Heritage Languages in Post-Primary School

Cultivating the languages of the different communities living in Ireland is one of the goals of Languages Connect: Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education.  Post-Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI) have put in place several supports for languages including Polish. Lithuanian and Russian. These supports are addressed to students in post-primary education both at Junior and Senior Cycle level.

Heritage Languages in Post-Primary School

A Junior Cycle Short Course for Lithuanian and Polish has been developed and schools who wish to incorporate this course in their programme of studies are supported by PPLI. These courses are already being taught in several schools.

Funding is also available to support students interested in sitting Lithuanian, Polish or Russian Leaving Certificate exams.  Where there is a critical mass lessons funded by PPLI can be delivered in schools. PPLI also run Saturday classes in Dublin, Galway, and Limerick for Russian. Interested students can register on the PPLI website.

The NCCA are currently preparing a new specification for Leaving Certificate for Lithuanian, Polish, and Portuguese.  This means that these languages will be offered as curricular languages for examination in 2022.  Russian is already a curricular language.
For more information and queries on any of this initiatives please contact kenia.puig@languagesinitiative.ie

Transition Year is an opportunity for students to sample the world of work.
At the PPLI we encourage students to reflect on the role of languages, including heritage languages, at work – no matter where the work experience takes place.
We have developed a TY work experience activity pack to suit any workplace and any language. Also, It includes activities for heritage language speakers to reflect on the importance of heritage languages in the workplace.
The National Skills Strategy 2025 lists foreign languages and cultural awareness among the cross-sectoral skills which improve an individual’s employability and enable occupational mobility.
The PPLI TY activity pack ‘Working with languages’ will be available from September 2019. Contact kirsi.hanifin@languagesinitiative.ie for more information.

Summer camps

Under Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education Languages Connect funding is also currently being provided for a pilot scheme for heritage language summer camps.  We are hoping to run summer camps for speakers of Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and  Romanian. The aim of these camps will be to offer post-primary students an opportunity to engage in different activities while maintaining and developing language skills in their home language.  If you would like to organise a camp or would like more information on this initiative, see  http://www.languagesinitiative.ie/news  for more information.

Home language materials in our public libraries

PPLI is collaborating with the library services to develop a home language toolkit which libraries can use to access materials in different languages. This toolkit will also promote the importance and value of having a diversity of materials in our libraries.

PPLI carried out a survey among communities with home languages other than English and Irish to ask what kind of materials families are interested in accessing in libraries. While books are still considered the most important thing to have in libraries, 60% of those surveyed were interested in films as well. Comics, magazines and audiobooks are also something families would like to access.