A Guide To Raising Kids With Irish 👶
Raising Kids With Irish 👶: Unlike learning the Irish language as an adult, children will have a much easier time learning and remembering it with some proper guidance, starting from the parents. In this blog, we share with you some tips if you plan to raise your kids with Irish. Go n-éirí leat!
What is generally better and more important than going to any Gaelscoileanna and learning Irish there is being immersed in your own household. How exposed you are to a specific language at home and other places you frequently go to determines how proficient you can become. In other words, language proficiency goes hand-in-hand with language exposure.
Therefore, if you happen to stumble upon or searched for this blog in the hopes of raising your child with Irish, then we have some advice for you: let your kids see, hear and speak the Irish language wherever they go to. More often than not, parents outside of Gaeltacht areas do not have many Irish-language resources (e.g., other folks to talk to in Irish) where they can immerse their kids. As a result, kids learning Irish should start in their own homes.
Below, we provide you with a helpful guide on what you can do to effectively raise your kids in Irish. FluentIrish suggests that you stick around and read on to learn more. Lig dúinn tosú!
Here’s how you should raise your kids in Irish
As we have already mentioned above, raising your kids in Irish should start at home. Of course, this mainly means that whenever you communicate with your child, you should use Irish as your primary language.
However, there are also a couple of ways to incorporate the Irish language in your home for your child to see that we first want you to learn before going to the main part. Here are some tips to immerse your child in Irish:
- Make them watch the TV in Irish (in moderation, of course). The news channel TG4 which uses the Irish language is a good example of what you can let your child watch.
- Let them play Irish language games! Playtime is critical for children’s development, and incorporating it with Irish is a good idea for them to better learn the language.
- If you have relatives or acquaintances that fluently speak Irish, then we advise you to set up a home visit and let your child interact (of course, under your supervision) with them. Not only are you helping your child learn and remember Irish, but you are also honing their social skills.
- There are many songs and rhymes in Irish that you can easily search for and show your child. Or, you could buy them a book that contains plenty of Irish songs and rhymes such as Irish Kids Songs and Rhymes: A Mama Lisa Book.
- Travel to places with your kid that you know have plenty of Irish-language speakers a.k.a Gaeltacht areas. Remember that raising your kids with Irish should not be seen as a chore but should be viewed as having fun teaching them what you know.
Below, we now talk about speaking to your kids using Irish.
How to communicate with your kids for them to easily learn and remember Irish
Unfortunately, there are some families that do not have the same opportunities as others when it comes to Irish-language immersion. For example, there are those who intend on raising their kids with Irish but do not live in Gaeltacht areas. Of course, those who do live there have the opportunity to learn the Irish language better and faster than those who do not.
Nonetheless, do not be discouraged. It is very much possible to raise your kids with Irish without needing to live in Gaeltacht areas. If both parents, or at least one of you, can speak Irish on a regular and fluent basis, then you already have something to start with.
Below, we cover some possible scenarios in your home and what you as parents can do to effectively raise your kids in Irish.
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Raising kids with Irish scenario 1: What if one speaks Irish whilst the other does not?
There is an effective strategy you can do if you are in this scenario.
The best thing to do here is to speak only the Irish language to the child if you are the parent that knows how. At the same time, if the spouse, partner, co-parent etc. does not know how to speak Irish and only speaks English, then they should only communicate with the child using English.
The Irish-speaking parent should look to spend more time with the child as much as possible to see better results. Various, everyday activities such as talking and playing should do the trick. This way, the child can easily learn, speak and retain their acquired knowledge of Irish.
Scenario 2: Both speak Irish
This is a better-looking scenario than the first one as both parents will find it easier raising their kids with Irish.
Both parents should speak to the child using Irish at all times. Similarly, they should let the child see that both parents speak to each other using Irish, as well, so that they can acquire some knowledge whilst listening to your conversations. In the event that the child learns enough Irish to their parents’ liking, then they can proceed to teach them English.
Scenario 3: None speak Irish and don’t spend a lot of time with their child
This is the hardest scenario of the three, and it requires the help of a third party – in other words, an Irish-speaking childminder.
If you do get the services of a minder, let them know in advance that you want them to speak to the child in Irish at all times. Whilst you may have some difficulties finding a minder that knows Irish, this is really the most effective way of letting your child learn Irish if both of your parents do not speak Irish.
You could hire a minder that does not speak Irish and provide them with Irish-language resources such as books, podcasts (listen to ours!), audiobooks etc. that they should use around their child. Then, when the parents come home, and if they have the ability to speak Irish, then they should do so at all times with their child.
Learn Irish through Fluentirish
Now that we have shared with you a guide in raising kids with Irish, we want to discuss how we can help you in everything Irish-related.
ba mhaith linn plé leat freisin conas is féidir linn cabhrú leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.
If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. Fluentirish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.
Má tá tú ábalta Gaeilge shimplí a thuiscint – beidh tú ag iarraidh biseach a dhéanamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. Bí ag éisteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.
We provide informative blogs and helpful podcasts that can help in your quest to learn the Irish language.