The Junior Certificate examination requires inexperienced learners to write a letter and short note to a fictional reader. In this paper, written samples are analysed and questionnaire results presented from a small group of young, inexperienced learners preparing for this examination. Empirical data was collected from written samples, a game, and questionnaires. The data suggests that learners plan their German Junior Certificate short note in both English and German. They predominantly rework what they have written not by exchanging single words, but by replacing large sections of their sentences. Data obtained from questionnaires suggests that these learners’ experiences of writing in German come mainly from homework with pre-set sentences. Learners show low motivation and a lack of ownership of their work. Discussions of foreign language (FL) writing theories, models, teaching methods, and writing task design, and of practical ways of improving young learners’ attitudes to writing in the FL are included.
Ireland is a multilingual country, home to at least 212 languages, as well as English, the Irish language - the oldest language in Europe still spoken as a vernacular - and our native Irish Sign Language, whose users’ rights have only recently been signed into law. This paper will consider the main issues in language education in Ireland today from primary to third level, together with the economic, geopolitical and cultural forces which influence the ways in which we engage in communication both at home and abroad. Following a brief examination of the history which has led us to this point, it will review a number of European policies which continue to shape the manner in which both Irish and Modern Foreign Languages are learned and taught in present-day Ireland. Finally, it will assess recent policies/strategies and initiatives published by Government, the strengths and weaknesses of language education here today, and propose some measures which could boost our national languages capacity in a world which, despite some impressions to the contrary, continues to be decidedly multilingual.
Review Essay of John M. Kirk and Dónall P. Ó Baoill, eds. 2001. Linguistic Politics: Language Policies for Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland, and Scotland. Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona. xv, 258pp.
Language for Teaching Purposes makes a number of key arguments: The first and most significant is that the discourse of the language classroom is unique and distinct from general language. As a result, Non-Native Speaker Language Teachers (NNSLTs) have different language needs to their non-teaching fellow students. In order to identify the needs of German language teachers in Irish secondary schools arising from the specific features of German language classroom discourse, a corpus of approximately 62,000 words of spoken classroom discourse was analysed together with survey and interview data gathered from language teachers and language teaching and learning experts, as well as data gathered by means of classroom observations. The results provide valuable insights into the types of tasks that language teachers typically carry out and their associated language requirements.
This is a special guest edited issue of TEANGA, the Journal of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics, with nine contributions from A special issue with nine contributions, by Patrick Farren & Eugene McKendry, Eugene McKendry, Andrzej Cirocki & Aleksandra Arceusz, Anna Nunan, Charlotte Conneely, Arnd Witte & Annelie Eberhardt, Pádraig Ó Duibhir, Emma Riordan and Máirín Nic Eoin.
Déantar cur síos san alt seo ar thaithí cúigear múinteoirí agus príomhoide amháin ar an bhFoghlaim Chomhtháite Ábhar agus Teangacha (FCÁT) a chur i bhfeidhm tríd an tríú teanga i mbunscoileanna lán-Ghaeilge. Tá cáil ar FCÁT mar chur chuige atá éifeachtach leis an dara teanga a theagasc. Is éard atá i gceist le FCÁT, ná go múintear ábhar nó cuid d’ábhar trí mheán an dara teanga nó teanga bhreise. Ba scéim phíolótach cheannródaíoch a bhí sa taighde seo mar go raibh FCÁT á chur i bhfeidhm le foghlaimeoirí óga, ag baint leasa as an tríú teanga i suíomh an tumoideachais lán-Ghaeilge. Chomhtháthaigh na múinteoirí a bhí páirteach sa taighde, teanga Eorpach (An Fhraincis/An Ghearmáinis), leis an bhfoghlaim ábhair in ábhar scoile amháin le linn na scoilbhliana. Bhí réimse rang-ghrúpaí agus ábhar i gceist agus cuireadh múnlaí éagsúla de FCÁT i bhfeidhm ag brath ar inniúlacht na múinteoirí sa sprioctheanga. Bailíodh eolas cáilíochtúil faoi eispéiris na múinteoirí ó cheistneoir agus grúpa fócais. Cé gur taighde ar scála beag atá sa taighde seo, is ábhar taighde nuálach é a thugann léargas ar chuid de na saincheisteanna a bheadh le plé dá mbeadh FCÁT i bhfeidhm i scoileanna lán-Ghaeilge ar bhonn níos leithne amach anseo. Eascraíonn ceisteanna maidir leis na hábhair seo a leanas: inniúlacht múinteoirí sa sprioctheanga, forbairt ghairmiúil leanúnach do mhúinteoirí, torthaí foghlama teanga FCÁT agus soláthar áiseanna do FCÁT. Is í an phríomhcheist a eascraíonn ón taighde ná, cén múnla FCÁT ab fheiliúnaí do shainchomhthéacs na mbunscoileanna lán-Ghaeilge in Éirinn.
This article reports the experiences five Irish-medium primary teachers, and one Irish-medium principal of implementing Content and Integrated Learning (CLIL) through a third language in Irish-medium primary schools. CLIL is recognised as an effective approach to second language teaching. It entails the teaching of a subject, or a part of a subject through the medium of a second or an additional language. In this pioneering pilot study CLIL was implemented with young learners through a third language in an Irish-medium immersion setting. The teachers involved in the project integrated a European language (French/German), with content learning in one subject throughout the school year. There were a variety of class groups and subjects involved, and teachers adopted various approaches to CLIL in accordance with their own linguistic proficiency. Data relaying the teachers’ experiences and approaches to CLIL were gathered from a questionnaire and focus group interview. This small scale innovative research provides an insight into prominent questions for discussion if CLIL is to be implemented in Irish-medium schools on a wider basis. Questions arise concerning: language teacher proficiency, continuous professional development for teachers, language learning outcomes for CLIL, and the provision of specifically designed CLIL resources. A key question arising from the study is what model of CLIL would be most suitable for the specific context of Irish-medium primary schools in Ireland.
Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) has been defined as an educational approach where content is taught through the medium of a second language. The focus is on the learning of content rather than on the language. Much of the underlying theory for CLIL draws on the research from immersion education. The Irish Government’s 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 proposes to improve the proficiency in Irish of primary school pupils by offering CLIL to all pupils. This paper examines the role of CLIL in initial teacher education and the contribution that it can make to improving student teachers’ proficiency in Irish and in preparing the student teachers to teach in Irish-medium schools. While a CLIL approach has become quite common at school level in many countries, the number of empirical studies on the effectiveness of CLIL approaches on learners’ language achievement is relatively small. This paper reports on a study in St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University, where 29 Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Primary) students opted to study a number of curricular areas through the medium of Irish utilising a CLIL approach.
Úsáidtear an iliomad téarmaí chun tagairt do chuir chuige theagaisc ina ndéantar an fhoghlaim ábhair agus an fhoghlaim teanga a chomhtháthú, mar shampla tumoideachas, teagasc ábharbhunaithe (CBI), foghlaim chomhtháite ábhair agus teanga (FCÁT), cé go bhfuil mar an cuspóir coiteann acu go léir an dátheangachas suimitheach ina ndírítear ag an am céanna ar an bhfoghlaim ábhair agus ar an bhfoghlaim teanga. Tá fás tagtha ar an teagasc i dteanga iasachta ar fud na cruinne san ardoideachas (i.e. CÁTA) ach níl tuiscint iomlán againn go fóill ar conas an cumasc is éifeachtaí agus is éifeachtúla a dhearadh san ardoideachas ná ar conas a théann CÁTA i bhfeidhm ar eispéiris mac léinn iarchéime atá mar fhoghlaimeoirí teanga agus ábhar araon. Sa pháipéar seo, dírítear ar pheirspictíochtaí agus ar eispéiris mac léinn iarchéime agus iad ag gabháil le clár CÁTA le cuidiú teicneolaíochta (i.e. E-CÁTA) ar mhaithe le solas a chaitheamh ar an ábhar seo. Bailíodh sonraí cáilíochtúla agus cainníochtúla ó fhoinsí éagsúla, mar shampla meastóireachtaí deireadh modúil ar líne, meastóireachtaí na modúl le mic léinn ar an láthair, fócasghrúpaí, obair na mac léinn, breathnóireacht á déanamh ag teagascóirí, agus nótaí a scríobh na teagascóirí ar an láthair. Soláthraítear leis na torthaí léargais uathúla maidir lena éifeachtaí atá E-CÁTA mar a léirítear le hinspreagadh, neamhspleáchas agus rath na mac léinn. Cothaíodh pobal agus acmhainneacht, mar aon le hinniúlacht dhigiteach na mac léinn. Mar fhocal scoir, roinntear freisin na ceachtanna a foghlaimíodh mar aon le príomhthréithe a bhaineann le heispéiris foghlama E-CÁTA atá éifeachtach, faoi mar a léirítear sa staidéar seo, ar mhaithe leis an ngort a shaibhriú. [A wide range of terms are used to refer to instructional approaches for the integration of content and language learning e.g. immersion, content-based instruction (CBI), content and language integrated learning (CLIL), although they all commonly share the purpose of additive bilingualism via a dual focus on content and language learning. Instruction in a foreign language in higher education (i.e. ICLHE) has increased around the globe but we still have an incomplete understanding of how to design the most effective and efficient blend in higher education and of how ICLHE affects the experiences of postgraduate students who are both language and content learners. In this paper, perspectives and experiences of postgraduate students who are undertaking a technology-enhanced ICLHE programme (i.e. ICLHE) are explored in order to shed light on this topic. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from a variety of sources e.g. online end-of-module evaluations, on-site student evaluations of modules, focus groups, students’ work, tutor observations, and tutor field notes. Findings provide unique insights in relation to the effectiveness of E-ICLHE as indicated by student motivation, autonomy and success. Community and capacity were cultivated and students’ digital competence was fostered. Finally, the lessons learned are shared along with the main characteristics associated with E-ICLHE learning experiences which are effective in enriching the field, as shown in this study.]
This study investigated the effect of motivational orientations and the social aspects of emotional intelligence (EI) on L2 Spanish learners’ willingness to participate in a study abroad program. The only significant result was the correlation between an integrative motivational orientation and the Altruism Scale score (N = 68, r = .290, p < .05), indicating that those learners with a higher desire to learn the L2 in order to interact with members of the target community also showed more responsiveness to others as measured by empathy, nurturance, helpfulness, and social responsibility. No additional interactions were found between the motivational orientations and the social aspects of EI. Neither the motivational orientations (integrative/instrumental) nor the social subscales of EI used correlated with the L2 learners’ participation in a short-term (three weeks to Costa Rica, N = 30) or a long-term study abroad program (a full semester to Spain, N = 13). This finding is indicative that those variables do not seem to have an influential effect or predictability on whether participants would ultimately continue their study of L2 Spanish in a foreign country or at home in the near future.
This article presents an investigation of the benefits of a period of residence in a francophone country for a group of Irish university learners of French in relation to their acquisition of verb morphology to express past time. The study makes a cross-sectional comparison between this group of learners with two other groups: one, a group of learners before they leave for a period of residence abroad, and the other consisting of learners who chose not to partake in such a programme, but who continued to have further access to the target language through classroom instruction. Whilst results suggest that ‘study abroad’ has a more important effect than instruction, as manifested by general increases in the frequency, as well as accuracy, of use of the past tenses; the increased range of lexical verbs marked for past time; and a reduction in formal error; there remain a number of lexical limitations on such marking, such that past time marking continues to be constrained by the lexical value of the verb. In particular, unlike the passé composé, the imparfait is used with a limited range of verbs, notably étre and avoir. The occurrence of verbs conjugated in both tenses also remains limited, whereby the learners tend not to alternate freely between both past time forms with individual lexical verbs, but rather to restrict individual lexical verbs to a single past time form.
This paper uses a corpus of first-year undergraduate Philosophy essays collected in a third level university in Ireland from the same group of students over two semesters to examine the relationship between the language used by these students and the grade received from the assessor. The corpus consists of 60 essays. The personal pronoun I within the argument and within the text as a whole is examined and compared across grades and across semesters. A number of reasons for the students choosing to use personal pronouns are identified and the correlation between these functions and the grade received is then explored. Furthermore, the change in the linguistic realization of these functions over the course of time is demonstrated. This data is used to argue that research into academic writing needs to be carried out over time, and that students need to be enabled to express their opinions and organize their texts in an appropriate manner.
In 2008, a national working group was established in Ireland with the objective of producing a new third level Irish-language syllabus based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001). The need for such a syllabus was widely acknowledged by third level teachers of Irish, in particular by those working in Irish Departments in the Colleges of Education. This article documents the progress of the Syllabus Project initiated by the national working group, and addresses in particular the question of linguistic
diversity among student teachers preparing for a career in the primary school sector. The author considers language teaching in the debate about initial teacher education models, the policy background to the Syllabus Project, pedagogy and practice in piloting the new syllabus, and future perspectives on third level Irish-language course provision.
This paper is concerned with the special nature of Sign Language verbs, in particular to this research, Irish Sign Language (ISL) verbs. We use Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) (Van Valin 2005) to provide a definition of the structure of lexical entries that are sufficiently rich and universal in nature to represent ISL verbs. This work is part of research work in the development of a linguistically motivated computational framework for ISL. We use RRG (Van Valin and LaPolla 1997) as the theoretical framework of this study. RRG takes language to be a system of communicative social action, and accordingly, analysing the communicative functions of grammatical structures plays a vital role in grammatical description and theory from this perspective (Van Valin 2005). Using RRG provides significant theoretical and technical challenges within both RRG and software.
We provide an account of the morphological and grammatical information that can be found within ISL verbs. We use the Signs of Ireland corpus (SOI) to access the relevant linguistic data pertinent to ISL (Leeson et al, 2006). Further to this we use ELAN software as an application tool, which allows us to view the corpus and collate relevant linguistic phenomena pertinent to ISL. We utilise the Event Visibility Hypothesis (EVH) (Wilbur 2008) in the development of our proposed lexicon architecture. We refer to Articulatory Structure Level (Murtagh 2018) in the development of a linguistically motivated computational definition of lexicon entries that are sufficiently robust in nature to represent ISL verbs within the RRG lexicon. We utilise this new level of lexical representation (Pustejovsky 1995), which describes the essential (computational) phonological parameters of an object as defined by the lexical item to cater specifically for the computational linguistic phenomena consistent with signed languages, in particular to this research ISL, enabling us to provide an adequate account of ISL verbs within the RRG lexicon.
This paper presents a study designed to identify the language learning strategies associated with the achievement of higher levels of oral proficiency in German for one hundred Irish, third level students. The study also investigates the way in which learners achieving higher levels of proficiency use these strategies.
This paper considers issues faced by multilingual families in supporting their children’s acquisition of minority home languages. These include the challenges posed by majority language dominance in society and education, limited opportunities for minority language input and interaction, and possible differences in the language acquisition experience of siblings (De Houwer, 2007; Barron-Hauwaert, 2011; Bridges and Hoff, 2014). The paper reports on a comparative case study which investigated the early childhood language development of two siblings acquiring Bosnian and English in Ireland. Based on audio and video recordings of the children in the home environment, it focuses on the acquisition of the minority language, Bosnian, by the eldest and youngest of three sisters. Following a previous study (Finnegan-Ćatibušić, 2006), it compares the children's linguistic development in the minority language and how this may be influenced by discourse patterns in family interaction (Döpke, 1992; Genessee, 2002; 2008). The children's development of biliteracy (Cummins, 2012) and community efforts to promote minority language maintenance are also discussed. Multilingualism is considered from an ecological perspective (Van Lier, 2004; Creese and Blackledge, 2010), exploring steps that families can take to create linguistic environments which support minority language development. This research is set in the context of an increasingly multilingual Ireland, in which migrant languages have been acknowledged as a ‘resource’ by the Department of Education and Skills (DES, 2017). The study shows that children’s multilingual development often occurs outside formal education, in family and community settings. Its findings indicate that, within the education system, there is a need for greater recognition of multilingualism from the early years and for the promotion of multilingual approaches to education (Kirwan, 2013; Ćatibušić and Little, 2014; Cummins, 2015).
Increasingly, children enter Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings with English as an additional language (EAL) and for many of these linguistically diverse children, their knowledge and skills in the English language is less-well developed than native-speaking (NS) peers. Much research over the past few decades has indicated how important early language and emergent literacy development is within ECEC settings, as children’s skills in these domains underpins later literacy development and academic achievement. Furthermore, many children from linguistically diverse backgrounds tend to have less well-developed vocabulary knowledge and struggle with aspects of literacy later on. In this paper we present the findings of a Professional Development (PD) intervention study aimed at helping teachers to develop and implement effective strategies that support oral language skills in both EAL and NS pupils. We discuss these findings in relation to two other oral language interventions where the focus was on working directly with pupils. We argue that whereas evidence suggests interventions working directly with pupils can be more effective on improved child language outcomes, we need to focus more energy on developing good PD for Early Years Practitioners to support them in their critical roles in children’s educational development.
This paper explores the acceptance of a “silent period” as a stage in second language development for children acquiring English as an Additional Language in Early Years settings. Current views suggest that it is normal for children to very quickly stop using their mother tongue and enter a period of silence. A positive perspective on this is that children may be using this time to observe and grow in understanding of the second language. However, there may also be negative effects, as children may become withdrawn and miss out on opportunities to develop relationships and language. It is the argument of this paper that if this silent period is normalised, there is potential for ambivalence around the well-being of the child which may run counter to best Early Years practice. This study consisted of a qualitative content analysis which drew on twenty case studies collected by Early Years Educators documenting children’s progress over the initial weeks and months in Early Years settings. The main findings were that some children did indeed enter a silent period and shyness was a risk factor for this being prolonged. Non-verbal communication was used positively by some children to develop relationships with other children, but negatively by others, in the form of aggression and frustration, until they developed enough language to communicate. The children who did best continued to use their home language and non-verbal communication which enabled them to form relationships. Over time this became a bridge into the second language. Strategies used by educators included supporting children in small groups and bringing the home language into the setting in keeping with recommendations of policy documents in Ireland. Ultimately, this paper argues that the normalisation of a silent period may infringe on children’s rights to be active participants in their own learning. Moreover, it may limit the extent to which they are meaningfully valued, respected, empowered, cared for and included in Early Years settings.
Interference from spoken language can hinder adult learners’ reading, so it is helpful for tutors to be aware of differences between spoken and written syntax. Study of the incidence of ellipsis in two adult learners’ conversational language demonstrates the absence of most forms of coordination and subordination ellipsis typical of writing, and the frequent omission of subordinators, including the total absence of that relatives from one informant’s corpus. Examples of typically spoken situational ellipsis draw attention to the different locus of reference (situational or textual) in spoken and written ellipsis, and therefore the different strategy of interpretation required in reading. It is also shown that the use and non-use of ellipsis often have communicative functions in the dialogues that reflect linguistic skills rather than sloppiness or incompetence. Implications for tuition are suggested.
Set against the backdrop of the #metoo movement which has positioned inter-gender communication as a “locus of struggle” (Watts, 2003, p. 21) with respect to what constitutes appropriate means of communication, the current study aims to shed light on how young Irish adult females and males aged 18-25 perceive gendered compliments in terms of politeness and appropriateness. A questionnaire was developed using 24 compliments from a corpus of compliments generated from Irish participants of the same age (Marnane, 2020). Of the compliments presented, half originated from females and other half from males and they were evenly distributed between appearance and performance compliments. The participants were blinded to the gender of the complimenters, and although the situations were provided, it was not explicitly stated which compliments were appearance based and which were performance based. Participants were subsequently asked to rate the compliments in terms of politeness and appropriateness. A total of 150 replies were received which included 60 self-identifying males and 90 self-identifying females. The study finds that not only do Irish males and females perceive compliments differently but that these differences relate to compliment type and the gender of the person receiving the compliment. It is hypothesised that the differences between Irish males and females’ compliment perceptions are due to gendered enactment of compliments as well as changing cultural norms.
Cíorann an t-alt seo na múnlaí teanga atá i réim sa Ghaeilge .i. na spriocanna don teanga a nglactar leo sa lá inniu. Déantar anailís ar na múnlaí teanga atá intuigthe san anailís teangeolaíochta agus i gcáipéisí curaclaim na Gaeilge ón réamhscolaíocht go dtí an ollscolaíocht. Féachtar ina dhiaidh sin ar na hidé-eolaíochtaí teanga ar a bhfuil na múnlaí sin bunaithe agus ar na tuiscintí a chuireann siad in iúl maidir leis an rud is teanga ann. Ceistítear roinnt de na tuiscintí seanbhunaithe ar an rud is Gaeilge agus Gaeilge mhaith ann sa lá inniu. Ar deireadh, cuirtear moltaí i láthair maidir leis an tslí a bhfaighfí múnlaí teanga na Gaeilge a athshamhlú don aonú aois is fiche.
This article examines dominant language models in Irish, i.e. the target language varieties of Irish that are deemed most acceptable today. The language models implicit in linguistic analyses and in Irish language curriculum documents from preschool to university level are analysed. The ideologies on which those models are based and the implicit understandings of what constitutes ‘a language’ are examined. Some long-established ideas about what Irish is and what good Irish should look like are questioned. Finally, recommendations are made about how language models for Irish might be reimagined for the twenty-first century.
Tá an córas sintéiseach téacs-go-hurlabhra, ABAIR (www.abair.ie), á fhorbairt sa tSaotharlann Foghraíochta agus Urlabhra i gColáiste na Tríonóide le roinnt blianta anuas agus tá na guthanna sintéiseacha ar fáil anois sna trí mhórchanúint – Canúint na Mumhan (baineann agus fireann), Canúint Connacht (fireann) agus Canúint Uladh (baineann). Tá obair thaighde ar siúl sa tSaotharlann le blianta beaga anuas chun féachaint ar na feidhmeanna ar féidir a bhaint as na guthanna seo. Tá an páipéar seo dírithe ar an úsáid a d'fhéadfaí a bhaint astu i réimse Fhoghlaim Ríomhchuidithe Teangacha-Chliste (FRT-Chliste) agus go háirithe ar an úsáid a d'fhéadfaí a bhaint astu i bhforbairt ardán a cheadódh don fhoghlaimeoir idirghníomhaíocht phearsanta a dhéanamh leis an ríomhaire, rud a chabhródh le foghlaim fhéinriartha na Gaeilge. Léirítear féidearthachtaí na teicneolaíochtaí seo i gcomhthéacs an ardáin phíolótaigh, An Scéalaí, atá á fhorbairt faoi láthair.
Text-to-speech synthesis systems are being developed as part of the ABAIR initiative (www.abair.ie), in the Phonetics and Speech Laboratory in Trinity College Dublin. Synthetic voices are now available in the three major dialects - Munster (female and male), Connacht (male) and Ulster (female). This paper gives an overview of the Irish synthetic voices and focuses on their use in the context of Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (iCALL) and in particular their use in the development of interactive language learning platforms for the self-directed learning of Irish. The potential of this technology is demonstrated in the context of a new iCALL platform, An Scéalaí (‘the Storyteller’), currently under development.
Irish immersion education, although traditionally deemed as an advantage enjoyed principally by middle-class families where parents were a driving force of demand and promotion, has become increasingly available to a more diverse body of students throughout Ireland. Diversity takes shape mainly in the socio-economic, linguistic, ethnic and special educational needs of students from various backgrounds attending Irish-medium schools. Thirteen Irish-medium primary schools situated in designated areas of disadvantage throughout Ireland are part of the DEIS1 Plan, which offers additional support to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of young people who are at social disadvantage.
This paper examines the challenges and benefits of immersion for students in Irish-medium education in disadvantaged settings. We present data collected from school principals, teachers and special education teachers on the issues that impact the schools and their students. The main issues highlighted were poor acquisition of English as a first language, attending to the needs of children with learning difficulties, lack of awareness and diagnostic tools in Irish during psychological assessments, lack of parental support, deficiencies in appropriate teaching and assessment resources through Irish, the absence of language support for Irish and a language support teacher, and a need for a greater emphasis in teacher education on immersion education and on education in socially disadvantaged settings.
Coimriú Tá an córas tumoideachais in Éirinn imithe ó neart go neart le leathchéad bliain anuas. Is mór an t-éileamh atá ar an gcineál scolaíochta seo ar fud na tíre, ag leibhéal na bunscoile ach go háirithe. Cé go bhfuil sé tugtha le fios le fada an lá go mbaineann raidhse buntáistí leis an gcóras tumoideachais, is fada an tuiscint againn gur córas casta é le cur i bhfeidhm go rathúil agus maítear go bhfuil dúshláin ar leith le sárú fós sa chóras in Éirinn ar mhaithe leis an tairbhe is fearr a bhaint as. De réir na litríochta, ceann de na gnéithe is dúshlánaí atá roimh mhúinteoirí agus dhaltaí tumoideachais is ea sealbhú na gramadaí agus úsáid chruinn an dara teanga (T2) i measc daltaí. In ainneoin go moltar aiseolas ceartaitheach (AC) a úsáid go córasach sa rang tumoideachais chun botúin ghramadaí na ndaltaí a cheartú, tuairiscítear go mbíonn mearbhall ar mhúinteoirí tumoideachais maidir le conas agus cathain botúin ghramadaí a cheartú, go háirithe le linn theagasc ábharbhunaithe. Ach, is fíorbheag taighde atá curtha i gcrích sa ghort seo i gcomhthéacs na hÉireann. Sa pháipéar reatha, tabharfar léargas ar thaighde cáilíochtúil a rinne iniúchadh ar dhearcthaí múinteoirí agus daltaí maidir le húsáid chórasach AC i suíomhanna tumoideachais lán-Ghaeilge. Bailíodh sonraí taighde ó mhúinteoirí (n=8) trí agallaimh leathstruchtúrtha, ó dhaltaí Rang 5 trí ghrúpaí fócais (n=31) agus bhailigh na taighdeoirí tuilleadh sonraí trí sheisiúin bhreathnóireachta sna seomraí ranga le linn idirghabháil an taighde. Cuirfear na torthaí cáilíochtúla ba shuntasaí i láthair sa pháipéar seo agus pléifear a n-impleachtaí i dtaobh an teagaisc agus an taighde amach anseo. Cuireann an taighde faoi chaibidil le corpas litríochta an ghoirt agus tacóidh sé le múinteoirí agus le daltaí botúin ghramadaí a thapú mar dheiseanna foghlama d’fhonn ardchaighdeán sealbhaithe T2 a chur chun cinn. Abstract Immersion education in Ireland has experienced considerable growth over the past number of decades and strong demand currently exists for this type of schooling on the island. While the literature generously celebrates the benefits associated with immersion education, it is understood that it is a complex and multifaceted system which presents many challenges in its effective implementation. It has been acknowledged that one of the greatest challenges, facing both immersion teachers and students, is the accurate acquisition of the students’ second language. Although a growing body of international research presents oral corrective feedback (CF) as a successful pedagogical approach to enhance L2 accuracy among students, it is well documented that teachers remain uncertain of how or when to correct students’ linguistic errors, during content lessons in particular. Given the paucity of research that exists in this field in Ireland, CF warrants further attention within the Irish language immersion context. In light of this, the current paper explores the prominent qualitative findings which emerged from a research study that investigated teachers’ and students’ perspectives of CF when implemented in a systematic manner in the Irish immersion classroom. To unpack participants’ perspectives, qualitative data were gathered from eight immersion teachers through semi-structured interviews and focus groups with eight Grade 5 class groupings (n=31). Researchers also engaged in regular observation routines in the participating classrooms, which generated further research data. The most significant research findings that emerged from the study are explored in the current paper and stemming from these findings, implications for future research, practice and policy are discussed. It is intended that the current study and paper will contribute to research in Ireland and further afield while also supporting teachers with implementation of CF in a systematic manner in immersion classrooms.
This paper is a follow-up study of one Polish immigrant child’s early experience as she is attending different primary schools in Ireland. The focus is on how heritage language socialisation goals affect her goals and identity negotiation through her daily practices as she grows up in multilingual environment and try to find her place in a new country and society.
We set out the theoretical background, methodology, final results from the longitudinal study (four years) involving such student and her family, as she also attends Polish weekend school in addition to her mainstream school. The theoretical and analytical approach combines Ethnography of Communication approach to data collection and field work (participant home and school observations, audio-recordings of child’s interactions with her peers, her teachers and parents, open-ended interviews, samples of her written work) with Discourse Analysis approaches (Duff, 1995; Davis & Harre 1990, Harre & Langenhove, 1999, Ochs & Capps, 2001). A particular focus is placed on positions and stances taken with respect to sociohistorical and cultural norms and values represented by each language and culture including religious practices. When a new language and culture are being socialized, they must inevitably affect individuals’ moral and emotional systems to a great extent. This is because, some unresolved conflicts of cultural allegiances and ambivalence about identity may shake one’s sense of belonging and even slow the learning process. It can impact on the later command of two languages and integration. On the other hand, “comfortable bicultural identity” and “non-ethnocentric views” of people in general, together with a strong aptitude for language learning, proved to be one of the main factors determining success in becoming skilled in two languages and two cultures (Lambert, 1962, in Paulson & Tucker 2006, pp.315-319). Thus, it is often admitted in the Language Socialisation literature that cultural ideologies not only have a profound effect on those who learn a new language, but also influence the learning and further socialisation of their first language and culture. This micro-analysis of language socialisation is contextualized within a more holistic account of the Polish community in Ireland (Singleton, 2007) - a community culturally shaped by, and in turn shaping, wider societal and cultural ideologies, values and power relations.
Scripts of two popular television shows, the American show ‘The Simpsons’ and the Irish show ‘Father Ted,’ were assessed in the context of Grice’s (1975) conventions of conversational coherence. Episodes with similar subject matter were compared. Grice’s conventions are appropriate parameters for comparison given that much humour is based on conversational misunderstandings. Chi-squared tests revealed significant differences between the two shows in violations of the conventions of ‘Matter’ and ‘Relation’, but no differences in violations categorized as ‘Quality’ or ‘Other’. Specifically, the Irish show contained more violations of the convention of Quality than did the American show, whereas the opposite was true with regard to the convention of Manner. Implications of such analyses of contrived humour for the understanding of language comprehension are discussed.
Coimriú Sa pháipéar seo, baintear leas as modheolaíochtaí corpasbhunaithe chun anailís dhiacronach a dhéanamh ar dhá théarma Gaeilge a thagraíonn do shaincheantair thíreolaíocha in Éirinn, is é sin ‘Gaeltacht’ agus ‘Galltacht’, ag tús an 20ú haois agus arís ag tús an 21ú haois. Chuige sin, cruthaíodh dhá shainchorpas tréimhseachán agus baineadh leas as modheolaíochtaí corpais chun anailís a dhéanamh ar úsáid an dá théarma. Cíortar na bríonna éagsúla a bhaineann leis an dá théarma agus rianaítear na hathruithe suntasacha a tharla ar bhrí na dtéarmaí le linn an 20ú haois. Déantar grinnanailís ar chomhthéacs úsáide na dtéarmaí trí thorthaí na gcuardach corpais a iniúchadh. Cuireann an taighde seo leis an taighde atá curtha i gcrích go nuige seo ar fhorbairt agus ar chonstruáil an dá choincheap, ‘Gaeltacht’ agus ‘Galltacht’, trí mhodheolaíochtaí úra corpais a úsáid. Eochairfhocail: an teangeolaíocht chorpais, an tsochtheangeolaíocht, Gaeilge, an Ghaeltacht, an téarmaméadracht Abstract In this paper, we use corpus-based methods to undertake diachronic analysis of two Irish-language terms, ‘Gaeltacht’ and ‘Galltacht’, which refer to specific linguistic regions in Ireland, at the beginning of the 20th century and again at the beginning of the 21st century. Two specific-purpose corpora of periodicals from these periods were created for the purposes of this research. The various meanings associated with both terms are examined and the major changes in meaning during the intervening period are mapped and discussed. An in-depth analysis of the corpus search results and contextual usages is carried out. This research builds on prior research undertaken in other fields on the development and construction of these two concepts, ‘Gaeltacht’ and ‘Galltacht’ through the application of new corpus-based methodologies.
The following paper presents an action research project investigating four approaches to teaching Chinese as a foreign language (henceforth CFL) to beginner learners in an Irish secondary school over a period of 16 weeks. Around 85 participants were divided into four groups and were taught Chinese via one method of rote memorisation, delayed character introduction, character colour-coding, or a unity curriculum approach respectively. The fourth group acted as a comparative group, and focused on all four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Participants were taught for two one-hour classes per week and each group covered the same material, including learning 107 Chinese words and their characters. Upon completion of the 16 weeks of teaching, participants were presented with identical recognition and recall tests, whereby higher results in each group reveal effectiveness in a given teaching approach, and provided written feedback detailing their learning experience in the form of a questionnaire. It was found from the questionnaires that all participants felt that learning Chinese was challenging, particularly the characters. While all groups struggled to provide correct answers in the recognition and recall tests, the character colour-coding group coped best in providing the highest percentage of correct answers in both tests. At the same time, all groups agreed that more time spent learning would have allowed for more favourable outcomes. It is hoped that the current study will encourage further research relating to character-teaching methods, with particular reference to using colour, as well as providing some possible guidelines for a future Irish secondary school Chinese language course that is currently in the planning stage. These may include guidelines not only relating to the use of colour when teaching characters, but also in relation to the amount of time spent learning Chinese both inside and outside the classroom.
Cuirfear síos ag tús an ailt, ar anailís earráidí a rinneadh ar earráidí coitianta sa Ghaeilge scríofa a bhí ag grúpa bunmhúinteoirí faoi oiliúint (n=80). Ag eascairt ón anailís ar earráidí, roghnaíodh ceithre spriocstruchtúr: na huimhreacha, an aidiacht shealbhach, na réamhfhocail shimplí is cúis le séimhiú ar chonsan agus an t-ainm briathartha d’idirghabháil foirm-dhírithe. Cuireadh cur chuige déaduchtach i bhfeidhm le dhá ghrúpa, agus cuireadh cur chuige ionduchtach-follasach i bhfeidhm le dhá ghrúpa (n=60), ar feadh caoga nóiméad sa tseachtain, thar thréimhse d’ocht seachtaine. Rinneadh iniúchadh sa staidéar seo, ar éifeachtacht an teagaisc fhollasaigh ar ghnóthachtáil na múinteoirí faoi oiliúint (n=60) ar na ceithre spriocstruchtúr. Fiosraíodh ach go háirithe, cé acu cur chuige follasach ab éifeachtaí, cur chuige déaduchtach nó cur chuige ionduchtach-follasach, le forbairt a dhéanamh ar léireolas na mac léinn ar na struchtúir.
Cuireadh triail ghramadaí ar na mic léinn ag Céim a hAon (roimh an idirghabháil); ag Céim a Dó (díreach i ndiaidh na hidirghabhála); agus ag Céim a Trí (seacht seachtaine i ndiaidh na hidirghabhála). Léiríodh difríocht shuntasach le tomhas mór éifeachta i ngnóthachtáil na mac léinn ar na ceithre struchtúr, ó Céim a hAon go Céim a Dó, gan ach titim bheag sna torthaí ag Céim a Trí, leis an dá chur chuige follasacha. Tháinig sé chun solais sa taighde gur tháinig feabhas ní ba mhó ar struchtúir áirithe i ndiaidh an teagaisc fhollasaigh, agus gurbh é struchtúr an ainm bhriathartha an struchtúr ba dhúshlánaí as na ceithre struchtúr do na mic léinn. Tugadh le fios gur chothaigh giniúint an eolais fhógraigh dúshlán ar leith do na múinteoirí faoi oiliúint. Tugann torthaí na hanailíse earráidí léargas suimiúil ar na hearráidí ba choitianta sa Ghaeilge scríofa a bhí ag grúpa amháin bunmhúinteoirí faoi oiliúint. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an bpáipéar túsphlé a spreagadh ar eolas gramadúil bunmhúinteoirí faoi oiliúint agus ar theagasc na gramadaí sna hinstitiúidí oideachais.
Results from an error analysis of common errors in written Irish from a sample of student primary school teachers (n=80) are presented at the beginning of the paper. Arising from the analysis four target structures: numbers, the possessive adjective, simple prepositions which lenite consonants and the verbal noun clause, were selected for a form-focused intervention. A deductive approach was implemented with two groups, and an explicit-inductive approach was implemented with two groups (n=60), for fifty minutes per week, over an eight week period. This study examined the effectiveness of explicit grammar teaching on the student primary teachers’ achievement on the four target structures. The study investigated in particular, which explicit approach, a deductive or an explicit-inductive approach, would be most effective in developing the students’ explicit knowledge of target forms.
An Irish grammar test was administered to students at Time One (before the intervention); at Time Two (immediately following the intervention); and at Time Three (seven weeks after the intervention). Results revealed a significant difference, with a large effect size, in student achievement on the four target structures from Time One to Time Two, with a slight decrease in scores at Time Three, for both explicit approaches. The study showed that student achievement increased more on particular structures, as a result of the explicit teaching, and that the verbal noun clause was the most challenging of the four structures for the students. Results also indicated that the production of declarative knowledge posed a significant challenge for the student teachers. Results from the error analysis provide an interesting insight into the common grammatical errors in written Irish, of one sample of student primary teachers. It is intended that this paper will initiate dialogue about the grammatical knowledge of student primary teachers and the teaching of grammar in Institutes of Education.
This study investigates potential shifts in relative language dominance in early sequential bilinguals across the primary school years. The subjects are thirty-eight Polish-English speaking children. A new test, the Child HALA (Dubiel & Guilfoyle, 2017), is introduced, which measures shifts in relative language strength by comparing lexical accuracy and response time between two languages. This test has been designed specifically for use with children, and is based on the HALA psycholinguistic tool (O’Grady, Schafer et al., 2009). The aim of this study is twofold. The first goal is to evaluate shifts in the relative language strength in both languages by examining changes in lexical accuracy and response time (RT). The focus is on the impact of word frequency on lexical accuracy and access, and the link between the frequency of language use and its relative strength and maintenance in bilinguals. The second aim is to examine the CHILD HALA’s suitability, reliability and applicability in research on language acquisition and maintenance in young bilinguals. In particular, the objective is to evaluate whether the test will show a pattern of shifts in language strength comparable to the outcomes of previous research. The results show that the children’s relative language dominance shifts from the initially stronger L1 Polish to the more dominant L2 English between the age of eight and eleven. The Child HALA test discovers reliable results across age groups and languages when compared with other studies that investigated lexical accuracy and access (Kohnert, Bates & Hernandez, 1999; Jia, Kohnert, Collado & Aquino-Garcia, 2006), and therefore may be considered as a reliable method in assessing language strength and maintenance in children. The results also support the earlier finding by O’Grady et al. (2009) and Tang (2011) of the response time measure being more sensitive and precise in the assessment of language strength than lexical accuracy alone. This study contributes to the broader field of bilingual language acquisition, and the Child HALA may be considered as a reliable method in assessing language strength and maintenance in young children.
This paper aims to examine attitudes towards trilingualism by focusing on the minority language (Basque in Basque Country and Irish in Ireland) and the L3 (English in the Basque Country and French, Spanish, or German in Ireland). The participants are 1,087 Basque university students and 250 Irish third-level students. By using the same questionnaire--- based on Baker (1992) ---both in the Basque Country and Ireland, the research aims to explore attitudes in two contexts which share some similarities while at the same time retaining their own sociolinguistic features. Thus, it is expected that the level of proficiency in the minority language will exert a clearly positive impact on attitudes to Irish and Basque. Similarly, it is hypothesized that different attitudes to the L3 will be shown in both contexts for different sociolinguistic reasons.
This paper describes some of the results of a study undertaken in 1997, in the form of an M.A. thesis, on attitudes and motivations of undergraduate students of German at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. It examines students’ perceptions of the learning process and learning outcomes, as well as student recommendations for the enhancement of the learning process. Within the theoretical framework, it seeks to establish the relationship between attitudes and motivation, based on student perceptions. As the debate on motivations and attitudes continues, current theories and hypotheses have been subsequently applied to these findings
The integration of a foreign language into early childhood education is becoming more and more widespread. Yet there is a lack of specific teacher training and no clearly-defined pre-primary foreign language pedagogy to guide and support teachers. This article presents data from a recent initiative by a provider of out-of-school English classes in Europe to support teachers in implementing a pre-primary programme and in developing pre-primary foreign language pedagogy. This formed part of a wider change-management and innovation process looking at higher efficiencies and effectiveness, and bringing together in one coherent approach best practice throughout the region in the teaching of English to pre-primary children. The pre-primary programme is underpinned by the pedagogical principles of the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and the HighScope approach to early childhood education with its overarching ‘plan-do-review’ structure for learning sequences which values children’s voices and agency. Initially, there was some apprehension amongst teachers due to a lack of experience of teaching pre-primary children and some resistance from others who believed that young children are not capable of reflecting on their learning or of making choices about their learning. An important feature of the change-management process was the implementation of a normative-re-educative approach and the provision of ongoing training and professional development. This involved teachers in the adaptation of the organisation’s global statement of approach to English language teaching to an age-appropriate version for a pre-primary context in order to develop pre-primary foreign language pedagogy. It also encouraged teachers to re-examine their existing beliefs and attitudes in order to recognise children’s reflective capacities given appropriate support and scaffolding, and to rethink the power dynamics in the adult-child relationship moving to one of more shared control. Data from surveys conducted with teachers at the initial stage of the programme and 18 months later provides evidence which shows that, over time, teacher’s beliefs and attitudes have changed. Conclusions are drawn from the experience of the project and the factors influencing changes in teacher’s views are discussed.
Over the past two decades, much discussion in sociolinguistics and the sociology of language has centred on concerns over the survival prospects of lesser-used or minority languages. The aim of the research being reported on here was to shed light on one such language case --- Galician, spoken in the Autonomous Community of Galicia in the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Of Spain’s officially recognized regional languages, Galician, known to its speakers as ‘galego’, shows greatest numerical strength within its own territorial region. According to census results, an overwhelming majority of the Galician population report an ability to speak the language and sociolinguistic surveys reveal that Galician is the habitual language of over two-thirds of the population. However, despite its apparent strength in numerical terms, as the following pages will show, a closer analysis of the Galician sociolinguistic context highlights a more precarious future for the language.
This study explores principals’ attitudes towards the suitability of language immersion education (LIE) enrolment for children with dyslexia in Ireland. It also aims to examine the challenges faced by those in LIE settings working to include children with special educational needs (SEN), specifically dyslexia, in their schools. Participants include primary school principals working in Irish LIE settings across Ireland. The study follows a mixed methods approach including a focus group interview and a self-completion online questionnaire. Results indicate that principals believe that LIE enrolment is suitable for children with dyslexia and that these children can benefit from being placed in such a learning environment. However, the Irish immersion system faces considerable challenges in its aims to support children with dyslexia, namely the lack of an appropriate assessment system, the lack of sufficient research and training and negative attitudes held towards the Irish language.
In this paper, we discuss the difficulties of building reliable machine translation systems for the English-Irish (EN-GA) language pair. In the context of limited datasets, we report on assessing the use of backtranslation as a method for creating artificial EN-GA data to increase training data for use state-of-the-art data-driven translation systems. We compare our results to earlier work on EN-GA machine translation by Dowling et al (2016, 2017, 2018) showing that while our own systems do not compare in quality with respect to traditionally reported BLEU metrics, we provide a linguistic analysis to suggest that future work with domain specific data may prove more successful.
The nature of writing and its interaction with the other language skills are examined, and approaches to teaching writing are presented. The use of word processing in the writing process is reviewed, and the positive and negative effects of word processing on writing are outlined. A study which was carried out to examine the impact of computer use on revision behaviour is described, and its findings are discussed. Recommendations are made regarding the use of word processing in the writing curriculum.
Since the mid-1990s, Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní), a primary school in the suburbs of Dublin, has experienced an unprecedented increase in the level of linguistic and cultural diversity in its pupil body. This paper explains how, in responding to this new phenomenon, an integrated approach to language learning was developed in the school in cooperation with teachers, pupils and parents. The school’s language policy had two overarching goals:
To ensure that all pupils become proficient in the language of schooling
To exploit the linguistic diversity of the school for the benefit of all pupils
Welcoming the plurilingual repertoires of all learners involves the inclusion of home languages in curriculum delivery, and the classroom procedures that facilitate family involvement are described in the present article. The extent to which all languages of the school community are equally valued in light of this programme are examined, including the Irish language, language awareness, and learner autonomy. Issues arising from this approach to linguistic diversity are discussed in addition to implications for practice, policy and further research.
Bhí iliomad coiste, comhairle, agus coimisiúin a rinne iniúchadh ar an gcóras oideachais Gaeltachta i gcaitheamh na mblianta ó 1926 i leith. Tugadh neamhaird den chuid is mó ar mholtaí na dtuarascálacha éagsúla go dtí gur foilsíodh Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile (An Chomhairle Náisiúnta Curaclaim agus Measúnachta, 2015) agus an Polasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta (An Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, 2016). Ceadaítear tréimhse tumadh iomlán sa Ghaeilge den chéad uair de réir na moltaí sna cáipéisí sin. Ardaíonn sé seo ceisteanna do scoileanna Gaeltachta maidir le riachtanais oideachais teanga cainteoirí óga Gaeilge na Gaeltachta. Ar chóir múineadh an Bhéarla a thosú go luath do na cainteoirí seo ag aithint go maireann siad i ndomhan ina bhfuil an Béarla ceannasach? Déantar cur síos san alt seo ar an iniúchadh a rinneadh ar na moltaí éagsúla a rinneadh maidir leis an oideachas Gaeltachta agus ar an litríocht ábhartha le fáil amach an bhfuil bonn láidir oideachasúil faoin bpolasaí seo. Mhaígh Ó Duibhir agus Cummins (2012) go n-aistríonn scileanna áirithe teanga, ar nós scileanna litearthachta, ó theanga amháin go teanga eile. Más fíor sin, d’fhéadfaí a mhaíomh gur cuma cé acu teanga go dtéitear i ngleic léi ar dtús mar go n-aistreofar na scileanna ó theanga amháin go dtí an ceann eile. Léiríonn taighde eile le páistí Gaeltachta (7-12 bliain d’aois) ar chainteoirí dúchais iad, go bhfuil stór focal níos fairsinge acu sa Bhéarla ná mar atá sa Ghaeilge (Péterváry, Ó Curnáin, Ó Giollagáin, & Sheahan, 2014). B’fhéidir gur fianaise í seo go bhfuil sealbhú neamhiomlán i gceist do na páistí seo agus go rachadh sé chun sochair dóibh múineadh an Bhéarla a chur siar chun breis ama a thabhairt dóibh bonn níos seasmhaí a chur faoina gcumas Gaeilge.
Numerous committees, advisory bodies and commissions have investigated the Gaeltacht education system over the years since 1926. The recommendations of the resulting reports were on the whole ignored until the publication of the Primary Language Curriculum (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, 2015) and the Policy for Gaeltacht Education (Department of Education and Skills, 2016). According to the recommendations in these documents, a total immersion period in Irish is permitted for the first time. This raises questions for Gaeltacht schools about the language education needs of young Irish speakers in their schools. Should the teaching of English commence early for these speakers recognising that they live in an English dominated world? In this paper, we describe an investigation of the various recommendations that were made about Gaeltacht education and the relevant literature to examine whether there is a strong educational rationale underlying this policy. Ó Duibhir and Cummins (2012) claimed that some linguistic skills, such as literacy skills, transferred from one language to another. If this is the case, it could be claimed that it does not matter which language is encountered first as the skills will transfer from one language to the other. Research by Péterváry, Ó Curnáin, Ó Giollagáin, & Sheahan (2014) involving native Irish-speaking Gaeltacht children (7-12 years) found that the children had a larger vocabulary in English than in Irish. This may be evidence that those children are experiencing incomplete acquisition and that they might benefit from a delay in the introduction of English in order to give them extra time to lay a firmer foundation for their ability in Irish.
This study presents the results of an investigation into the size and composition of vocabulary and early sentence formation in two groups of young bilingual children, one acquiring Italian as a majority language and the other acquiring it as a heritage language. The results show high variability in the relationship between input and vocabulary size and composition in children between the ages of 24 and 29 months, while this relationship becomes more stable in children between the ages of 30 and 37 months. The results also show that the majority of children have a larger vocabulary and produce more complex sentences in the majority language, input received in each language does not systematically correlate with vocabulary size or with production of complex grammatical structures. The results shed light on some characteristics of early simultaneous bilingual language development. Implications for practice are discussed.