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Dublin: 9°C Monday 1 March 2021

PE lessons could be taught through Irish in effort to make language relevant 'to the next generation'

A new scheme aimed at teaching pupils a second language was announced today.

Image: Shutterstock/maroke

A NEW THREE-YEAR project could lead to the teaching of Irish through other subjects such as PE on the school curriculum.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh announced the establishment of a new steering group to help promote further use of Irish in schools and early years settings today.

The group will oversee a new pilot scheme using the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach, which teaches pupils a subject and a language at the same time.

It gives pupils the opportunity to learn aspects of a curriculum through a language that isn’t the main one used in a school setting, providing a more focused approach to the learning of that language.

For example, subjects such as PE could be taught through Irish in an English-medium school, or through French in an Irish-medium school.

The Department of Education will initially support the introduction of the scheme in 22 schools and early years settings from September, and hopes to increase that number over three years.

“We have a duty and responsibility to try and make Irish relevant to the next generation,” the Minister said today.

“Seeing young people socialising and playing and having fun in a language is as good a test as there is of how vibrant and alive a language is.

“Through actions like this we can support our young people to connect with our language and own it.”

The Minister added that the goal of the Department should be to extend the project to other subjects in schools, such as music, science, art or maths.

The first phase of the project will run across the 2019/2020 school year, and will include the design of a programme and resources for teachers and early years practitioners.

Starter schools and preschools which take part in this early phase will receive support from teacher educators, including the Department.

The second phase of the project which will commence in 2020/2021, and will allow the project to be extended to a greater number of schools and settings.

The Department will host an information session in the coming weeks to outline the project and the benefits of participation to schools interested in taking part.

In 2015, the government promised to open the first supervised drug injecting centre in Ireland within two years.  In the latest episode of The Explainer podcast,  Sinead O’Carroll, Cormac Fitzgerald and Christine Bohan delve into  why this hasn’t happened yet – and whether it ever will.

Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

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