Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (179)

Seán Kyne

Question:

183 Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are any plans to review the teaching of Irish at secondary level; if consideration will be given to the development of a new subject which would place a greater emphasis on the acquisition of conversational skills; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35384/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

This Government is committed to supporting the overall thrust of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, and to the delivery of the goals and targets proposed. As part of this, a thorough reform of the Irish curriculum and the way Irish is taught at primary and second level will be undertaken.

A revised Leaving Certificate curriculum in Irish began in all schools in September 2010 for first examination this June, 2012. The revised programme provides for an increase in the proportion of marks available for oral assessment to 40%, and is aimed at promoting a significant shift in emphasis towards Irish as a spoken language, where students can communicate and interact in a spontaneous way, and where Irish is spoken every day in schools. This revised programme should place greater emphasis and provide rewards to students who acquire proficiency in conversation skills.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has been asked to review this syllabus in the light of the experiences of students in the first examination which happened this June.

The review of the Junior Cycle will allow not only full subjects but also short courses. Some of these short courses could be in different aspects of Irish, if a school made such a choice.