Re-Imagining Academic and Professional Irish Language Programmes in Initial Teacher Education: Implications of a New Third Level Irish Language Syllabus
Keywords:Irish Language, Teacher Education, Irish-language Syllabus
In 2008, a national working group was established in Ireland with the objective of producing a new third level Irish-language syllabus based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001). The need for such a syllabus was widely acknowledged by third level teachers of Irish, in particular by those working in Irish Departments in the Colleges of Education. This article documents the progress of the Syllabus Project initiated by the national working group, and addresses in particular the question of linguistic
diversity among student teachers preparing for a career in the primary school sector. The author considers language teaching in the debate about initial teacher education models, the policy background to the Syllabus Project, pedagogy and practice in piloting the new syllabus, and future perspectives on third level Irish-language course provision.