Cur siar mhúineadh an Bhéarla i mbunscoileanna Gaeltachta: más mall is mithid

Delaying the teaching of English in Gaeltacht primary schools: about time!

  • Pádraig Ó Duibhir Dublin City University
  • Laoise Ní Thuairisg Dublin City University
Keywords: Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Dátheangachas, Tumoideachas, Cainteoirí Dúchais, Polasaí

Abstract

Bhí iliomad coiste, comhairle, agus coimisiúin a rinne iniúchadh ar an gcóras oideachais Gaeltachta i gcaitheamh na mblianta ó 1926 i leith. Tugadh neamhaird den chuid is mó ar mholtaí na dtuarascálacha éagsúla go dtí gur foilsíodh Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile (An Chomhairle Náisiúnta Curaclaim agus Measúnachta, 2015) agus an Polasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta (An Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, 2016). Ceadaítear tréimhse tumadh iomlán sa Ghaeilge den chéad uair de réir na moltaí sna cáipéisí sin. Ardaíonn sé seo ceisteanna do scoileanna Gaeltachta maidir le riachtanais oideachais teanga cainteoirí óga Gaeilge na Gaeltachta. Ar chóir múineadh an Bhéarla a thosú go luath do na cainteoirí seo ag aithint go maireann siad i ndomhan ina bhfuil an Béarla ceannasach? Déantar cur síos san alt seo ar an iniúchadh a rinneadh ar na moltaí éagsúla a rinneadh maidir leis an oideachas Gaeltachta agus ar an litríocht ábhartha le fáil amach an bhfuil bonn láidir oideachasúil faoin bpolasaí seo. Mhaígh Ó Duibhir agus Cummins (2012) go n-aistríonn scileanna áirithe teanga, ar nós scileanna litearthachta, ó theanga amháin go teanga eile. Más fíor sin, d’fhéadfaí a mhaíomh gur cuma cé acu teanga go dtéitear i ngleic léi ar dtús mar go n-aistreofar na scileanna ó theanga amháin go dtí an ceann eile. Léiríonn taighde eile le páistí Gaeltachta (7-12 bliain d’aois) ar chainteoirí dúchais iad, go bhfuil stór focal níos fairsinge acu sa Bhéarla ná mar atá sa Ghaeilge (Péterváry, Ó Curnáin, Ó Giollagáin, & Sheahan, 2014). B’fhéidir gur fianaise í seo go bhfuil sealbhú neamhiomlán i gceist do na páistí seo agus go rachadh sé chun sochair dóibh múineadh an Bhéarla a chur siar chun breis ama a thabhairt dóibh bonn níos seasmhaí a chur faoina gcumas Gaeilge.

Numerous committees, advisory bodies and commissions have investigated the Gaeltacht education system over the years since 1926. The recommendations of the resulting reports were on the whole ignored until the publication of the Primary Language Curriculum (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, 2015) and the Policy for Gaeltacht Education (Department of Education and Skills, 2016). According to the recommendations in these documents, a total immersion period in Irish is permitted for the first time. This raises questions for Gaeltacht schools about the language education needs of young Irish speakers in their schools. Should the teaching of English commence early for these speakers recognising that they live in an English dominated world? In this paper, we describe an investigation of the various recommendations that were made about Gaeltacht education and the relevant literature to examine whether there is a strong educational rationale underlying this policy. Ó Duibhir and Cummins (2012) claimed that some linguistic skills, such as literacy skills, transferred from one language to another. If this is the case, it could be claimed that it does not matter which language is encountered first as the skills will transfer from one language to the other. Research by Péterváry, Ó Curnáin, Ó Giollagáin, & Sheahan (2014) involving native Irish-speaking Gaeltacht children (7-12 years) found that the children had a larger vocabulary in English than in Irish. This may be evidence that those children are experiencing incomplete acquisition and that they might benefit from a delay in the introduction of English in order to give them extra time to lay a firmer foundation for their ability in Irish.

Published
2019-03-06
How to Cite
Ó Duibhir, P., & Ní Thuairisg, L. (2019). Cur siar mhúineadh an Bhéarla i mbunscoileanna Gaeltachta: más mall is mithid. TEANGA, the Journal of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics, 10, 228-242. https://doi.org/10.35903/teanga.v10i0.80
Section
Theme: SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN PRESCHOOLS AND SCHOOLS