Irish children are going to be learning foreign languages from primary school very soon
A smart move for a very global world.
The teaching of foreign languages is to be introduced on a pilot basis to primary schools in Ireland from third class onwards.
The “language sampler module” will be introduced to third- to sixth-class pupils in more than 100 primary and special schools across the country, and the module will provide one hour per week for teaching foreign languages within the normal school timetable and will be open to schools to participate on a voluntary basis.
According to the Irish Times, schools will have the autonomy to decide which language/languages they wish to introduce to their pupils, and to secure a language tutor, such as a language teacher/language assistant from a secondary school or a member of the community who is fluent in the target language.
All language tutors will work under the guidance of the class teacher and must comply with Garda vetting and other child-protection requirements.
Minister for Education, Norma Forely, has asked for schools that might be interested in taking part in the pilot program to express their interest in doing so.
“This exciting new initiative will provide pupils with opportunities to expand their experience with languages and also give them confidence in engaging with new languages,” Foley said.
“The sampler module will also inform future developments in the area of language acquisition and development of the primary curriculum framework. I would encourage primary and special schools to explore this opportunity to take part in this new module.”
Schools can apply online
Interested schools are being asked to complete an application form online (languagesconnect.ie/news-and-events/primary-school-sampler-module) no later than June 23rd, with participation set to be confirmed with schools by August 27th.
The module will take place over a six-week period towards the end of the first term of the 2021-2022 school year.
A short online training programme for the language tutors identified by each school. This will also be available to the teachers in the participating schools, should they wish to access it.