Irish medium early years education in the north of ireland
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Irish-medium Early Years Education in the north of Ireland. Eibhlín Mhic Aoidh St Mary’s University College Belfast E.mhicaoidh@smucb.ac.uk. During today’s presentation I hope to. outline the development of the Irish-medium sector in the north of Ireland;

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Irish-medium Early Years Education in the north of Ireland

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Irish-medium Early Years Education in the north of Ireland

Eibhlín Mhic Aoidh

St Mary’s University College Belfast

E.mhicaoidh@smucb.ac.uk


During today’s presentation I hope to

  • outline the development of the Irish-medium sector in the north of Ireland;

  • explore successful strategies used by early years educators in promoting Irish language learning as part of the holistic development of young children;

  • highlight recent initiatives for the continuing professional development of immersion early years educators in the north of Ireland.


From humble beginnings


Irish-medium primary schools

in the north


Phases of Irish-medium Education


Staff in Irish-medium Education


Key Strategies

Meaningful, contextually rich activities

Focus on listening, understanding and speaking

A thematic approach to early learning

Positive teacher-pupil relarionship

Modelled, shared and guided language activities


A Challenge

Do strategies in use in monolingual settings

need to be adapted to the needs of

young language learners in bilingual settings?


Department of Education (2008) Review of Irish-medium Education

The needs of Irish-medium Educators should be taken into account in delivering common leadership training and support services in a

sectorally-sensitive way.

http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/655/1/review_of_irish-medium_education_report__english_pdf_.pdf


One case in point

The role of the adult in early years Irish-medium settings


Hickey (2003)

Activities which encouraged optimum use of Irish language in early years settings

  • Games with rules

  • Singing together

  • Home corner activities

  • Stories

  • Nursery rhymes

  • Interest points

  • Guided group activities


Emerging Issues

  • the need for research to inform practice;

  • the need for continuing professional development sensitive to the context of Irish-medium classrooms;

  • the need to support teachers’ continuing efforts to improve their own Irish language competences.


An Irish-medium Model of Continuing Professional Development

  • Addresses both pedagogical and linguistic needs

  • Reflects immersion education learning and teaching methodologies

  • Encourages informed reflection and sharing of good practice

  • Action Research


Research Themes

Improving Writing in the target Language at Key Stage 2

Developing Phonological Awareness in the early years

Improving Spelling Strategies with Key Stage 1 Pupils

Independent Reading in Key Stage Two

An Evaluation of the Lift Off Programme in a P.3 Class

Composite Classes in an Irish-medium School

Supporting Special Educational Needs at Key Stage 3: innovative strategies to improve sight vocabulary.


Go raibhmaithagaibh

TankeWol

Thank you for listening

Bedanktvooruwaandacht


References

Baker, C. (2006) Foundations of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education 4th Edition. Cleveland: Multilingual Matters.

CCEA (2005) Preschool Curricular Guidance http://www.deni.gov.uk/preschool_curricular-2.pdf

CCEA (2009) Northern Ireland Curriculum Primary (Irish-medium)

http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/docs/irish_medium/foundation/NIC_Primary_IrishMedium.pdf

Department of Education (DE) (2008) Review of Irish-medium Education http://www.deni.gov.uk/review_of_irish-medium_education_report__english_pdf_.pdf


References

Hickey, T. (2003) ‘Cad a mheallannGaeilge ó PhaistísaLuath-Thumoideachas’ in TaighdeagusTeagascIml. 3. ColáisteOllscoileNaomhMuire: BéalFeirste.

Knipe, D. Bunting, G. Ó Labhraí, J. NigUidhir, G. and Mhic Aoidh, E. (2004) The Professional Development of Teachers in Irish-medium Schools www.deni.gov.uk

Lundy, L. (2006) Mainstreaming Children’s Rights in, to and through Education in a Society Emerging from Conflict in International Journal of Children’s Rights 14:339-362.

Mac Corraidh (2006) Irish-medium Education in Belfast in De Brún, F.(ed.) Belfast and the Irish Language. Dublin: Four Courts Press.

Maguire, G. (1991) Our Own Language: An Irish Initiative.Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


References

McKendry, E. (2005) Immersion Education. Belfast; Council for Irish-medium Education.

Ó Baoill, D. (2007) Origins of Irish-medium Education: the dynamic core of language revitalization in Northern Ireland in The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism Vol. 10, No. 4, 410-427.

Ó Duibhir, P. (2006) Education and Continuing Professional Development for Teachers in Irish-medium and Gaeltacht Schools.www.cogg.ie

Peover, S. (2002) The Current State of Irish-medium Education in Northern Ireland in Kirk, J. and Ó Baoill, D. (eds.) Language Planning and Education: linguistic issues in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. Belfast; ClóOllscoilnaBanríona.

Uí Dhoibhlin, S. (2011) Pedagogical Approaches Which Enhance Early Years Irish Language Development: a case study. Masters Dissertation: St Mary’s University College, Belfast.


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