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Should Irish be made optional at schools.

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  • Moderators Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭LFCFan


    The entire education system needs a complete revamp. It's not fit for purpose. Besides the obvious, the whole thing is geared towards 2 weeks of exams in 6th year to get into college. There are not enough life subjects. There should be more about finance, social skills, sex education, driving, cooking, etc. Irish is never going to survive as a subject/language because, like all languages, unless you use it daily, you will never retain anything you learn about it. At the very least it should only be taught as a conversational/written language like you would with French or Spanish so that we can converse in it. Even then, unless we are using it, we won't retain that knowledge. It's the same for any language. Just because it's our native language, doesn't mean we have any extra adaptation to it. The one area that has to be dropped is the mandatory Irish for teachers. We need more diversity, especially with a more diverse and welcoming population.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,979 ✭✭✭pgj2015


    Maths should be optional after the junior cert as well.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,184 ✭✭✭riclad


    I ignored Irish in class put no effort into it as I see no benefit in it ,I can understand the benefit of learning French ,German ,Spanish ,you can use a modern language as part of your job, there's no Irish person who does not understand English ,it's more like a hobby like birdwatching ,you can travel to France or germany and talk to people in the native language

    Irish is a cultural relic ,very few people speak Irish everyday at home or at work

    One of the reasons the Irish economy is booming is we all speak English which happens to be the international language of business

    I do not think the quality of Irish teaching is great eg most people can hardly speak Irish after 5 Years of learning it

    Irish politicans are reluctant to change the education system if there's a chance of losing votes even if the system is pointless or old fashioned

    Just make learning Irish voluntary eg pick Irish as part of the subjects you learn or maybe choose computing french etc instead

    Eg something more relevant to modern Life or useful in the world of work



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes



    I have a totally different approach.

    I know it's not possible immediately. But we should aim for every Irish school to be an all irish school.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22,243 ✭✭✭✭endacl




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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    There is very little in the way of training people towards IT ..or engineering ...besides maths ...and that isn't enough. We are really behind.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,872 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore


    Why does language have a 'special place?'

    If say, Irish dancing or Irish trad music, were made mandatory subjects there would be resentment if either of those had all the spontaneity and fun sucked out of them, were made compulsory, force-studied by those who couldn't give two fcuks about them to pass an exam, and were never going to use them in adult life.

    Give those who want to learn it the opportunity to do so and let the rest in peace.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,603 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,189 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    and where the hell are the teachers going to come from?

    Schools can't find science, maths etc. teachers for instruction through English never mind Irish.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr


    Apparently, that's neo fascism 😂


    Thats how **** mental boards is now



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  • Registered Users Posts: 34,189 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    No I didn't. By international standards we're still very poor at foreign languages. But most English speakers have no incentive to become fluent in another language.

    The few who move long term to a non-English speaking country do, but even then an increasing number of companies use English in the workplace anyway, and in social circles with people from many backgrounds English is often the common language. So it's quite possible to live in a country and get little chance to practise your local language skills.

    We spend an absolutely massive amount of time, effort and money on Irish and we get practically no return for it.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,603 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    I've never understood how the Gaelgoirs allowed Irish to die like this when we're surrounded by countries with functioning bilingual educational models. The most likely explanation is good old cronyism and corruption.

    And, yeah. It's now less likely than ever for the reason you give above. The one thing that galls me is that it's always people who have no intention of learning the language themselves that are trying to force it on everyone else.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 903 ✭✭✭thegame983


    I hated every second of Irish in school. Delighted to see the back of it after the leaving cert. Make it optional.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,146 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    To be fair, most native dominant-English speaking countries experience this.

    Unless you move abroad, there are limitations to the practical use of learning a second language. But if you learn English as a second language thars not the case.

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,146 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    Well, in fairness you ARE trying to force a personal cultural preference onto an entire nation via rule of law at the expense of personal choice (although I personally would agree it's a long way short of "neo-fascism", it's not exactly freefom-of-thought orientated either).

    And lets not forget you used the phrase " colonial inferiority complex of our chattering class" so you're not exactly innocent of exagerated bullshit yourself :)

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,184 ✭✭✭riclad


    I,m not an expert but i think irish started to die off over a 100 years ago, all schoolchildren taught in english, if you wanted to work or get as job in the uk or america you needed to be able to speak irish.the irish people decided to speak english for practical reasons, also all movies ,tv,radio broadcast in ireland was in english before rte started broadcasting . the government might as well say everyone has to learn irish dancing or play hurling as part of the leaving cert, it makes as much sense as forcing people to learn irish.

    we are short of teachers because of the housing crisis ,high rents, also most young people know irish has very limited use once you leave school, studying maths, science ,french, physics will actually help you to get a job.

    people react in a negative way when forced to do something that has no practical value in real life.unless you are going to work for tg4 or become a teacher .



  • Registered Users Posts: 54,852 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    100 percent it should be made optional

    And do you know why its not? Because if it was, next to nobody would take it on.

    Nobody, bar a very small few can actually speak and understand it. Having a few words here and there doesn't mean you can speak it. The census figures are not at all a true reflection on the level of fluency of Irish on the island.

    Simple, most people will know very very few people who they would describe as somewhat fluent in Irish. I know of a few people who went to Irish speaking schools and none are all that useful as regards fluency

    Pointless waste time and resources and money.

    Years and years wasted on people forcing it, and nobody can speak/understand it

    And it doesn't make you less Irish (whatever that means) to think this

    And Ireland today is not Ireland from years ago. We are full of all different nationalities.



  • Registered Users Posts: 668 ✭✭✭PeaSea


    I can speak French to about B1 / B2 standard, so not bad really, I can scan a newspaper article and get the gist of it. I can speak enough Spanish and German to be able to order in a restaurant and ask directions. Spanish is really easy, I love Spanish, French is Ok, a bit quirky in places, German is difficult. Irish on the other hand is on a whole other level of difficult altogether. I didn't learn it in school (NI Unionist upbringing) so I've tried over the last year or so to learn through Buntus Cainte, and I really wanted to learn at least enough to know how to pronounce stuff. Sorry, but it's just not worth the effort I'm putting in, I'm giving it up for now anyway. Maybe it's because I don't actually need to speak it, whereas when I go to France / Spain sometimes theres noone who speaks English, so theres a different incentive. Maybe its because I didn't learn any of it when I was young (although I learnt Spanish 4 years ago and that was grand).



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,155 ✭✭✭✭Grayson


    I didn't do Irish for the leaving. I'm probably one of the very few Irish people who didn't. I was born in the UK but started school in Ireland. However in the middle of primary school my family moved abroad for a couple of years. So by the age of 11 I'd forgotten all my Irish and was back to square one. This meant that Irish was my worst subject. I barely passed it for inter/junior cert (I was the last year to do the inter). I passed by memorizing grammar without even knowing enough words to string a sentence together. Because I was born in the UK I didn't need to do Irish to get into university. So I asked if I could drop it and do another subject. Initially I was told yes. However after a week I was told I couldn't. Apparently the school got additional capitation based on students that did Irish. So I had to drop my other subject and return to Irish. As a compromise I had to sit at the back of the class bit could study whatever I wanted and didn't have to actually participate in the Irish class. I was registered for the aural, oral and written exams but it was communicated beforehand that I would be a no-show. And on my results there's just a dash next to Irish.


    Would I like to be able to speak Irish? yes. But I don't think anyone in my year, especially the ones who did pass Irish, had any level of fluency. The pass class were only doing it because they needed it for college.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,184 ✭✭✭riclad


    I think many people study irish and work hard at it just to get a few extra points in order to get into third level education, when i went to school we just read a few books in irish, peig ,etc sad storys that were about miserable poor people who lived in rural area,s ,eg nothing that was even remotely connected with modern life .there was no practice at actually speaking irish .i think 99 per cent of people never speak irish after school unless they live in the gaeltacht .most young people are on social media, tik tok ,youtube etc i have never seen anyone speaking irish on tik tok or youtube instagram. i have never met any one who speaks irish in daily life or is even fluent in the irish language.if i was going to school now i,d prefer to study french ,chemistry, computing ,eg anything that is useful in life after you leave school . i think tg4 is a good thing to have as it supports irish local tv production and it makes programs in irish for the people who like to watch it. its a symptom of modern life ,many languages in small countrys decline as young people know english is the global language and its useful to talk to other people on the web and in order to get a job



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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,555 ✭✭✭DublinWriter


    Yup. In fifth and sixth class in primary, the first hour of the morning was spent in a general class discussion in Irish about anything and everything - the latest episode of the Bionic man, McDonalds opening it's first outlet in Ireland, whatever, and we were all keen to talk.

    Going into first year secondary, our teacher said that she'd start from year zero and assume we didn't know anything. Big mistake.

    Then 'Peig' happened.

    In all honestly, I was more fluent in Irish coming out of a Primary education than I was my Secondary education. Why? Because there wasn't the 'bata-fada' and there was less pressure.

    Irish should be taught optionally and made more 'fun'. Take the f*cking exams out of the equation for starters. Make it more of a social experience for students.

    For those who argue it's part of our cultural identity, it's a really hard argument to make considering that it hasn't been a language spoken en-masse for around 200 years, and we've kinda done OK with our cultural identity in the meantime.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,872 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore




  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    I would have thought that was obvious?


    To get children fluent in Irish from a young age so they can stop worrying about it and just enjoy it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,872 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore


    Let's face it, it'll never be made optional as long as there's language lobbyists. If it were made optional in the morning it would be their doomsday scenario, pupils dropping it like a hot snot en masse and their notional numbers of Irish speakers plummeting.

    If they were sure of the popularity of Irish they wouldn't need to worry, but they know that it's not held in any kind of affection by the majority.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,603 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    What's obvious is that this dystopia of tormenting children further with the language is nothing more than quixotic fantasy.

    It's not going to happen. Time for the country to admit it and grow up.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,146 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock


    Catch 22 - you accept Irish schools is a long term goal, the benefit of which is getting kids fluent from an early age, but they're never going to be fluent from an early age unless you immerse them and that would entail making all schools Irish.

    Also, on the topic of actually enjoying it - they majority don't enjoy it and they never will unless the State stops forcing them to do it and pressurising them by making an Irish exam an integral part of their third level application prospects and potentially their long term dreams and goals.

    If you want them to enjoy it, relax the environment in which they learn. If you don't, then just keep doing what you're doing.

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,909 ✭✭✭✭Strumms


    It should be optional.

    no reason that students should spend hours of study on a subject / language that 95% or more of them will have no more use for after they stop studying it.

    Jeez, even an extra couple of PE classes would be more beneficial as at least it benefits health of the students.

    since leaving school over 20 years ago, I have not had a singular moment in my life where I needed the Irish language. Never uttered a singular syllable of it, never read a document just containing Irish alone and never spoke with a person who spoke Irish but not English…

    I’ve had a reasonable use for my French which I studied and became reasonably proficient at. I holiday in France regularly and have lived and worked in France for a time..

    literally studying the social behaviour of ‘farting goats’ for all that time as I studied Irish would have as much benefit to me as all that time learning Irish.

    studying Irish should not be compulsory in second level education.

    A Department of Education report shows that in 2016 almost 9,500 students did not take the Leaving Cert Irish exam out of a total of 58,500 Leaving Cert students… probably valued the study time be given to more worthwhile and important subjects. So 16.23% of students didn’t show up for that exam.



  • Registered Users, Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 2,197 Mod ✭✭✭✭Nigel Fairservice


    I sat Leaving Certificate Irish again over 10 years after I originally sat the Leaving Certificate. I really enjoyed it and a lot of the irish I had came back to me quick enough. I probably had a more mature attitude towards the language the second time than I had when I was 18. I have no issues keeping it a compulsory element of the Leaving.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,678 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manach


    No. From a historian's perspective I'm aware that a living tradition, no matter how frail, once exthinguished cannot be revived and that the failure to maintain a modicum of support for the Irish language would be the final victory of those in the past that for centuries sought to undermine the Irish people's sense of self by sanctioning the use of the Irish Language.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,872 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore


    The master plan of language revival has been an abject failure, best that can be done is enforce its usage by artificial means.



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