Tús Maith, Leath na hOibre – Gaeilge trí Ghaeilge!!

tóg-go-bog-é-agus-labhair-as-gaeilgeNuair a chloiseann daoine gur múinteoir gaelscoile mé freagraíonn siad i dhá bhealach. Deireann daoine nach múinteoirí iad, ‘ Oh, ba bhreá liom go mbeadh Gaeilge agam. Tá mo chuid Gaeilge go dona. ‘Sé an bealach ina múintear í.’ Fiafraíonn múinteoirí, ‘CONAS go dtuigeann na páistí? CONAS go n-éiríonn siad líofa?’ Sa bhlag seo, táim ag déanamh iarrachta na ceisteanna seo a fhreagairt agus le rá go bhfuil mé ar aon intinn, agus go bhfuil sé ag tarlú i bfhfad ró-mhinic nach bhfuil múineadh na Gaeilge chomh maith is gur cheart.

When people hear that I teach in a Gaelscoil they respond in one of two ways. Those who don’t teach usually say ‘Oh, I’d love to have better Irish. Mine’s terrible. It’s the way it’s taught.” Teachers generally ask ‘HOW do the kids understand? HOW do they become fluent? In this post, I’m aiming to answer the latter question and to agree, that far too often, teaching isn’t what it should be.

question markBhuel, CONAS go mbíonn daltaí sna gaelscoileanna in ann líofacht a bhaint amach? Tá sé thar a bheith simplí. Bíonn siad tumtha go hiomlán sa teanga ón nóiméad a shiúlann siad tríd an doras. Agus, mar a bhíonn i gcás aon teanga a fhoghlaim, cloiseann siad an teanga in úsáid, cloiseann siad na frásaí agus abairtí á athrá go minic agus mar gheall ar sin, éiríonn go seoigh agus go tapaidh leo an teanga a thuiscint agus a gcuid abairtí féin a chumadh. Béarla an teanga bhaile atá ag formhór na bpáistí agus mar sin, is ar scoil amháin go mbíonn an Ghaeilge á chloisteáil agus á n-úsáid acu. Céard a tharlódh dá labhródh múinteoirí sna Gaelscoileanna Béarla leo? Dá mbeadh muid ag tabhairt treoracha do na naíonáin bheaga as Béarla díreach toisc nach dtuigeann siad? Bhuel, go bunúsach, ní thuigfeadh siad riamh.

So, HOW do gaelscoil students gain fluency at the level they do? It’s really simple. They are completely immersed in the language from the moment they walk in the door. And, as is the case with any learner of any language, hearing the language being used, hearing repetition of phrases and sentences enables them extremely quickly to comprehend and to form their own sentences. The vast majority live in English-speaking homes and so it is only during school time that they hear and speak Gaeilge. What would happen if the múinteoirí in the Gaeilscoileanna were to speak English with them? What if we were to instruct the Junior Infants in English simply because they don’t understand? Well, quite simply, they never would.

Taobh amuigh de na Gaelscoileanna bíonn gearáin maidir le cumas Gaeilge na ndaltaí agus cumas Gaeilge na múinteoirí. Cé nach bhfuil éinne ag súil le líofacht sa Ghaeilge do na daltaí seo, is ar na fáthanna céanna gur ceart go mbeadh an Ghaeilge i gcónaí á mhúineadh trí mheán na Gaeilge. Déanann sé ciall. Ní mar sin a bhíonn sé go minic, áfach. Sílim go n-admhódh formhór múinteoirí bunscoile nach bhfanann siad go hiomlán leis an nGaeilge le linn an cheachta Gaeilge. Cén toradh a bhíonn ann? Foghlaimíonn na páistí liostaí foclóra bunaithe ar na téamaí éagsúla ach ní bhíonn sé ar a gcumas acu abairtí a chruthú nó comhrá a bheith acu a dtéann níos faide ar aghaidh ná beannachtaí bunúsacha – bíonn sin fiú dúshlánach go minic.

So, outside of the Gaeilscoileanna the level of Irish of both students and some teachers in primary education is often criticised. While these students are not expected to be fluent, it is the same principles that dictate that Irish should be taught through Irish in primary school. It makes sense. However, it doesn’t happen all that often. I think most primary school teachers would admit that they don’t stick to Gaeilge during their Irish lessons. What’s the result? The children often learn lists of themed vocabulary but are usually completely unable to construct sentences and are unable to converse as Gaeilge much further than the absolute basics – even that is often a stretch.

uafásachCén fáth nach múintear an Ghaeilge trí mheán na Gaeilge? Ní féidir liomsa go pearsanta a bheith 100% cinnte ach ghlacfainn tomhais gurb í an fhadhb ná easpa Ghaeilge ag múinteoirí iad féin chomh maith le múinteoirí nach bhfanann leis toisc nach dtuigeann na páistí láithreach – agus dhéanfadh muid aon rud chun saol éasca a bheith againn – nach ndéanfadh?

Why is it that teachers don’t teach Gaeilge trí mheán na Gaeilge? I can’t be personally 100% sure but I would guess that it’s a combination of teachers themselves having an inadequate command of the language and of teachers breaking down too quickly and easily when their students don’t understand almost immediately – and we all take short cuts for an easy life sometimes, don’t we?

PrintD’fhoilsigh Cigireacht n Roinne measúnú sa bhliain 2007 den teideal ‘Irish in the Primary School’, agus is fiú cinnte é a léamh. Moltar seo a leanas:

The Department of Education Inspectorate published an evaluation in 2007, ‘Irish in the Primary School’, which is definitely worth a read. This report recommends the following :

“The ability of teachers to speak and write Irish is an essential skill for all primary teachers.

Teachers who teach Irish need to be competent, accurate and have a strong language base. It is

recommended that every possible opportunity should be provided to improve teachers’

competency in Irish.”

“Irish should be strictly adhered to as the language used while teaching Irish lessons. Irish as a

living language needs to be used regularly outside the language lessons. It is recommended that

Irish be widely used as a language of communication amongst teachers and between teachers

and pupils in schools”.

Cén buntáistí a bhaineann le Gaeilge a úsáid i gcónaí chun an Ghaeilge a mhúineadh?

  1. Mar is eol dúinn uilig – foghlamaíonn páistí ón sampla atá os a gcomhair amach. Muna gcloiseann siad in úsáid an Ghaeilge – conas gur féidir linn a bheith ag súil go mbeadh sí á labhairt acu?
  2. Agus an teanga ar an gcluas acu, éiríonn na páistí feasach ar abairtí a chumadh.
  3. Feiceann na páistí gur teanga bheo í an Ghaeilge. Linn an cheachta, leanann saol an seomra ranga ar aghaidh as Gaeilge – fiú muna bhfuil i gceist ach an múinteoir ag tabhairt amach do dhuine éigean nó cuairteoir a fháiltiú ag an doras.

So what are the benefits of sticking to Irish as the language of instruction?

  1. As we all know – students learn by example. If they don’t hear it – how can we expect them to speak it?
  2. Children become familiar with the construction and formation of sentences.
  3. Children see that the language is alive. During the lesson, all of the usual classroom routines will happen through Irish – even if that’s simply the process of giving out to somebody or answering the door to a visitor.

Thumbs Up_Skin ColorGeallaim daoibh rud amháin – má thosaíonn tú an bhliain scoile nua ag múineadh Gaeilge trí mheán na Gaeilge, ní thógfaidh sé mórán ama go dtí go mbeadh do daltaí thar an iontas agus go dtuigfidh siad gurb é seo do bhealach. Tuigfidh siad chomh maith gur féidir leo tuiscint agus páirt a ghlacadh. Beidh níos mó muiníne ag na páistí agus agat féin. Is buaiteoir gach éinne!

One thing I will guarantee – if you start off the school year teaching Irish through Irish, your students will very quickly get over the shock and horror and realise that this is simply the way that you do things. They will also very quickly realise that they can do it too – that they can understand and participate. Their confidence will grow and your confidence will grow. Everyone’s a winner!

Gaeilge3An múineann tú Gaeilge trí mheán na Gaeilge cheanna féin? Nó ar bhreá leat é a dhéanamh dá mbeafeá in ann fáil réidh leis na constaicí éagsúla? An mbeadh sé níos éasca mar aidhm dá mbeadh tacaíocht agat? An mbainfeá triail as? Táim ag iarraidh teacht ar mhúinteoir amháin a bheadh sásta obair liom ar seo – agus an bhliain nua a thosú amach chun é a chruthú gur féidir seo a dhéanamh. Bheinn sásta tacaíocht a thabhairt – le scileanna Gaeilge an mhúinteora nó le bealaí agus seifteanna a thabhairt duit chun é a dhéanamh éasca ort agus ar do chuid daltaí. Tríd na dúshláin agus na torthaí a thaispeáint bheadh muid in ann bheith réalaíoch ó thaobh pleanála de don todchaí. Má tá suim agat bheith páirteach, téigh i dteagmháil liom ag realtaranga@gmail.com nó tríd leathanach facebook Réalta Ranga.

Do you already always teach Irish through Irish? Or do you wish you could overcome the obstacles that are stopping you? Do you think it might be a more attainable goal if you had some personal support? Would you be prepared to give it a go? I’m looking for one of you to begin this school year with the determination to do this – to be the proof that it can be done. I would like to support one of you to do this, be it in terms of helping you with your own language skills, double-checking your own Irish, or helping you to make the process as easy as possible for both you and your students. By documenting any struggles and also all of the successes and results, we could highlight the realities and potentially be part of future planning processes. If you’re interested in getting involved contact me by email at realtaranga@gmail.com or through the Réalta Ranga facebook page.

Freagra

Rangaithe faoi Litearthacht // Literacy

Freagra

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