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Thread: Should the Irish Language be compulsory in schools?

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    Default Should the Irish Language be compulsory in schools?

    (Topic shamelessly lifted from Adrian Kennedy phone show, I only caught the last few mins of what sounded like an interesting debate though)

    Should Irish be a compulsory or optional subject in school(like French or German)? Bearing in mind that school prepares us for the big bad world should people who dont see a place in their life for Gaeilge be forced to learn it?
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    why?

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    We've been down this road a billion times already. Thats only in the last year.

    No it shouldn't be compulsory after primary.
    "Great minds talk about ideas; mediocre minds talk about events; small minds talk about people"

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    My own opinion is that it should be compulsory up until senior cycle, that way if it is thought properly people will feel confident enough in the language, to take it on for the leaving in quite strong numbers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfkf1
    My own opinion is that it should be compulsory up until senior cycle, that way if it is thought properly people will feel confident enough in the language, to take it on for the leaving in quite strong numbers.
    Is the problem with the language itself or the way they teach it though? I mean the average Irish person spends about 12 years of their life learning it and can only string together a few sentences-must be something wrong there?
    Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.

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    I like it and think that it is a valuable contributor to a student's comprehensive education. Along with English and German/French/etc. it forms a virtuous Trinity of language subjects which increase a student;s mental flexibility and dexterity.

    Irish can be fun. I like the sound of the language and it's no bad thing it's compulsory.

    Look what happened in the UK. They made foreign languages optional a few years ago and students taking those subjects have plunged. Something similar may occur here to the detriment of the overall eductaion received by a student.

    I do think the syllabus needs and overhaul with a radical re-think of how it is taught and framed for students. Grammar and language acquisition aren't advocated enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDLK
    Quote Originally Posted by pfkf1
    My own opinion is that it should be compulsory up until senior cycle, that way if it is thought properly people will feel confident enough in the language, to take it on for the leaving in quite strong numbers.
    Is the problem with the language itself or the way they teach it though? I mean the average Irish person spends about 12 years of their life learning it and can only string together a few sentences-must be something wrong there?
    Not to mention the average Irish person spends 6 years learning French or German, yet compared with second language take up in Europe, end up with a pathetic command said languages.
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Whenever I am asked that question, I always tell people, that I spent 14 years of my life learning Irish, and I can hardly string a sentence together in it, however I only studied French (which is a much more difficult language) for 6 years and I would be quite confident at speaking French in France.

    My own belief is the problem with Irish in Schools is that it is taught through Irish, whereas French from 1st year to 3rd year is mainly Through English, so you know what most of it means.

    So I believe it is the way it is taught, not the language, I mean it has the fewest irregular verbs out of any language as far as I'm aware, so it should be a simple enough language to teach, but I don't believe it is.
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    The main problem is: no one cares. Irish is of no use to them. Some may spout all the trappings of being nationalists (small "n") and profess to have "a love of their language", but really they're just a bunch of people trying to live the most comfortable life as possible. They're not interested in having a dead language forced down their throats, they're interested in iPods and hoildays to Spain. So even though some may translate their auntie dropping the odd Irish word when she feels like it as people taking interest, it really doesn't mean Irish is ever going to be more than what it is: a token.
    "Great minds talk about ideas; mediocre minds talk about events; small minds talk about people"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pfkf1
    Whenever I am asked that question, I always tell people, that I spent 14 years of my life learning Irish, and I can hardly string a sentence together in it, however I only studied French (which is a much more difficult language) for 6 years and I would be quite confident at speaking French in France.

    My own belief is the problem with Irish in Schools is that it is taught through Irish, whereas French from 1st year to 3rd year is mainly Through English, so you know what most of it means.

    So I believe it is the way it is taught, not the language, I mean it has the fewest irregular verbs out of any language as far as I'm aware, so it should be a simple enough language to teach, but I don't believe it is.
    Which do you think is considered international best practice?
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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