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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (January-March) » Mind your language, campaign urges « Previous Next »

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Diarmuid (217.163.5.253 - 217.163.5.253)
Posted on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 05:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Mind your language, campaign urges



THE GOVERNMENT is to launch a campaign encouraging parents in Irish-speaking Gaeltacht areas to get their children to speak . . . Irish.

A budget of €300,000 is to be spent on advertising, public relations, public notices and the establishment of a website in an effort to drive home to young parents the advantages for their children to use the Irish language. The campaign, Feachtas Feasachta Teanga, is primarily aimed at parents of children up to five years old, as well as at parents who are expecting a baby.

The move comes as concern grows at the continued erosion of Irish as the everyday language in large parts of the Gaeltacht. Even in homes where parents are native speakers, the proliferation of English through television, the internet and other areas of communication has meant Irish has often been supplanted as the family language.

Research has confirmed that many native-speaking parents in the Gaeltacht make the decision to speak more English in the home for fear that the use of Irish alone will hold back their children's chances of succeeding educationally andsocially in the world.

The new campaign is aimed at convincing such parents of the many advantages to be derived from choosing Irish as the main language of the household.

"This is a practical step to ensure that the Irish language will be preserved from generation to generation as a living language in the Gaeltacht," Gaeltacht Minister Eamon O Cuiv said yesterday. "It is very important to speak Irish to children as much as possible in the first few years, as children will hear and speak a lot more English as they are growing up.

Brian McDonald

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 06:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

This is important, because the myth that bilingualism slows down children's learning is widespread in Ireland.
Because of the international nature of English, people in Ireland don't realise that being bilingual is
a) normal in most of the world
b) an advantage to learning

This is partly because research into bilingual children in the 70s showed that their vocabulary was apparently smaller - however, this was because only the vocabulary in the 2nd language was considered.

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Tomás (198.22.236.230 - 198.22.236.230)
Posted on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 05:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I would add that the lag in vocabulary is temporary, and, typically, bi- or multi-lingual children soon surpass -- all other factors being equal -- their monoglot counterparts in all areas of language development.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

The lag in vocabulary is non existent, if both languages are taken into account!

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