Sep 07 2010 Posted: 00:00 IST
The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey T.D. launched the second phase of a national syllabus for Irish at third level at an event in Dublin on Monday, 6 September. The project is directed by An Mheitheal um Theagasc na Gaeilge ar an Tríú Leibhéal, a support group established in 2008 and comprising representatives of Irish Departments in two universities and other third level institutions on both sides of the border. The work is co-funded by Foras na Gaeilge and the participating colleges. With the support of Foras na Gaeilge, a Project Manager was re-employed to design a syllabus and teaching and learning materials for students of Irish in the second year of the BA or B Ed programmes. A first year syllabus and accompanying teaching and learning materials were published in September 2009, also with the support of Foras na Gaeilge. Professor Máirín Nic Eoin of the Department of Irish, St. Patrick's College and Dr John Walsh of the Department of Irish, NUI Galway, are Joint Directors of the project. Professor Nic Eoin said: "I am extremely proud that we now have a syllabus and teaching materials available for both first and second years. The Project Manager, Ailín Ní Chonchúir, has worked very hard to develop attractive multi-media resources. We are looking forward very much to moving on to the final phase of the project, the development of a third year syllabus, once we have secured appropriate funding". According to Dr Walsh of NUI Galway: "Our group, An Mheitheal um Theagasc na Gaeilge ar an Tríú Leibhéal, are pioneers in the teaching of Irish. Everything we have done has been based on the European Framework of Reference for Language Learning and is in tune with the latest best practice regarding the teaching and learning of languages. We believe that this work is very important particularly in the context of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language which is to be published soon. The syllabus and teaching and learning materials are published electronically, and are available on the Project website, which is administered by Dr Caoimhín Ó Dónaill of the University of Ulster. The launch took place in St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, in Dublin, where the Project Manager is based.