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As a result of the way Irish was taught..

(25 Posts)
dingalong Thu 20-Oct-16 20:43:39

I really hate the language REALLY REALLY HATE IT
The way it is taught seemed to assume we all spoke it at home.

I was not taught the Irish the way that I learned 'modern languages' in school eg grammar etc. The leap to secondary level 'literature' was a joke in my case. Still managed to get a c in honours (thank you leeson street) as I couldn't drop it

I now have three kids so I will have to get over it.
Any suggestions ???

MarDhea Fri 21-Oct-16 17:42:31

There's a lot of variability in how Irish is/was taught in schools. The curriculum wasn't great in my day (Peig, anyone?) although I believe they've improved it a lot since.

But I was lucky with my teachers. I had a couple of properly fluent speakers in primary school who did teach us grammar (not very formally, but we knew what the modh coinníollleach etc. was) so left there with a decent level of proficiency. And then I had a native speaker from 3rd-6th year in secondary, who ran every class entirely through Irish and only repeated something in English when we didn't know what it meant (almost everything at the start, very little by Leaving Cert). Full immersion in Irish had me damn near fluent for my Leaving and I genuinely loved the language. I even did the historical linguistics stair na teanga option for my Leaving blush

Can you find out if your kids' teachers actually like Irish themselves, and are native or fluent speakers? A lot of primary teachers (outside gaelscoileanna) aren't keen on it either and the class picks up the impression that Irish is a spectacularly uncool and artificial thing. Secondary school teachers are a mixed bag, but the good ones do use the immersion method even if it's very hard work at the start.

MarDhea Fri 21-Oct-16 17:45:37

And this was in bog standard schools down the country, btw, in case it sounded like something only fee-paying south Dubliners experienced!

dingalong Fri 21-Oct-16 23:55:12

I wasn't so lucky ☺. Dd is in first class but her teacher isn't doing Irish with them - why I've no idea.

user1471134011 Sat 22-Oct-16 10:58:36

She should be - it's prescribed in the curriculum! Is this the official school policy ?

dingalong Sat 22-Oct-16 15:41:35

I know but I don't think her teacher is a fan either smile

We've bought bua na cainte but we've had no homework in it yet.

Any good recommendations for a good parents book ? I'd like to bring myself upto speed and do some with her this year

LuckyLuckyMe Sat 22-Oct-16 15:52:09

I know what you mean. I think most people my age hated Irish.

I don't think they usually get Irish homework in first class. I think they just do it at school.

I've often wondered if speaking a bit of Irish with DC would help. I can speak a little bit still.

These might help

dingalong Sat 22-Oct-16 18:55:41

She got homework in JI and SI - not much but a little vocabulary.

I think the curriculum assumes we're all chatting at home 'as gaelige'

MarDhea Sat 22-Oct-16 21:26:24

There's a decent range of books for your dd's age at They also have colouring books etc. for a change.

Homework isn't that necessary in 1st class but you could always ask the teacher to check if there's definitely none... Just say you wanted to make sure your dd wasn't stashing it in her bag!

hollyisalovelyname Sun 23-Oct-16 13:32:28

I think the emphasis is on oral Irish so no homework???

dingalong Sun 23-Oct-16 14:12:21

Yes, homework can be useful to reinforce the language (we used to chat about fuinneogs, muinteoirs etc) but I've no such steer now

I've asked teachers in the past - for a good book for parents - learned but forgotten Irish but no-one has been able to recommend one (gap in market 😄)

MarDhea Sun 23-Oct-16 20:31:29

If you're looking for something for yourself to revive forgotten Irish, have you tried the Duolingo app? It's pretty good as apps go - uses lots of listening and speaking as well as reading/writing, and reminds you do 10 mins a day or whatever works for you. And it's free grin

Not quite the perfect book to read with your dd but maybe better than nothing?

dingalong Sun 23-Oct-16 21:42:59

I've that app but was hoping for a book with some logic 😄 Eg
No-one ever explained in what context I would use eireann, na heireann, eirinn etc
We used to have to learn essays (summaries of short stories such as an bunnin bui) and I was having to learn these (about 2 foolscap pages) without understanding why words were spelt eg first one is an eireann, second one is a na heireann etc
If I'd known why the spelling was used I would have been happier and it would have been less hellish to learn . As it was it wAs like learning lines of code

I liked Irish until secondary when the leap left me behind

dingalong Sun 23-Oct-16 21:43:30

It completely clashed with my learning style,

user1471134011 Mon 24-Oct-16 08:23:10

Turas Teanga was good for this back in the day. It came with CDs I think. You might get a copy second hand

user1471134011 Mon 24-Oct-16 08:24:08

Learning lines of code - hit the nail on the head there.

vvviola Fri 28-Oct-16 10:50:01

The thing is though, there is no point/need to teach grammar at young primary level. It's about getting comfortable with using the language, building up vocabulary and instinctively learning some of the rules ... the same way that people learn their first language. There is really no expectation in the curriculum that there would be any Irish spoken at home - that's not to say that there isn't some level of assumption going on in your DC's school.

dingalong Fri 28-Oct-16 11:00:13

Instinctively doesn't work for a lot of people see different spellings above and that's the problem.
While grammar isn't taught in young classes it seems to be taught for about a week (I must have been out sick and missed it 😄)

I used to get so frustrated - you use a word / pronunciation and get told 'that's wrong' you say - ' that's what my old teacher used to say' and then you get 'oh that must have been Donegal Irish/ burren etc)

You aren't immersed in it like English and you aren't taught it like a 'foreign language so for me it fell between the two.

The teaching of grammar is none existant but we're supposed to read novels 😬 In modern and ancient Irish ?

My siblings two of whom live in Europe (are fluent in other languages agree


honeyrider Wed 02-Nov-16 01:20:33

I hate Irish more so now than when I was in school.

A primary school teacher advised me to let my children watch the cartoons then programmes on TG4 preferably from a young age so they'd pick up the sounds.

Glastokitty Wed 02-Nov-16 01:33:20

It's a bloody waste of time. When I found out my son's school spent more time on Irish and RE than they did on maths I was very annoyed. I'm so glad he's not in the Irish school system any more, and is learning Japanese instead. Slightly more useful! After years of Irish I'd say he can remember about three sentences, and he's pretty smart.

LucyBabs Wed 02-Nov-16 01:45:30

My dd is 8 and just started 2nd class. She has never had Irish homework and from what I can tell Irish takes up about 10 minutes a week..

Ds is in junior infants and is learning the usual Dog is Madra but the main focus is Jolly phonics.
I can't imagine it being any other way TBH

My2centsworth Wed 02-Nov-16 01:51:22

I was fluent when I left school. I don't know how but it sunk in. I have forgotten most of it but the principal of my local Gael Scoil asked me if I was an Irish teacher when I was trying to get DD1 in so I cannot be that bad. My mother is a native speaker and was an Irish teacher so maybe that helped but it was only rarely used at home as my grandfather died before I was born and my granny did not speak Irish. One brother does not have a word of Irish but my other siblings are pretty good too. I loved it in school and I still love it now.

dingalong Wed 02-Nov-16 17:24:10

One mum mentioned that a lot of spellings have changed and they had to bring in the letter W - no way of getting around www. 😄

TimTamTerror Wed 02-Nov-16 17:38:41

I always found Irish really difficult to learn too. When I was in my early 30s we moved to Berlin and I learned more German in my first two months there than I learned Irish in 13 years of school. Admittedly German and English have lots of similarities whereas Irish and English have completely different roots, but I think the difference in speed of learning was having motivation. People really speak German as a mother tongue, and lots of Berliners didn't speak any English (if they grew up in the East then they did Russian at school, not English) so I needed to learn to make my life easier. I don't think I've ever met an Irish speaker over the age of 5 who couldn't also speak English, so Irish always seemed a bit pointless as a means of communication to me.

My DC don't like it much either, DS goes to secondary next year and I'm expecting him to be very resistant as they start to up the standard and have exams in it.

hollyisalovelyname Wed 02-Nov-16 21:22:59

Ah MyCent
Sure it was in the genes grin

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