049. Provide specialised teachers for Irish

Really, we have to face it: we are failing at teaching Irish. We have a few passionate teachers who can teach it well, but overall, there’s something very wrong when most people come out of 14 years of education unable to string a sentence in Irish together, yet can almost be fluent in some European … Read more

Two Line Tuesday

In the news this week, is a Gaelscoil under a multi-denominational patron body (Foras na Gaeilge) with an Catholic ethos where over two-thirds of the children have opted-out of religious instruction classes because they do not subscribe to that religion and the school have decided to segregate the children based on their parents’ belief systems for … Read more

Summer Courses 2015

Every year, Anseo.net delves through the summer course book and picks out the most interesting looking courses from the mass of options. This year, we’re challenging ourselves to pick just one course for each subject. So, let’s delve in! Arts: Drama There seems to be a lot of “In Their Shoes” courses around the country which addresses … Read more

Review: Dyce Game

NOTE: New version has been released. This is a repost of original review with some new details. The old cliché goes that sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and Gareth Hanlon of EyeSeeGames has come up with a really simple idea that works. His product, Dyce Game, is an educational game played with 8 … Read more

Review: Cé mhéad cat? Smarty Cat Games

Review: Cé mhéad cat? Smarty Cat Games We have been sent some very attractive and colourful games from Smarty Cat Games. They are to help with the learning of Gaeilge. There are two board games, one for Aimsir Chaite/Aimsir Fháistineach and the other for Aimisr Chaite/Láithreach. Inside the box, we have a spinner board, verb … Read more

How to save the Irish language

One of the most popular conversations I have with non-teachers is about the Irish language. Conversations generally start with the allegation that nobody really speaks the language then goes down one of two avenues: whether there is any point teaching it or what can we do to make sure it doesn’t die off as a … Read more

Review: Rí Rá (Coimicí Gael)

Rí Rá is a new Irish language comic for children. It is a bright glossy affair with lots of short punchy scripts with mainly manga-style characters providing the storylines. I must admit before I opened the comic in a café that I was not expecting much but by the time I had put down the … Read more

Death of Gaeilge?

One of the official languages of Ireland is Irish and most children experience a compulsory 14 year cycle of Irish lessons on a daily basis in school but according to the article above, only 82,600 people in Ireland speak the language outside of school – approximately 2% of the population. In fact, Polish is now the second most spoken language in the country today.

Something is obviously very wrong when statistics like this come out. Reactions will inevitably range from denial to acceptance. For example, 1.77 million people marked that they could speak Irish – however, this is still only 41% of the population.
Another inevitability is that schools will be blamed for this; after all, how is it possible that after 14 years of instruction, many students leave school with a better knowledge of French, Spanish or some other “3rd language?” Different people will have their reasons.
I believe that we need to logically assess why Irish has been allowed to become the third language of Ireland. We need to cut out the denial, the blaming of others and any other excuses.  I say this not as a proponent of the language – one might suggest that Ireland’s greatest strength is in our ability to speak English fluently – but then there’s the adage of “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.” There’s a definite richness to the Irish language, which has shaped the Irish people in how we hold ourselves. However, Irish is simply not being spoken by Irish people and we need to fix it before it becomes extinct.

Free Software: Torthaí

As part of Blog Action Day, we decided to resurrect an article relating to food and education.  Anseo.net developed a piece of software to help children learn about fruit in Irish.  I hope this counts! This resource aims to help children learn Irish vocabulary using a series of games and activities.  To get your copy, simply download … Read more

Review: Céard É Sin? (ResourcED)

When it comes to educational software, Irish teachers can generally rely on other countries such as the UK, USA and Australia for most subject areas.  However, the one exception is Gaeilge.  While there have been some valiant attempts to make decent Irish language software, there are many problems.  Firstly, there’s the problem of the very … Read more

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