Minister for education Norma Foley encourages primary schools to apply for new language-sampler module trial

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash

IRISH primary schools are to introduce foreign languages into the national curriculum on a trial basis for third class students and above in new ‘language sampler module’.

The initiative is being introduced on a voluntary trial basis in hopes of better preparing students for an increasingly globalised work-force as well as supporting greater inclusion and appreciation of diversity. Amongst the languages on offer at primary school level is Irish Sign Language (ISL).

Minister for Education Norma Foley has announced that the project will take place in a minimum of 100 schools across the country over a six week period towards the end of the first term of the 2021/2022 school year.

 The Minister has encouraged schools to apply for the six week trial programme which will allow them to choose between teaching Irish Sign Language (ISL)  or a modern language of their choice.

Minister Foley said ”This exciting new initiative will provide pupils with opportunities to expand their experience with languages and also give them confidence in engaging with new languages” 

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She continued : “The sampler module will also inform future developments in the area of language acquisition and development of the primary curriculum framework. I would encourage primary and special schools to explore this opportunity to take part in this new module.”

The Department of Education funded unit, Post-Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI), will support the implementation of the scheme in the selected schools who will be at liberty to source their own language tutors to work alongside class teachers. These tutors can be chosen from a variety of backgrounds including qualified language teachers and native speaking locals, provided they meet Garda vetting and child protection requirements.

The module will introduce an hour of language teaching per week into pre existing school timetables.

Selected schools will receive a grant from the Department of Education allocated by the number of participating classes :

One participating class will receive €400, two participating classes will receive €600, three will receive €800 and a cap of four participating classes will receive €1,000.

Schools that wish to be involved in the project should complete an online application by Wednesday June 23rd on the following website