The Future of the Irish Language in the Education System – TCD debate

Posted on: 17 January 2006

A number of pivotal questions regarding The Future of the Irish Language in the Education System are to be discussed by a panel of well-known Irish language scholars and experts on Wednesday, January 18, 2006, at The Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin at 7.30pm.

Questions to be discussed include, “Do students feel that they are acquiring enough of the Language to be able to use it for real communication?” and, “if not, does or could its absence undermine the consensus which exists at present for teaching the language at primary and post primary level?” The panel discussion is open to the public and admission is free.

The speakers panel will include Dr. Kevin Williams, Lecturer in Education, Mater Dei Institute; Tomas O’Ruairc, Officer with Foras na Gaeilge; Dr Máire Ní Annracháin, Lecturer in Irish, NUI Maynooth; Dr. John Harris, Senior Lecturer, School of Linguistics, Speech and Communication Sciences, TCD and Dr. Adrian Kelly, Translation Services with the Oireachtas.

Other topics to be raised on the future of the Irish language in education are: Can we see a future where children will enjoy Irish as a living language both inside and outside the classroom? Has compulsory Irish been an effective strategy for promoting Irish? What has its history been and how is it doing at the present time? What are people’s rights with regard to the Irish language? Is the language a necessary foundation for cultural well being in the 21st century?