Present Context: The Languages Initiative continues under the National Development Plan 2007 - 2013. We can no longer provide teacher hours in schools offering Spanish and Italian, however, we can provide some grant assistance in special circumstances, and we are currently supporting the production of a new Italian textbook. We will also be providing for resources, languages upskilling and CPD via a new website and there are a couple of particular initiatives in relation to Spanish.
In relation to Japanese we are planning for the future in order to ensure its sustainability, and developing a strategy to have it regularised in the general curriculum as a mainstream subject in accordance with its official status as a curricular subject. Part of this strategy includes supporting Japanese only in schools which actively encourage Transition Year students to take the subject on to Leaving Certificate and timetable it in the regular curriculum.
In relation to Russian, we are currently conducting an evaluation of the subject as a TY module and a feasibility study on the introduction of Russian as a Leaving Certificate subject for non-native speakers of Russian.
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.