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Exemption from Irish - what are your experiences?

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Comments

  • #2


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    Where as my daughter does the exact opposite.

    Interesting. Any theories as to why she has gone in the other direction?


  • #2


    Tomalak wrote: »
    There's just no way he will want to start Irish when he's 9 or 10. He'll already have a hard enough time moving away from all his friends to a cloudy, cold country without having to spend 20-30% of his time in school learning a language that for all intents and purposes, no one speaks*.

    Now I could be wrong and if he tells me he wants to learn it, I'll raise no objections. But it's not going to happen.

    At that stage you won’t be the one making the decisions, you’ll be one of the parties to the negotiations :P. (Been there, done that, have the t-shirt)

    One of my son’s reasons for learning Irish was that as a citizen of Ireland, he should at least know the basics, that was at 22. He also finds it amusing to break down Irish place names to get the meaning of them, for what ever reason.


  • #2


    Tomalak wrote: »
    Interesting. Any theories as to why she has gone in the other direction?

    I really don’t know. Where we live here in Switzerland, the majority of they kids going to school are dual nationals or their parents come from different language regions and they all seem to do the same. I guess national culture is an important part of identity.

    On one occasion when he was about 6, my son came home from school and declared: Hans-Ruedi is strange! After much probing we discovered the reason - he spoke the same language to his mother AND his father. Turns out he was the only 100% Swiss-German kid in the class….


  • #2


    Tomalak wrote: »
    My eldest is just about to turn 5. A few weeks ago he got up and excused himself from his class when the Arabic teacher entered the room. When the staff followed him out and told him he had to learn, he actually argued (politely) with them that it wasn't necessary because none of his friends and family speak it, and "people don't speak it in the shops either". The teachers told me subsequently that they couldn't counter his points from the point of view of utility, which is all he was interested in.

    He is only just 5.

    For separate behavior-related reasons, we were advised to have a psychoeducational assessment done on him. As part of that, he was found to have an IQ two standard deviations above the mean. He's smarter than his parents and the psychologist told us that very often he is going to push back when rules don't make much sense to him.

    There's just no way he will want to start Irish when he's 9 or 10. He'll already have a hard enough time moving away from all his friends to a cloudy, cold country without having to spend 20-30% of his time in school learning a language that for all intents and purposes, no one speaks*.

    Now I could be wrong and if he tells me he wants to learn it, I'll raise no objections. But it's not going to happen.

    *I know that some people really do speak Irish.

    It's a tricky situation because I think it's very important that kids learn that even though some things don't make a lot of sense, they have to accept it anyway if they want to be successful, because the world isn't going to change for anybody.

    Maybe a child can get around a lot of rules that most follow, but if they grow up with that mindset they won't be very popular in any walk of life.


  • #2


    kowloonkev wrote: »
    It's a tricky situation because I think it's very important that kids learn that even though some things don't make a lot of sense, they have to accept it anyway if they want to be successful, because the world isn't going to change for anybody.

    Maybe a child can get around a lot of rules that most follow, but if they grow up with that mindset they won't be very popular in any walk of life.

    You're 100% correct. However we (as his parents) want to pick battles that are actually worth having and win them. If we insist on things that aren't truly important, we'll have reduced credibility when it comes to insisting on that things that are.


  • #2


    I was exempt from doing Irish as a child in school. Am profoundly Deaf ( ISL user). Hard enough learning/understanding English considering we cant hear spoken languages. Which is why the church/state policy of oralism was deem to fail - the linguistic suppression of Irish Sign Language - like when spoken Irish was banned by the British exept the Irish State did the exact same thing to the Deaf community in the 1950s onwards - Deaf people were forbidden from using their native sign language and punished if caught signing. Research has shown Deaf people need access to their first language ie sign to gain any type of fluency in a spoken one.

    Only thing it stopped you from doing was being a primary school teacher due to the Irish requirement. However since 2017 when ISL was recognised as a native official language of Ireland in legislation through the Irish Sign Language Act, the Irish requirement was swapped for ISL fluency - Deaf can now teach as primary school teachers in Deaf schools.


  • #2


    I did Geography to Leaving Cert. I can honestly say I don't use anything I learnt up to Leaving Cert in my day to day life! I work in an environment where a lot of Arabic speaking immigrants use our services and we are always trying to match them up with an Arabic speaking worker.

    I think starting out from the point of trying to figure out how to stop your child learning something is a strange view point. In primary school your child having an exemption from Irish isn't going yo be a benefit in the sense that they will be able to use that time to be taught something else. They are not going to learn French, or German or Chinese or Science during that time instead. Most they'll do is get their homework done or read a book.

    I know that's not the opinion you asked for, but I think it's worth pointing out. Your children will go through school learning lots of stuff that they will not ever need to use in life beyond school. (how many of us still remember all the theorems and their application?!)

    Your children may well qualify for an exemption from Irish. But that doesn't mean they have to use the exemption. And it doesn't mean they will automatically thank you for removing them from Irish. Your likes/dislikes/opinions aren't your children's. And rather than limit their learning, why not encourage it?


  • #2


    You could replace the study of Irish in your post with Catholic religion / communion and confirmation prep, and somehow I don't think anyone would raise an objection to parents seeking an exemption from those. They'd probably point you to Educate Together and be totally understanding.

    But because it's Irish, it's somehow different in the eyes of many people. There are probably many reasons for this attitude ranging from "conform, conform, why do you have to be so awkward??" to "I suffered through it; you bloody well should too" to proud-to-be-Irish types feeling a flush of anger when someone says they don't want to do it or see the point of it, to more innocuous viewpoints holding that it really is a beneficial experience.

    I was sent off to boarding school when I was 12. I hated it. I wouldn't dream of putting my kids through that experience, but hey, my dislikes are not their dislikes.

    Anyway, like I said, they'll be old enough to have a view when we move back and if they want to do it, I'll be happy to let them at it. This despite the fact that I'd rather they do homework or read a good book while the teacher is teaching the modh coinniollach and talking about the aimsear and scamaill sa speir.

    Anyway thanks for the replies and input.


  • #2


    Wanting kids to stay out of religious doctrine is completely different.
    Would you say the same for history? Useless subject, no need to learn about it, kids shouldn't have to, therefore they should be able to opt out?


  • #2


    Tomalak wrote: »
    You could replace the study of Irish in your post with Catholic religion / communion and confirmation prep, and somehow I don't think anyone would raise an objection to parents seeking an exemption from those. .

    That's not comparing like for like.

    You'd need to replace Irish with any other subject, history, geography, science, French etc to see what the objection would be.


  • #2


    I think most people would agree that Irish shouldn't be a mandatory leaving cert subject. A choice should come in after JC if not from the start of secondary school. I would agree with the OP in terms of it being really unnecessary for the most part, and I don't think the subject gave me a greater sense of Irish culture than if I had never learned a word of it.

    I'd much prefer a different subject of Irish Culture without emphasis on language that focused instead more on Irish history, traditional arts, folklore etc in primary school and as an option in secondary school, because a lot of kids just don't get introduced to that unless their parents bring them to outside classes.


  • #2


    I did Geography to Leaving Cert. I can honestly say I don't use anything I learnt up to Leaving Cert in my day to day life! I work in an environment where a lot of Arabic speaking immigrants use our services and we are always trying to match them up with an Arabic speaking worker.

    I think starting out from the point of trying to figure out how to stop your child learning something is a strange view point. In primary school your child having an exemption from Irish isn't going yo be a benefit in the sense that they will be able to use that time to be taught something else. They are not going to learn French, or German or Chinese or Science during that time instead. Most they'll do is get their homework done or read a book.

    I know that's not the opinion you asked for, but I think it's worth pointing out. Your children will go through school learning lots of stuff that they will not ever need to use in life beyond school. (how many of us still remember all the theorems and their application?!)

    Your children may well qualify for an exemption from Irish. But that doesn't mean they have to use the exemption. And it doesn't mean they will automatically thank you for removing them from Irish. Your likes/dislikes/opinions aren't your children's. And rather than limit their learning, why not encourage it?

    You may not need geography in your day to day life but that does not mean that's the case with everyone. Geography is probably used a lot more than Irish for the every day person who doesn't use it in the job.
    I don't use geography every day but I know how to use a map, I know how to get to somewhere when the satnav isn't up to the job in the boonies. I know never to buy a house on a flood plain. I know when I see a lake on the side of a mountain I know how it was formed. I have an interest in fossils and I use geography there, I also use geography to appreciate how our landscape was formed.

    Even if that kid doesn't take Irish and ends up sitting in a room with a few others to study, they sound like they are smart enough to make good use of their time. They may go against the grain when it comes to what they think is best and may p*ss a few people off for standing up to their beliefs but that doesn't mean that the world will turn against them and make it difficult. We are not all cut from the same cloth and the schooling system doesn't take that into account.

    Parents make choices when their children enter secondary school on what classes their children will take. Will they take German or French. Which of the science will it be and it should be no different when it comes to Irish.
    Why do people have such a problem with those who don't want to learn Irish, want to have an Irish identity or even interested all things Irish. People make their own choices and parents make choices for who their children want to be. Not everyone cares about having cultural identities and to be honest some of them could do with being forgotten about.


  • #2


    spookwoman wrote: »
    Parents make choices when their children enter secondary school on what classes their children will take.

    I have 3 children in secondary school. I never made the choice on what subjects they took.

    I've been through secondary school, 30 years ago, as have my siblings, our parents didn't make our subject choices.


  • #2


    I was thinking that, what parents decide their children's subjects in secondary school!?


  • #2


    spookwoman wrote: »
    Parents make choices when their children enter secondary school on what classes their children will take. Will they take German or French. Which of the science will it be and it should be no different when it comes to Irish.
    Why do people have such a problem with those who don't want to learn Irish, want to have an Irish identity or even interested all things Irish. People make their own choices and parents make choices for who their children want to be. Not everyone cares about having cultural identities and to be honest some of them could do with being forgotten about.

    Well I don't know any that did and I don't know any 13 or 14 year would agree to it either....


  • #2


    OP, just for context on where I'm coming from: I don't live in or near a gaeltacht area. Neither of my parents can speak Irish. In school Irish came very naturally to me. So naturally that I didn't even notice I was good at it.

    I did higher level Irish in my leaving cert and got an A2 in it. Easiest grade I got with by far the least amount of effort put into study. It was a nice, easy, boost to my overall points total. I got 2 higher level As in my leaving, English and Irish.

    I know for a fact that if my parents had the choice they might have been very likely to opt me out of Irish, purely on their own experience or ability. And I wouldn't have gotten the easy (for me) A in my leaving. My other subjects were all averaging Bs and Cs.

    Despite doing so well in my leaving cert, I don't use Irish in my day to day life. After 13 years of Geography I can read a map, and know not to by build a house on a flood plain but I'd guess people who haven't studied geography for 13 years could probably figure that out too! And anyone with a small bit of interest and Google could learn about fossils and lake formations in an evening. Actually all of that was probably taught in primary school.

    Speaking from my own personal experience I know my parents may have made very different choices for me if they were making choices for me, based on their own preferences. These choices almost certainly wouldn't have worked out as well for me. I wouldn't have gotten 2 As for a start. I'd have gotten 1, and a few Bs and Cs.

    I think you're always better to try something and see what happens rather than immediately shutting the option down and deciding there's no point. Your children might well decide Irish is not for them and be happy to remove themselves. Or they might find, especially if languages come naturally to them, that it's an easy honour in the leaving cert.


  • #2


    I have 3 children in secondary school. I never made the choice on what subjects they took.

    I've been through secondary school, 30 years ago, as have my siblings, our parents didn't make our subject choices.

    I think they call it Helicopter parenting!


  • #2


    In most schools unless the child has a language difficulty they will be in the classroom while the class is being taught. They will be able to work on other things albeit surrounded by an entire group learning a language. It might just be easier to let them see how they get on at in at primary level before you make a decision for second level.



  • #2


    @Big Bag of Chips Totally agree. Any subject can be relevant depending on what direction you take in life. I did Leaving Cert Chemistry and Higher Level English. Jasus so much poetry on that English course 🙄 but at least I have some knowledge of who Séamus Heaney is. Also I made soap in my kitchen but apart from that Chemistry! However Agricultural Science, French and Irish were very useful to me career wise and regards life experience . These could be absolutely useless to the next person.

    Let the child figure out what they like I’d say. You’ve no idea what’s ahead of them.



  • #2


    @Tomalak Arabic can be taken here as an extra Leaving Cert subject. A lot of kids who speak another language take that language as an extra subject. It’s great for points and entry to university. If it’s a language they speak at home or with family sure all the better. It’s encourages them to learn how to write and read the language they speak. All EU recognised languages can be taken as can Arabic and a few more. I don’t think Tagalong is one of them though.



  • #2


    I am curious why so many people who - like you - dislike Irish compare it to religion. For me at least, the comparison is not self-evident.


    Interestingly, the majority in society have moved on from obligatory religion, although there is a significant minority who keep it up. I wonder how your Tagalog-speaking partner feels about that?



  • #2


    Why do you wonder what my partner feels about what exactly?



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