Fintan O'Toole wrote a really good piece on the Irish Times (November 26th, 2019), describing the 'Babel of languages' in Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní), Blanchardstown as what is 'really on the ground of contemporary Ireland'.
Engaging with Linguistic Diversity describes an innovative and highly successful approach to inclusive plurilingual education at primary level. The approach was developed by Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní), Blanchardstown, as a way of converting extreme linguistic diversity – more than 50 home languages in a school of 320 pupils – into educational capital. The central feature of the approach is the inclusion of home languages in classroom communication. The benefits, which accrue to pupils from native Irish as well as immigrant families, include: an unusually sophisticated degree of language awareness; high levels of age-appropriate literacy in English, Irish, French and home languages; and from an early age, the motivation and capacity to undertake ambitious autonomous learning projects.
After describing the national context, the book traces the development of Scoil Bhríde’s response to an increasingly diverse pupil cohort and goes on to explore in detail the impact of the response on classroom discourse, pupils’ literacy development, and their capacity for autonomous learning. The authors illustrate their arguments with a wealth of practical evidence drawn from a variety of sources; pupils’ and teachers’ voices are especially prominent. Bearing in mind that Scoil Bhríde developed its approach without access to special funding or resources, the concluding chapter considers issues of sustainability and replication and the implications of the approach for teacher education.
The book makes sustained reference to a wide range of relevant research findings and theories, including translanguaging, plurilingual and intercultural education, language awareness and language learner autonomy. It is essential reading for researchers and policy- makers in the field of linguistically inclusive education.
David Little was formerly Director of the Centre for Language and Communication Studies and Head of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. For the past ten years, he has played a leading role in the Council of Europe’s work on the language education of migrants.
Déirdre Kirwan was principal of Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní), Blanchardstown, Ireland, from 1987 to 2015. In 2008 she was nominated European Ambassador for Languages (Léargas) for her active promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity in the school, and in 2009 she received her PhD from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, for her research in this area.
On the 11th of October 2019, Ireland will celebrate their first anniversary as an observatory member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). On this occasion, the Embassy of France in Ireland, the Irish University Association, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie and Trinity College Dublin would like to invite you to “University of Tomorrow and la Francophonie: networking on shared values and objectives”, in order to discuss ways in which la Francophonie can play a part in Irish HEI’s international strategy and future network developments.
The full programme of the event is available here: ie.ambafrance.org/AUF
You can register to the event via the link below and we hope to see you there!
Click here to register
"Publication of " Engaging with Linguistic Diversity A Study of Educational Inclusion in an Irish Primary School
Congratulations to Dr Déirdre Kirwan for her ground-breaking book "Engaging with Linguistic Diversity. A Study of Educational Inclusion in an Irish Primary School", co-authored with Dr David Little.
The volume, published by Bloomsbury Academic, in the series Multilingualisms and Diversities in Education, describes the innovative and highly successful approach to inclusive plurilingual education adopted in Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní), Blanchardstown. The experience, born out of the Irish context, is framed in educational theories and presented as a great example of plurilingual and multicultural education that can be replicated in other contexts.
UCC currently invites applications for the position of Professor in German. Feel free to circulate to experienced academics who may be interested in applying. Deadline is 2nd April.
Using this link and searching for the keyword 'German' should get you to the vacancy details:
Document can be found in September NAPD Leader Journal on Leaving Certificate 2018. It mentions languages and suggests an initiative on the universal availability of Level 6 language courses for those who succeed in a language at school to enable full fluency.
International employers find that Irish graduates lack foreign language skills. Irish Independent article, 27th January 2019
Can anyone help Maria Neumann Larsen with the following request:
Examples of local language policies /strategies for primary schools (in Denmark that is age 5-16), describing the school’s practice in the areas: language choice in everyday communication and in class, use of /instruction in minority language, language pedagogy /supporting student language development across the curriculum, language testing, strategies for including NNS newcomers, and so on.
Her email address is email@example.com
Insightful and thought-provoking report on language provision in IoTs by Dr Sarah Berthaud (GMIT), Dr Riana Walsh (IT Tallaght) and Dr Kristin Brogan (IT Tralee). We welcome your comments and thoughts.