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Thread: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

  1. #1
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    Default End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.

  2. #2

    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    Quote Originally Posted by tallman
    I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.
    It will never happen. The Gaeltacht lobby is far too strong and it would be very difficult to form a government without Gaeltacht votes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    Ironically, it could be the thing that would benefit the Gaelteacht lobby most.

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    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    Scrapping Irish in the Leaving Cert would be the death blow to the Irish language, and in one move would destroy one of Europe's oldest languages. Reform in needed in the teaching of Irish at Leaving Cert level and all levels of the education system, that's for sure. But scrapping the language as compulsory without even trying to fix it's problems is a short-sighted and ultimately counter-productive move in promoting the Irish language, and by extension, Irish culture.
    I have nothing to say. I say it regularly.

  5. #5

    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    Quote Originally Posted by thebrom
    Quote Originally Posted by tallman
    I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.
    It will never happen. The Gaeltacht lobby is far too strong and it would be very difficult to form a government without Gaeltacht votes.
    Most people I know in the Gaeltacht are against compulsory Irish. No subject should be compulsory.

  6. #6

    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    Can someone please answer me this question - Why do people who are forced to go to gaelscoileanna come out fluent? (Myself, being a good example. My parents choice, not mine. I went there kicking and screaming). By the rationale of the people who blame compulsion for the abysmal state of Irish teaching, I should hate Irish and not be able to speak it, yet I can and like it very much, as did just about everyone else I knew in my Irish school. People sing the praises of gaelscoileanna, yet rally against 'compulsion', yet most of the time, gaelscoileanna are just a more holistic form of compulsion. Can you honestly tell me that a 4/5 year old who is sent to a gaelscoil is making some informed 'choice' about their education. Why do people who have a problem with compulsion not complain about that?

    And lets be honest about choice in schools; it's parents who make the choices, not the kids. I distinctly remember numerous peers of mine, in numerous different schools, being forced to make various academic choices by their parents that they didn't want to make themselves. But it's the kids who have to do the subjects and it is they who either develop the love or hate for it, not the parents. So this whole logic of 'choice' is very warped.

    It was recently revealed that Irish students are performing badly in Maths and Science, yet virtually no one seems to suggest making those subjects optional, so that students will do them out of love. Maybe that's because it's a bit ridiculous as a serious educational proposition, yet it makes perfect sense to some people when it comes to teaching Irish. Shouldn't we be teaching students to love Maths and Science too? If so, why not make them optional? Nobody denies that in purely utilitarian terms, they will be more 'useful', but if the 'compulsion is bad' argument is apt for Irish, should we not be consistent and apply it to others? No, for Maths and Science, everyone agrees that it is the teaching methods, yet not for Irish?

    I've been educated in both English-medium and Irish-medium schools and I've gone on numerous Gaeltacht courses in all three main Gaeltachtaí and I can assure you all, that it's the teaching method and not the compulsion that is the problem. There is no socio-linguistic study that says that making something optional improves the fluency levels in a language amongst students (at least not that I've ever seen, though I'm open to correction).

    So to summarise for those who are a bit slow or may be talking out of their arse:

    1. It's the teaching methods
    2. It's the teaching methods
    3. It's the teaching methods

  7. #7

    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Eco-Fascist
    Can someone please answer me this question - Why do people who are forced to go to gaelscoileanna come out fluent? (Myself, being a good example. My parents choice, not mine. I went there kicking and screaming). By the rationale of the people who blame compulsion for the abysmal state of Irish teaching, I should hate Irish and not be able to speak it, yet I can and like it very much, as did just about everyone else I knew in my Irish school. People sing the praises of gaelscoileanna, yet rally against 'compulsion', yet most of the time, gaelscoileanna are just a more holistic form of compulsion. Can you honestly tell me that a 4/5 year old who is sent to a gaelscoil is making some informed 'choice' about their education. Why do people who have a problem with compulsion not complain about that?
    Totally agree. I come from an English-speaking family, in one of the most defiantly English-speaking cities of the Galltacht. Irish was never heard when I was young. When I was four,I was sent to the local Gaelscoil where people told me to learn this funny language with eye-splitting diphthongs, impossible consonants and strange slanty lines over the vowels. To hear that someone had been caught ag labhairt as Béarla always sent a chill down our spines, because we knew that s/he was in very deep sh*t. All this for a language I can't ever remember myself or any of my friends speaking outside the school confines. I hated every minute of it and attended an English-language secondary school, where Irish was still a compulsory subject, but I was light years ahead of my class in terms of competence in the language.

    I caught up with some of my class six years later in college, when we found that we were all taking Irish as part of our degree. Now a significant part of my work is through Irish, and it's given me a whole string of professional opportunities that many of my non-Irish-speaking friends will be waiting for years to grasp.

    Compulsion worked.
    "If there is a future, it will be Green." - Petra Kelly.

  8. #8
    Starkadder
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    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    Quote Originally Posted by tallman
    I think one way for our education system to preserve Irish is to end it's compulsory nature for Leaving Cert. As it is, resources are being wasted on trying to teach Irish to a lot of people who dont want to learn it and resent it being foisted on them. However, many people ARE interested in Irish. Why not just concentrate these resources on them? Many people also take up Irish when they feel it is of their own free will. All in all, there is a lot of interest out there. Perhaps colleges/universities could play a role in accepting it equally to foreign languages.
    Oohhh, you're for it now. The extremist wing of the Irish language lobby will be baying for your
    blood .

  9. #9

    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    yes it certainly should be an option for LC but Compulsory up to JC the students have the option whats the point of having a language forced upon us that will not help us after leaving school if only to get us into 3rd level.
    Just a simple example 5thy year Irish in my school has 4 Irish classes comprising 97 students.only 33 students are doing higher level the rest are split up into 3 ordinary level classes.please let the government see some sense have make it an option for LC students
    In principle, neither politicans nor officals should accept personal gifts of value from outside their family" - Bertie Ahern, 1996

  10. #10

    Default Re: End Complusory Irish for Leaving Cert

    No subject should be compulsory.
    I disagree. Maths,English and a 3rd language(French/German/Spanish etc) should be compulsory and they should only be compulsory for LC students
    In principle, neither politicans nor officals should accept personal gifts of value from outside their family" - Bertie Ahern, 1996

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