Taoiseach wants to see European languages taught in primary schools

Taoiseach wants to see European languages taught in primary schools

A new report in The Irish Times shows that European languages could be taught to students at primary school level.

The paper reports that Taoiseach Michéal Martin has said we would like to see it happen and would be a good idea in light of the recent Brexit deals.

In the 2000s, a pilot programme of modern languages was rolled out in primary schools in Ireland.

Maude Cunningham is from 'The Language People in Dungarvan' who have classes for primary school children and adults who want to learn a foreign language.


She says that picking up an extra language as a teenager can be difficult.

'It's a lot easier for young children to pick them up.'

'Where as when children go into secondary school they have a lot more to deal with.'

'They are dealing with 9 or 10 new subjects and a complete new language on top of it.'


'If you could ease that into primary school age it would have a huge advantage to primary school children.'

Maude also taught in schools at the time the pilot programme of  modern languages was introduced and says it was a huge success:

'They had a foreign language class for 5th and 6th class.'

'It was a huge success.'


'I remember at the time teaching in a primary school in Dungarvan, when you have a child from September until the end of the school year, what they learn and what they soak up from that language a few times a week is amazing.'