Guest teacher author, Aoife Doyle, reflects on some of the ways she approaches the teaching of Irish language informally in her class.
We have a professional responsibility to teach Irish every day. When Irish is heard amongst the daily life and buzz of the classroom, when children feel inspired and motivated to speak Irish spontaneously, that’s when the magic happens!
Tá sé de dhualgas orainn cultúr ranga a chruthú atá dearfach agus spreagúil ó thaobh na Gaeilge de.
Conas is féidir linn é seo a dhéanamh?
Support & Scaffold
The children need to be scaffolded in our discrete oral language lessons and provided with age and stage appropriate sentence structures. They then need to be given meaningful opportunities to practice these sentence structures throughout the day. When choosing your language focus for the week/fortnight, ensure that it is meaningful and useful for the children… Topical, seasonal events, etc.
Small steps make a big difference. Commit to doing the daily roll as Gaeilge each day. Anseo, a mhúinteoir… Níl sé ar scoil, tá sé tinn.
When your class have mastered this, focus on another part of the day. Dia duit, a Sheáin, cad a rinne tú aréir?
Spend a couple of weeks and embed each part of the day as Gaeilge before moving forward. Uair amháin sa tseachtain, léigh scéal as Gaeilge sula dtéann na páistí abhaile. Taispeánfaidh sé seo do na páistí gur féidir linn léamh ar son pléisiúir as Gaeilge.
No matter what class you teach, all children respond well to praise, encouragement and rewards. Show the children ain your class that you value their efforts to bí ag caint as Gaeilge. Is féidir ticéid bheaga a thabhairt dóibh aon uair a labhraíonn siad Gaeilge. Tabhair duais don duine leis an méid is mó ticéad ag deireadh na seachtaine. Is féidir Gaeilgeoir an Lae/Gaeilgeoir na Seachtaine a roghnú chomh maith.
Here are some printable speaker of the week certificates you can use.
There is so much more to the language than the spoken word. Our schools are amazing! Cuirimid béim ar cheol Gaelach, rince Gaelach agus na cluichí Cumann Lúthcheas Gael go minic i rith na bliana. Any time you spend on these activities is time well spent promoting Irish amongst your pupils
The Primary Language Curriculum recommends CLIL – the Content Language Integrated Learning approach. This involves choosing a subject every month (P.E or music, for example) and teaching these subjects through Irish. This shows the children that Irish is a living communicative language outside the Irish language lesson.
You can read more about CLIL here: https://www.curriculumonline.ie/getmedia/bc76d064-68ec-4aa6-ab63-5a2cf1205a25/OLRW_CLIL_1.pdf%203Fext%203D.pdf
Cleachtadh a dhéanann máistreacht!
We all want to speak more Irish on a day-to-day basis. We can simply sometimes forget. Keeping a list of useful phrases in your eyeline (on your desk/beside the whiteboard) can serve as a reminder to sprinkle your cúpla focal throughout the day. A visual reminder such as a sticker on the door/on the interactive whiteboard can also remind you to bí ag caint as Gaeilge.
To foster the positive disposition to Irish, the children must feel that Irish is a teanga bheo láidir chumarsáideach. Beatha teanga í a labhairt!