Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, has said that the introduction of the new junior cycle specifications for Irish can only help strengthen and preserve the language for future generations in Galway.
Minister Cannon said; “While recent Census figures indicate a decline in the use of the Irish language in Galway Gaeltacht areas, the new junior cycle specifications announced by Minister Bruton today will undoubtedly go a long way towards helping future generations of speakers to use the language more effectively and confidently. The strengthening of Irish is a primary goal of the Government’s 20 year strategy on the Irish Language, and the introduction of new specifications for junior cycle Irish represents a significant change from existing approaches to the teaching, learning, and assessment of Irish at junior cycle level.
“The development of these specifications is fulfilment of promises in the Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 and the Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022. The new junior cycle specifications for Irish will place a strong focus on the spoken language and emphasis will be put on Irish as the language of learning and communication in classrooms as well as on the skills required to communicate effectively with other users of the language. Aside from promoting creative and innovative communication in Irish, this new emphasis will give students the opportunity to engage with a broad range of texts for learning and research, and gain a greater appreciation of the richness of Irish literature so that they may acquire a deeper understanding of other cultures and languages.