Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Should Irish be made optional at schools.

  • 15-01-2018 8:22pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,487 ✭✭✭Mutant z


    I think the time has come to make Irish a choice subject as opposed to the compulsory one it currently is whats the point in teaching it when many students are leaving school with barely 2 words of Irish the whole thing seems a complete waste of time. Whats the point putting so much money into a subject which has little relevance to everyday life it would be better spent on PE after all health and fitness is a much bigger part of everyday life than a language which is only spoken in tiny pockets of this country. Why are so few people fluent in speaking Irish despite being taught it at school clearly something isnt working make it optional so that those who want to learn it can and those who dont can opt out of doing it, that i believe is a perfectly reasonable suggestion.

    Optional Irish 404 votes

    Yes
    29% 120 votes
    No
    70% 284 votes


«13456716

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,346 ✭✭✭King George VI


    No they just need to think of a better way of teaching it to kids and making it more attractive to want to learn. Because my Irish teacher couldn't give a bollocks about whether or not we passed.

    It's an important part of our heritage. I'm happy when I see English and Irish language street signs or when I see the Nuacht on RTE. Makes me happy that the state still care about the language and still keep that tradition that is slowly fading from existence.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,487 ✭✭✭Mutant z


    No they just need to think of a better way of teaching it to kids and making it more attractive to want to learn. Because my Irish teacher couldn't give a bollocks about whether or not we passed.

    Thats the point isnt it why even after being taught it at school most struggle to pick it up when they can with languages such as French there's clearly a lack of interest with most students to really learn it so you wonder why it continues to be a compulsive subject surely there should be a choice on whether someone wants to learn it or not forcing it on people clearly isnt working.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,569 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    Mutant z wrote: »
    Thats the point isnt it why even after being taught it at school most struggle to pick it up when they can with languages such as French there's clearly a lack of interest with most students to really learn it so you wonder why it continues to be a compulsive subject surely there should be a choice on whether someone wants to learn it or not forcing it on people clearly isnt working.

    Why do you hate the English language so much?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭Fanny Wank


    I'd make it optional after the junior cert personally


  • Registered Users Posts: 897 ✭✭✭da gamer


    Perhaps the real question ought to be should school be optional in Ireland


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭Barry Badrinath


    The statistics say it is slowly dying.

    According to the 2016 CSO figures, 1,761,420 people or 39.8% of the population surveyed were able to speak Irish.

    According to the 2011 CSO figures, 1,774,437 people surveyed were able to speak Irish. A drop of over 13,000 people.

    I have a basic knowledge of the language but would like to be able to speak more. I think it would be a shame to lose it completely even though I only occasionally use it.

    Tbh, the people who were employed to teach me it, didnt really give a fcuk and I was quite happy with that at the time. Just the bare minimum was covered with little to no encouragement to progress. That was 20 odd years go at this stage.

    Should it be made optional? I dont think so. I think it should be taught better and respected as our national language.

    My OH went to an "all Irish" school and still uses Irish regularly. In my experience, these are the students who really had it "forced" on them but have thrived from it.

    There is a difference in the calibre of teacher in an "all Irish" school and a regular school. Thats the issue I think.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,788 ✭✭✭2Mad2BeMad


    Optional for LC
    Would of liked to have learned it myself
    But my Irish teacher came in every afternoon from 1-6th year, gave us an a4 page with irish translated to english and told to study that page while he read the Herald.
    If the teacher is not bothered, why would us students be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,788 ✭✭✭2Mad2BeMad


    The statistics say it is slowly dying.

    According to the 2016 CSO figures, 1,761,420 people or 39.8% of the population surveyed were able to speak Irish.

    According to the 2011 CSO figures, 1,774,437 people surveyed were able to speak Irish. A drop of over 13,000 people.


    I have a basic knowledge of the language but would like to be able to speak more. I think it would be a shame to lose it completely even though I only occasionally use it.

    Tbh, the people who were employed to teach me it, didnt really give a fcuk and I was quite happy with that at the time. Just the bare minimum was covered with little to no encouragement to progress. That was 20 odd years go at this stage.

    Should it be made optional? I dont think so. I think it should be taught better and respected as our national language.

    My OH went to an "all Irish" school and still uses Irish regularly. In my experience, these are the students who really had it "forced" on them but have thrived from it.

    There is a difference in the calibre of teacher in an "all Irish" school and a regular school. Thats the issue I think.

    Don't forget to account for the people who think they class themselves in the catagory of being able to speak Irish but only know a few sentences
    Unless I am wrong seen as I can string together a few sentences well then that number is shot by at least 1.
    I reckon there is less then a million genuine fluent Irish speakers in this country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,346 ✭✭✭King George VI


    2Mad2BeMad wrote: »
    Optional for LC
    Would of liked to have learned it myself
    But my Irish teacher came in every afternoon from 1-6th year, gave us an a4 page with irish translated to english and told to study that page while he read the Herald.
    If the teacher is not bothered, why would us students be.

    Lucky bastard, mine barely came in at all. He was always pissed.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,487 ✭✭✭Mutant z


    Fair play to those who do want to learn it and become fluent but most never do and have no interest in it whats the point in trying to force the issue on that group when they will never speak it fluently and most will never encounter it in their day to day lives it seems completely pointless.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭Barry Badrinath


    2Mad2BeMad wrote: »
    Don't forget to account for the people who think they class themselves in the catagory of being able to speak Irish but only know a few sentences
    Unless I am wrong seen as I can string together a few sentences well then that number is shot by at least 1.

    Thats the flaw with surveys I guess. Sure we could extend that to the Diaspora who can speak Irish but have left Ireland.

    Its just the "most accurate" data that I know of, there may be another I am not aware of.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,853 Mod ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh


    Fanny **** wrote: »
    I'd make it optional after the junior cert personally

    I don't see why any subject should be compulsory after the junior cert.

    Are eigenvectors and Shakespearean sonnets so important to the life of a 17 year old?

    More time should be made for essential life management skills like cooking, budgeting and civic literacy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭Barry Badrinath


    Mutant z wrote: »
    Fair play to those who do want to learn it and become fluent but most never do and have no interest in it whats the point in trying to force the issue on that group when they will never speak it fluently and most will never encounter it in their day to day lives it seems completely pointless.

    I would wager the majority of people in Ireland encounter the Irish language on a daily basis. It's on street signs, tv, radio, print media, official State documents and forms.

    Tbh, its people that have your mind set that are happy to see it fade away. This opinion probably stems from bad tutelage in schools moreso than anything else.

    If taught correctly and used regularly then the contempt to learn the language will fade.

    The excuse of "its hard, its pointless, I'll never use it" is weak. The same excuses can be made about Religion, Civics, Art, P.E, and pretty much all subjects.

    If Irish was taught properly from 1st Class through to the Junior Cert, making it optional afterwards wouldnt be the worst idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    2Mad2BeMad wrote: »
    Don't forget to account for the people who think they class themselves in the catagory of being able to speak Irish but only know a few sentences
    Unless I am wrong seen as I can string together a few sentences well then that number is shot by at least 1.
    I reckon there is less then a million genuine fluent Irish speakers in this country.


    Less than a million? Probably much less than that.

    http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/population/2017/7._The_Irish_language.pdf

    "73,803 said they speak it daily outside the education system, a fall of 3,382 on the 2011 figure. "

    The Gaeltachts are dying as well:

    "The total population of all Gaeltacht areas in April 2016
    was 96,090, down 0.6 per cent from 96,628 in 2011. Of
    these, 63,664 or 66.3 per cent, indicated they could
    speak Irish, while 20,586 (21.4 % of the total) indicated
    they spoke Irish daily outside the education system. This
    represents a fall of 11.2 per cent on the 2011 daily Irish
    speakers figure of 23,175. "


    There is no doubt that the Irish Language Act is failing and that the Government's Irish Language policy doesn't work. However, is that the fault of the government or are their policies just delaying the inevitable decline?


  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭waterfaerie


    As both a teacher and a Gaeilgeoir, passionate about the language, I would support it being made optional for the leaving cert. However, I would want English to also be optional so that both languages are treated with equal importance.

    In most other countries they have their official language as a compulsory subject but here we have two compulsory languages. If students could choose one of the official languages (Gaeilge or English) it would take a huge amount of pressure off and it would help those choosing Gaeilge to achieve a higher standard. Of course, they should also be allowed to do both if they want as well. Basically, I think one official language + maths should be compulsory and everything else optional.

    As for making it optional before that, I don't think that's a good idea but it should be made more enjoyable. Something drastic does need to be done about the way it's taught.

    People pushing the idea that it's a useless language is not helpful and is a huge factor in people's unwillingness to learn it. It's a very important part of our culture and it would be very sad to lose it. People's attitudes really need to change in that regard. I'm very proud to be a fluent speaker.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 113 ✭✭Owta Control


    My daughter goes to a primary school where 58% of the pupils are either born outside of Ireland, or have parents born outside of the country...
    English can be quite difficult for the child to learn as their native language is spoken at home.. often the children are teaching the parents how to speak English
    .... I'm on the parents council and see how difficult that learning Irish is for these children..and even though I personally want the language to flourish...we can't push it upon these kids....the emphasis on Irish has to be scaled back in primary schools...and made a curriculum choice in secondary...just my own personal view


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,160 ✭✭✭Huntergonzo


    I think it should be made optional after primary school, I understand that plenty of people have an emotional attachment to Irish, but it doesn't serve any practical purpose these days. Also it's unfair on students who want to learn Irish to be stuck in a class with a load of other students who have no interest and possibly are disrupting the class, it's an unecessary distraction.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭Barry Badrinath


    My daughter goes to a primary school where 58% of the pupils are either born outside of Ireland, or have parents born outside of the country...
    English can be quite difficult for the child to learn as their native language is spoken at home.. often the children are teaching the parents how to speak English
    .... I'm on the parents council and see how difficult that learning Irish is for these children..and even though I personally want the language to flourish...we can't push it upon themselves these kids....the emphasis on Irish has to be scaled back in primary schools...and made a curriculum choice in secondary...just my own personal view

    So we should actively place less importance of our national language to accomodate other nationalities to learn English while they already kniw their national language?

    Give Irish kids one language and let the "new Irish" learn a second? Or are you saying to exclude these kids from learning Irish?

    Either way, whatever hope we have of kids learning Irish is diminished by introducing it at second level.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 418 ✭✭cycle4fun


    Mutant z wrote: »
    I think the time has come to make Irish a choice subject as opposed to the compulsory one it currently is whats the point in teaching it when many students are leaving school with barely 2 words of Irish the whole thing seems a complete waste of time. Whats the point putting so much money into a subject which has little relevance to everyday life it would be better spent on PE after all health and fitness is a much bigger part of everyday life than a language which is only spoken in tiny pockets of this country. Why are so few people fluent in speaking Irish despite being taught it at school clearly something isnt working make it optional so that those who want to learn it can and those who dont can opt out of doing it, that i believe is a perfectly reasonable suggestion.

    Only 8,068 Irish language forms were completed in the last Census, 2016.
    That tells you how many people use Irish. What a waste of hundreds of billions of euro.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 113 ✭✭Owta Control


    So we should actively place less importance of our national language to accomodate other nationalities to learn English while they already kniw their national language?

    Give Irish kids one language and let the "new Irish" learn a second? Or are you saying to exclude these kids from learning Irish?

    Either way, whatever hope we have of kids learning Irish is diminished by introducing it at second level.

    Didn't say any of that


  • Advertisement


  • cycle4fun wrote: »
    Only 8,068 Irish language forms were completed in the last Census, 2016.
    That tells you how many people use Irish. What a waste of hundreds of billions of euro.

    And that's just on your maths classes...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,060 ✭✭✭Sue Pa Key Pa


    It's dead, bury the thing


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 418 ✭✭cycle4fun


    And that's just on your maths classes...

    Nothing wrong with my maths classes or education.

    "It is estimated that we spend something around €1bn a year just teaching Irish. Other programmes add to that cost. Foras na Gaeilge supports 19 Irish promotion organisations with state funding. Television service TG4 got €32.75m in current funding from Government last year. Its audience stands at something around 2% of the population. Raidió na Gaeltachta has, it is believed, an even smaller audience though official figures are not available. It may be assumed that funding for RnaG pushes the bill for Irish language broadcasting towards the €50m mark for just these two outlets."
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/ourview/the-irish-language--throwing-good-money-after-bad-225250.html

    Add the money spent on translating things in to Irish, printing government signs and publications in to two languages etc.


  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 26,928 Mod ✭✭✭✭rainbow kirby


    Fanny **** wrote: »
    I'd make it optional after the junior cert personally

    Agree with this. If you've had it until age 15 you've had most of the benefits in terms of a broad general education. Leaving Cert classes would then mostly be people with a genuine interest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,505 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    My daughter goes to a primary school where 58% of the pupils are either born outside of Ireland, or have parents born outside of the country...
    English can be quite difficult for the child to learn as their native language is spoken at home.. often the children are teaching the parents how to speak English
    .... I'm on the parents council and see how difficult that learning Irish is for these children..and even though I personally want the language to flourish...we can't push it upon these kids....the emphasis on Irish has to be scaled back in primary schools...and made a curriculum choice in secondary...just my own personal view

    Actually, the children who are strong in their mother tongue and then learn English will be in a stronger position to learn other languages, because they already have the concepts of multiple languages.

    So far I've only once seen an African-origin youngster telling an Irish priest how to pronounce something in his own native language once - but I expect to see it more often over time. I almost died from suppressing the LOLs.

    Many of the African adults who come here have their tribal language, French, English and maybe some others too. Many Eastern Europeans have their own language and a bit of Russian as well as a bit of English.

    Yes, for some kids (with less well educated parents) Irish is difficult.

    But leaving them out of it just cuts them out from job and study options down the line.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭Barry Badrinath


    Didn't say any of that

    My mistake so.

    It appeared that you used immigrant / Irish kids of another origin and their parents as a reason to scale back the teaching of Irish in Primary education.

    Based on the idea that they speak their native tongue and are learning / teaching their parents English and should not be expected to learn Irish as a result.

    Genuinely not having a go, thats just what it looked like you said.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,802 ✭✭✭daheff


    Absolutely

    Irish, while part of our heritage isn't something that's part of everyday life.

    The other thing is that it was fine to teach when the schools only had Irish people (+the odd sasanach).... But nowadays we have so many kids from different countries that it's just not fair or reasonable to expect everybody to have to learn Irish.

    For one thing how can parents of these kids help them with their Irish homework? Unless these kids are quite clever we are banishing them to bad grades because of it..... And a substandard education overall(because grades dictate college places...low grades lower chance of college)


  • Registered Users Posts: 25 Robert Power


    Look at countries like Japan, Korea,heck even Poland.
    Languages that are utterly useless outside their own countries yet they are all successful functional states.
    There is absolutely no reason why Irish shouldn't be fully part of the curriculum and fluency expected.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,487 ✭✭✭Mutant z


    cycle4fun wrote: »
    Only 8,068 Irish language forms were completed in the last Census, 2016.
    That tells you how many people use Irish. What a waste of hundreds of billions of euro.

    Exactly why waste such an obscene amout of resources when it could be put into something else like the health service perhaps.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 15,487 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Less than a million? Probably much less than that.

    http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/population/2017/7._The_Irish_language.pdf

    "73,803 said they speak it daily outside the education system, a fall of 3,382 on the 2011 figure. "

    The Gaeltachts are dying as well:

    "The total population of all Gaeltacht areas in April 2016
    was 96,090, down 0.6 per cent from 96,628 in 2011. Of
    these, 63,664 or 66.3 per cent, indicated they could
    speak Irish, while 20,586 (21.4 % of the total) indicated
    they spoke Irish daily outside the education system. This
    represents a fall of 11.2 per cent on the 2011 daily Irish
    speakers figure of 23,175. "


    There is no doubt that the Irish Language Act is failing and that the Government's Irish Language policy doesn't work. However, is that the fault of the government or are their policies just delaying the inevitable decline?


    It's not "the government's fault"....it's peoples' fault for not being bothered. Ah shur I do love hearing it being spoken but I couldn't be arsed myself.


Advertisement