our cuisine themed general knowledge quiz!

To win you must get 10/10 and then your name will be entered into our draw! Good luck!


Use of the Target Language in the Modern Language Classroom

 We are delighted to be able to share our full set of tutorials on Use of Target Language in the Modern Language classroom with you. 



After completing this set of modules you will be able to:

  • Recognise the benefits of using the target language in teaching and learning
  • Maximise the use of the target language as a teacher
  • Implement strategies to support your students in their use of the target language
  • Plan for progression in target language by both teachers and students
  • Appreciate the role of the language of instruction in the MFL classroom

Please feel free to dip in and out of it in your own time. No need to register, just click on any of the tutorials

Monday, 19 September 2016 12:39

Language Café


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