Irish Language Schools 🏫 – Importance of Gaelscoileanna
Irish Language Schools In Ireland
Irish Language Schools 🏫: Of course, studying at school is very important for everyone. And, assuming that you searched for this blog, you might be searching for schools that can teach the Irish language. Gaelscoileanna, in particular, produces young students that can speak the Irish competently.
As they say, “start them young”. The same holds true for learning more than one language. The norm in other countries is usually mastering their local language whilst knowing another language, usually the English language. But in the case of Ireland, English is a much more dominant language than Gaeilge or the modern Irish language. Only the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland speak Irish as their primary language. Now, how is the Irish language being learned in areas outside of Gaeltacht?
The answer to that is Gaelscoil. If you did not know, a Gaelscoil means an Irish language-medium school in Ireland. More specifically, it means an Irish language school outside of the Gaeltacht areas. Gaelscoil is the singular form while Gaelscoileanna is the plural form.
Is é an freagra air sin Gaelscoil. Mura raibh a fhios agat, ciallaíonn Gaelscoil scoil mheán Gaeilge in Éirinn. Go sonrach, ciallaíonn sé scoil Ghaeilge lasmuigh de cheantair na Gaeltachta. Is é Gaelscoil an fhoirm uatha agus is é Gaelscoileanna an fhoirm iolra.
If you want to know more about Gaelscoil or Gaelscoileanna, continue reading below.
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Things you need to know about Irish language schools
Sending your child or encouraging your family or friends to send their child or children to Irish language schools come with loads of benefits.
As stated, there are loads of benefits in children at a very young age attending a Gaelscoil. The first, and most obvious, benefit is, of course, being bilingual. According to Gaeloideachas, Gaelic Irish schools helps make the students bilingual, which helps them become critical thinkers and raise concentration levels, making them better at paying attention and completing tasks.
Additionally, being bilingual (in this case, being fluent at both Irish and English) helps children understand themselves better. They can develop their Irish and English literacy and fluency in Irish language schools. Immersion education, the teaching method of Gaelscoileanna, makes children easier to learn additional languages.
Lastly, they gain more confidence and increase their self-esteem altogether. Another important benefit that a Gaelscoil provides is it helps children attain higher grades.
Some tips to prepare children in a Gaelscoil
There is something special in children starting their first day in school. It is much more special when they start at a Gaelscoil. Now, as responsible parents and guardians, how can you prepare your children who are going to study in a Gaelscoil?
You might have little to no experience in the Irish language, but you can still do something to help your children prepare in any of the Irish language schools you choose.
Talk to them in Irish if you know even just a little bit. Everything starts with talking. Much like immersion education, you can immerse them to an Irish language environment even at your own home. That is how you can make your children naturals at being bilingual, fluent at both Irish and English. Now, if you do not know Irish, you can still help. The power of physical and audio books or even the internet can help your children learn the language. But remember, be there for them always.
Do this together. Adding to the information above, you should know that they cannot do it by themselves. As mentioned above, while they learn through books or the internet, you should join them then and answer every questions they have. Furthermore, make it fun for them. They should not take that in a serious manner, given their age. Teach them the fun in learning a new language! Personally, I think of this as riding a bike – it is confusing at first, not knowing anything. It is scary, even. But, given the proper guidance, they get the hang of it and before you know it, they can speak it themselves at a competent level, maybe even before going to a Gaelic Irish school! Remember that learning together will result into nothing but positive results.
One more thing to add
Make sure they do not worry about a thing. After all, they are too young to worry about things like this. Naturally, they might feel anxious at first, with there being a new environment and all. Adding to that, they are going to be learning a language that you yourself probably do not know. But rest assured that Gaelscoileanna accepts new students every year. They are trained professionals that know what to do if the children do experience some anxiety. All those who work there will have a help hand in helping your children settle. That much is true for every Irish language schools.
A little bit of a problem
With its benefits, there is a little bit of a problem when trying to enrol your child or children in a Gaelscoil. As reported by the Irish Times, there has been surges of enrolees but not enough places provided by Gaelscoileanna. As a result, loads of waiting lists and oversubscriptions happen across many Irish language schools.
Adults want their children to have this identity – multiculturalism produced in Ireland. The ability to speak and understand both English and Irish has become rarer as it is, so helping to keep it alive is vital. Many parents know this, hence they enrol their children to a Gaelscoil.
In time, there will be more Gaelscoileanna that can offer the ability to discover our Irish roots.
Conclusion on Irish language schools
There are many opportunities to learn Irish even outside of Gaeltacht areas. Children, especially, are immersed in this at an early age through Irish language schools or Gaelscoileanna. Personally speaking, you should expect more Irish language schools to cater more children in the future.
>>Which level?: Find out which level of spoken Irish you understand!