Irish language self-efficacy beliefs and the Official Languages Act 2003


  • Shane Barry Mary Immaculate College, Limerick



Irish language, self-efficacy, civil service, psycholinguistics, Official Languages Act 2003


This study assesses the influence of sources of self-efficacy construction on Irish language abilities in civil servants working under the requirements of the Official Languages Act 2003. Through a series of focus groups within a Government department, participants with varying abilities and interests in the Irish language were assessed on the determining factors in self-assessing their Irish language skills. It was found that self-efficacy is a more accurate predictor of language beliefs than previous performances for Irish speakers, and that sources such as social persuasion and vicarious experiences have the potential to raise self-efficacy beliefs in non-Irish speakers. It was also found that the Act has not led to an increased engagement with the Irish language, but has only resulted in an increased deference to perceived expert language models.

Author Biography

Shane Barry, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick





How to Cite

Barry, S. (2020). Irish language self-efficacy beliefs and the Official Languages Act 2003. TEANGA, the Journal of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics, 27, 174–192.