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19th Apr 2022

Irish primary school students could be taught Ukrainian this year

Alan Loughnane

Ukrainian in schools

A good move.

Primary school children in Ireland could be taught Ukrainian under an initiative which aims to increase students’ exposure to foreign languages.

Minister for Education Norma Foley announced the extension of the “Say Yes to Languages” primary languages sampler module and invited primary schools to apply to participate in the module.

The 2022/23 module could be used to support the integration of newly arrived Ukrainian pupils to our schools by acknowledging Ukrainian as one of the languages of the classroom or by choosing to teach Ukrainian for the duration of the module.

Other languages included are French, Spanish, ISL, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Arabic, Tamil and Portuguese.

The module is aimed at 3rd to 6th class and the school can select the language of choice – dependent on different factors – with a grant of up to €400 per class to a maximum of €1,600 available to participating schools.

The grant can be used to pay the external teacher/tutor or to fund additional resources and finance other activities that support the aims of the module.

“I have extended the programme to eight weeks and would like to see even more schools participating this year,” Minster Foley said.

“Being able to speak a foreign language, and learning about other cultures is an enormous advantage to our children and young people. This programme gives them a unique opportunity to be exposed to foreign language learning at a young age.

“The module is an important aspect of our foreign languages strategy which aims to increase the number of students studying foreign languages at all levels.

“We want to equip our students with the skills that they will need to live in our globalised world, and foreign languages provide our students not only with a skill but with a broader access to and appreciation of a wide range of culture.”

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