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Languages Connect

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Languages Connect: DES Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2016

Minister Bruton has just this week published Ireland's strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026  along with a 5 year implementation plan. The Plan sets out a roadmap to put Ireland in the top ten countries in Europe for the teaching and learning of foreign languages, through a number of measures targeted at improving proficiency, diversity and immersion. These include a commitment to an increase in the number of schools offering two or more languages, the number of students sitting languages for examination, the number of students in higher education studying a foreign language, the number of participants in Erasmus+, the number of teachers and students participating in exchange programmes, and the number of  foreign language assistants in schools, as well as a commitment to improving the quality of foreign language teaching at all levels.

There are 100 actions in the Strategy, which include the introduction of Chinese as a foreign language for LC; the introduction of curricular specifications for heritage speakers for Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese; exploring the potential for introducing bonus points at Leaving Certificate for studying foreign languages in cases where students apply for higher education courses in language-related areas; enhancement of employer engagement in the development of new trade languages; incentivising schools to diversify their language offer, including by means of concessionary hours where appropriate; enabling students in Further Education and Training and Higher Education to do work placements in the parent country, appointing “language champions” from business and other sectors to demonstrate the opportunities available for graduates with foreign language competences and the development of new models of delivering language teaching, such as shared classes and blended learning to allow students who are part of small immigrant communities, within specific schools, to develop their heritage language skills.

For a proper look at the strategy and the corresponding implementation plan go to the Department of Education and Skills link  here
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