Now showing 1 - 10 of 32
  • Publication
    Early Immersion Education in Ireland : Na Naíonraí
    (Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann/Linguistics Institute of Ireland, 1997)
    A study addressed educational and psychological issues raised by the phenomenal growth of Irish-medium pre-schools ("naionrai"). Data were gathered in surveys of almost 2,000 parents, over 170 teachers and advisors, and 225 children in 25 Irish-medium pre-schools in both "Gaeltacht" (Irish-speaking districts) and "Galltacht" (English-speaking districts) areas were tested for cognitive and linguistic development. Results indicate that children make significant advances in Irish language development during their time in the "naionrai," which leads to increased use of Irish in their homes as their parents try to help them acquire the language. Many recommendations for future development of the "naionrai" are included. The report is presented in both English and Irish. The survey forms are appended. Contains 296 references. (MSE)
  • Publication
    Understanding Irish Spelling: A Handbook for Teachers and Learners
    (COGG: An Chomhairle un Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, 2019-11-08) ;
    The focus of this handbook is to describe systematic patterns of spelling in Irish that can be explicitly taught to help pupils relate written Irish words to what they already know of spoken Irish. However, our ultimate goal is to facilitate and encourage Irish reading as a supplement to the classroom experience of spoken Irish, to increase exposure to the language and to build vocabulary and grammar knowledge. This handbook is not a comprehensive course on reading pedagogy, but we hope that it will help to provide teachers with some ideas for approaching the teaching of the relationship between Irish spelling and pronunciation,and perhaps help to enhance their confidence in their own understanding of the orthographic system of Irish. If any readers are dubious about the value of such instruction, we discuss that too, in the next chapters.
  • Publication
    Parents and early immersion : reciprocity between home and immersion preschool
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 1999)
    This study examines the importance of parental support for early immersion in the context of a study of Irish-medium pre-schools or naionrai. Data were collected from all of the major participants in this early immersion model, including parents, teachers, classroom assistants and inspectors, in addition to detailed tests of 225 three-year-old children. This allows an analysis, not only of the effect of the parents' support for the child's early learning in the naionra, but also of the impact of the child's target language learning on the language use in the home. Focusing here on the results from parents allowed the development of a profile of those choosing early immersion in Irish, based on socioeconomic and educational data. Parents' reasons for choosing this type of pre-schooling are examined, as well as their satisfaction with their child's experience. Multivariate analyses of children's test results show the significant influence of parents' ability in the target language on their children's language scores. Finally, parents' requirements are examined in order to target ways of increasing their active support for their children's language acquisition. Overall, these data indicate an urgent need to involve parents as partners in order to maximise the effectiveness of early immersion.
  • Publication
    Luathoideachas trí Ghaeilge sa Ghaeltacht
    (Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann/Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1999-05) ; ;
  • Publication
    In Defense of Decoding
    (North American Association for Celtic Language Teachers, 2014) ;
    Literacy instruction in primary schools in Ireland has fallen on hard times of late. Although the 1999 Revised Curriculum for Irish (Government of Ireland, 1999) specifically states that the recommended communicative approach encompasses all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), it is often interpreted as emphasizing oral at the expense of written language. Perhaps as a result, research of the last decade shows that pupils’ Irish reading ability is suffering. While research on reading in Irish has been fairly limited, it shows rather disappointing results. A study conducted by the Department of Education and Science in 2008 found that "in approximately one third of classes, pupils had significant gaps in their skills of word recognition and reading comprehension" (DES 2008:60). More recently, Gileece et al. (2012) found attitudes toward reading in Irish declining among older children, even in Irish immersion and Gaeltacht schools, where skills are presumably higher than in the schools under consideration here. Finally, the latest evaluation of Irish schools (DES 2013) found Irish lessons to be unsatisfactory in 20% of classrooms inspected and 24% of student outcomes were unsatisfactory, well above the percentages for English and mathematics. Thus, there are grounds for concern, confirmed by reports from Irish teachers and scholars to be discussed below.
  • Publication
    Reading in an endangered language in primary schools in Ireland
    (Editions Phi: Université du Luxembourg, 2011-05)
    While Irish has State support in the Republic of Ireland, and is taught as a compulsory school subject from school entry, there is growing concern about a decline in the standard attained in this threatened minority language. The majority of Irish children begin learning Irish as a second language at school entry, and are expected to become literate in both English and in Irish over the course of their primary school years. The achievement of this biliteracy is to some extent taken for granted, with a tendency in recent years to focus more on developing oral skills and to view literacy in Irish as a lower priority, which results in less analysis of ways to support reading in Irish. While Irish now uses the same script as English, its orthographic system differs significantly from English and poses considerable challenges. An outline of the teaching of Irish reading is given, and a brief outline of challenging features of Irish orthography. This is followed by exploration of some outcomes of the current approach, and a discussion of the need to target the development of decoding skills from the outset, but also to look at increasing exposure to a range of Irish texts.
  • Publication
    ILARSP: A Grammatical Profile of Irish
    (Multilingual Matters, 2012)
    This collection is a resource book for those working with language disordered clients in a range of languages. It collects together versions of the well-known Language Assessment Remediation Screening Procedure (LARSP) prepared for different languages. Starting with the original version for English, the book then presents versions in more than a dozen other languages. Some of these are likely to be encountered as home languages of clients by speech-language therapists and pathologists working in the UK, Ireland, the US and Australia and New Zealand. Others are included because they are major languages found where speech-language pathology services are provided, but where no grammatical profile already exists.                       
  • Publication
    The Experiences of American International Students in a Large Urban Higher Education Institute in Ireland
    (University of Louisiana, 2015-02) ; ;
    Growing numbers of American students are travelling overseas to study abroad and enroll in full degree programs. Despite this trend, relatively little is known about the experiences of United States (U.S.) students abroad. The aim of this research was to examine the experiences of American international students in Ireland. Findings suggest that while U.S. students experience some adaptation problems, overall, they adapt well to studying in Ireland. Subtle differences in long-term and short-term international students¿ levels of social support and academic satisfaction were also detected. This research has important practical implications for facilitating the adaption of U.S.  students abroad. At a time when many governments and academic institutions are devising strategies to attract international students, this research is timely and necessary.Keywords: international students; psychological well being; sociocultural adaptation; cross-cultural adjustment.
  • Publication
    Indigenous language immersion: The challenge of meeting the needs of L1 and L2 speakers in Irish-medium preschools
    (Trentham Books, 2008-10-01)
    Over 150 regional and minority languages are spoken in the EU, by up to 50 million speakers (European Commission, 2004:9). In the Republic of Ireland, an officially bilingual state, Irish is "the first official language" and English is also recognised as an official language. Census 2006 showed that, while about 1.66 million people (42% of the population) reported that they were "able to speak Irish", over 60% of these said they "never" speak the language or speak it less often than weekly. Even in officially designated Irish-speaking communities Irish does not appear secure, with only 57% (36,500 persons) there speaking Irish daily. Thus, Irish is in the position of being both an official language and an endangered language. Efforts at maintaining Irish must now also adapt to the context of the recent rise in immigration into Ireland, which has led to one of the highest levels of linguistic diversity, with 158 languages now spoken (McPake et al., 20017). Catering for these needs in a state already trying to maintain a minority language raises particular challenges, since the language needs of new groups can be perceived as threatening to indigenous minority languages, particularly if resources are spread too thinly. Most children in the Republic now learn Irish as a single compulsory subject from school entry at age 4-5, and it is the second language for the majority. About 5% of the pupils (33,000) attend the 168 primary and 43 post-primary Irish-medium schools in the Republic and Northern Ireland. In addition, there is a system of Irish-medium preschools (naíonraí) for children aged three to four years. These preschools have been particularly popular since they began in the 1970's, and currently serve over 3,000 children per year in 167 groups. It is these groups which are the focus of the research discussed below.