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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (January-June) » Article re the Gaeltachts in National Geographic « Previous Next »

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Paul (66.152.218.225 - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
I thought you'd find this recent article interesting.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/02/0225_030225_irishlanguage.html

Bainigí sult as.

Slán tamall, Paul

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.162 - 193.122.47.162)
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks Paul.

I cannot say I enjoy reading these kind of articles, they're a bit depressing.

One point I'd like to make is the quote from the non-Irish speaker:

"As a result, McConn said, he struggled to learn the language at school. "I would like to be a native speaker, [but] if you don't enjoy it, you don't want to learn," he said. "I'm 24 now. Learning it would be pointless."


I've always believed that teaching Irish to children in the classroom killed off any chance of Irish regaining ground after independence.

Especially with the fiercesome teaching method methods used in those times. Even to this day, the experience of Irish at school makes practically all Irish schoolchildren hostile to everything about Gaeilge.

If Irish is ever to become popular among young people it must be taken out of the schools. There's no point in thousands of people walking around with a good knowledge of Irish if they won't speak it because they loathe it (which they do).

How might children be taught Irish then? We'd have to rely on the goodwill of parents, voluntary groups, local communities arranging classes (without exams) and activites. The will is there among so many people. Coercion is just not the answer.

Well, that's my piece. It just seems commonsense to me.

PS. Take Peig off the curriculum too. That was the most miserable book I ever read.

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Bradford (66.231.2.14 - 66.231.2.14)
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Oliver,

Being an American I don't have a grasp of learning Irish as part of a curriculum, but I definitely have heard time and time again that the manner in which Irish is taught often makes the learners hostile towards the language.

Do you feel it would it help if there were many, many more Irish-medium schools? I've often wondered if part of the problem is that Irish is usually taught as the "foreign" language, not English!

It would be great if knowing and using Irish was part of Irish national pride. I've heard that it's definitely that for nationalists in the north, but typically, at least from my observations, it doesn't appear to be that in the Republic.

Sorry for my ramblings, but this whole issue of why Irish appears to be continuing to decline just puzzles me because I enjoy it so much! :-)

Slán,

Bradford

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Dion (12.234.103.107 - 12.234.103.107)
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 09:18 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Don't forget that the language itself can attract.

I am fourteen, and my interest in Gaeilge needed no external encouragement, or prodding.

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.170 - 193.122.47.170)
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi Dion,
Do you mind me asking if you are in the Republic?

I did Irish up to Leaving Cert.

I always had a grá for Irish myself but it's simply not possible to use Irish outside of school?

There was just no way in the world schoolkids would do that.

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max matthews (62.254.0.7 - 62.254.0.7)
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 05:42 am:   Edit Post Print Post

In my view, no matter the language, schools treat languages as a science and not as a means of communication. After one year my nine-year old son was getting nowhere with French, so I began French evenings when everyone in the house had to speak French. His knowledge of the language improved by leaps and bounds and now, at 18, he is fluent.
We learn our native language by listening and copying - youngsters are not subjected to grammar until they are able to make their wants, ideas and feelings known - by the time they are taught grammar they have a good vocabulary and have grasped a lot of grammatical rules without realising it.

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