Oct 30 2015 Posted: 18:57 GMT

Report prepared by NUI Galway and Heriot-Watt University presents the results of research on the background, practice and ideologies of 'new speakers' of Irish


The Language Commissioner, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, has launched Research Report on New Irish Speakers, prepared by Dr John Walsh at NUI Galway, Professor Bernadette O’Rourke, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and Dr Hugh Rowland, University of Ulster, for Foras na Gaeilge, today (Friday, 30 October) at Oireachtas na Samhna in Citywest, Dublin.

This report is a joint venture between NUI Galway and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, presenting the results of research on the background, practice and ideologies of ‘new speakers’ of Irish. ‘New speakers’ are those who regularly use a language who are not traditional native speakers of that language. New speakers usually acquire the target language through the education system or through immersion education or, depending on the sociolinguistic context, the acquisition may take place as a result of language revitalisation programmes.

The report is based on research conducted in recent years by a network of European researchers titled New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges under the auspices of COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology). There are 50 researchers from 27 European countries in this network and the authors of this report are engaged in research on new speakers of Irish.

Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer of Irish in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway said: “Above all, this research demonstrates that anyone can become a new speaker, regardless of their language background. One of the interesting results is that of the role of the Irish teacher in an ordinary English-medium school. Many new speakers referred to inspirational teachers they had at school who fostered an interest in Irish, which encouraged them to use it as a social language after school. The new speakers believe that the Gaeltacht is important but some of them have social anxiety trying to speak Irish with Gaeltacht natives. People need more support to become new speakers and we have made some policy recommendations which will help people make that transition if implemented. These include proper investment in a wide range of physical spaces in which Irish could be spoken socially and Irish language awareness campaigns in social media.”

Professor Bernadette O’Rourke of Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, one of the report’s authors said: “The findings of our research on Irish have many parallels with other languages in Europe including Basque, Catalan, Breton, Galician, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, and this report will provide invaluable insights into the broader opportunities and challenges that new speakers bring to a multilingual Europe. The recommendations we have made in relation to new speakers of Irish will feed into a broader set of recommendations at EU level and help identify a common framework of understanding and policy implications at European level.”

Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge welcomed the report and said: “Foras na Gaeilge caters to a broad range of Irish speakers nationwide, north and south, as well as within and outside the Gaeltacht. We recognise that new speakers are of great importance and we welcome this positive research revealing their aspirations and needs. We look forward to discussing the recommendations in the report to determine how best we can provide additional support to new speakers in the future.”

A copy of the report is available on the Foras na Gaeilge website at www.gaeilge.ie/nuacht/ or www.gaeilge.ie/newspeakers

-Ends-

Tuarascáil Taighde ar Nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge seolta ag Oireachtas na Samhna 2015


Sheol an Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, Tuarascáil Taighde ar Nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge, a d’ullmhaigh an Dr. John Walsh, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, An tOllamh Bernadette O’Rourke, Ollscoil Heriot-Watt, Dún Éideann, agus an Dr. Hugh Rowland, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, d’Fhoras na Gaeilge ar an Aoine, an 30 Deireadh Fómhair ag Oireachtas na Samhna in Citywest, Baile Átha Cliath.

Is comhfhiontar an tuarascáil seo idir Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Heriot-Watt, Dún Éideann ina gcuirtear torthaí taighde ar chúlra, ar chleachtais agus ar idé-eolaíochtaí ‘nuachainteoirí’ na Gaeilge i láthair. Tugtar ‘nuachainteoirí’ ar dhaoine a bhaineann úsáid rialta as teanga áirithe ach nach cainteoirí dúchais traidisiúnta de chuid na teanga sin iad. De ghnáth is tríd an gcóras oideachais nó tríd an tumoideachas a shealbhaíonn nuachainteoirí an sprioctheanga, nó, ag brath ar an gcomhthéacs sochtheangeolaíochta, d’fhéadfadh an sealbhú tarlú mar thoradh ar chláir athneartaithe teanga. Tá an tuarascáil bunaithe ar thaighde atá á dhéanamh le blianta beaga anuas ag gréasán taighdeoirí Eorpacha dar teideal New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities andChallenges faoi scáth na heagraíochta COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology). Tá 50 taighdeoir ó 27 dtír Eorpacha páirteach sa ghréasán sin agus tá údair na tuarascála seo i mbun taighde ar nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge.

‘Thar aon rud eile, léiríonn an tuarascáil seo gur féidir le héinne nuachainteoir a dhéanamh de nó di féin, beag beann ar an gcúlra teanga atá aige nó aici,’ a dúirt an Dr. John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. ‘Ar cheann de na torthaí suimiúla, tá ról an mhúinteora Gaeilge i ngnáthscoil Bhéarla: thagair go leor nuachainteoirí do mhúinteoirí inspioráideacha a bhí acu ar scoil a chothaigh suim sa Ghaeilge, rud a spreag iad chun í a úsáid mar theanga shóisialta tar éis na scoile. Creideann na nuachainteoirí go bhfuil an Ghaeltacht tábhachtach ach bíonn imní shóisialta ar chuid acu agus iad ag iarraidh an Ghaeilge a labhairt le muintir na Gaeltachta. Teastaíonn breis tacaíochta ó dhaoine chun iompú ina nuachainteoirí agus tá roinnt moltaí polasaí déanta againn a chabhródh le daoine an t-aistriú sin a dhéanamh dá gcuirfí i bhfeidhm iad. Ina measc sin, tá infheistíocht cheart in raon leathan spásanna fisiciúla ina bhféadfaí an Ghaeilge a labhairt go sóisialta agus feachtais feasachta faoin nGaeilge sna meáin shóisialta.’ 

‘Tá macasamhail thorthaí ár dtaighde féin maidir leis an nGaeilge le feiceáil i dtaca lena lán teangacha eile san Eoraip, ar a n-áirítear an Bhascais, an Chatalóinis, an Bhriotáinis, an Ghailísis, an Bhreatnais agus Gaeilge na hAlban, agus tabharfaidh an taighde seo léargais luachmhara ar na deiseanna ginearálta agus na dúshláin a thugann nuachainteoirí leo in Eoraip ilteangach. Beidh na moltaí atá déanta againn maidir le nuachainteoirí Gaeilge mar chuid de raon níos leithne moltaí ar leibhéal AE agus cuideoidh siad comhchreat a dhéanamh amach maidir le tuiscint agus impleachtaí polasaí ar leibhéal Eorpach’, arsa an tOll. Bernadette O’Rourke ó Ollscoil Heriot-Watt in Albain, duine d’údair na tuarascála.

D’fháiltigh Príomhfheidhmeannach Fhoras na Gaeilge, Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh roimh an tuarascáil inniu nuair a dúirt sé "Bíonn Foras na Gaeilge ag freastal ar raon leathan cainteoirí Gaeilge ó cheann ceann na tíre, thuaidh agus theas, sa Ghaeltacht agus taobh amuigh di. Aithnímid gur dream iontach tábhachtach iad na nuachainteoirí dúinn agus fáiltímid roimh an taighde dearfach seo a chaitheann solas ar na mianta agus ar na riachtanais atá acu. Beimid ag súil le moltaí na tuarascála seo a phlé agus amharc ar an bhealach inar féidir linn tacaíocht bhreise a thabhairt do na nuachainteoirí amach anseo".

Tá cóip den tuarascáil ar fáil ar shuíomh gréasáin Fhoras na Gaeilge ar www.gaeilge.ie/nuacht/.

-Críoch-

 

 

 

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