The Second Mother Tongues Conference
on Heritage Language Education in Ireland

2nd November 2019 @ Teachers Club, Dublin1

Supporting heritage languages in Ireland

The Second Mother Tongues Conference on Heritage Language Education in Ireland will take place on 2nd November in the Teachers Club (Parnell Square West). 

Our main goal is to bring together teachers, researchers and policymakers who have an interest in promoting heritage language education in Ireland. 
The conference creates a unique opportunity to share experiences and ideas on teaching heritage languages within and outside of the Irish educational system, supporting childhood bilingualism and the maintenance of minority languages in Ireland.
Our speakers from Technological University Dublin, Dublin City University, post-Primary Language Initiative, Migrant Teacher Project and supplementary language schools will give  presentations and run workshops on:

    • 2nd language acquisition and childhood bilingualism
    • Minority languages in Irish schools
    • Networks of heritage language schools in Ireland
    • ICT in support of teaching and learning heritage languages

Online Booking is essential as places are limited. Lunch will be provided.
For further information please contact Aga at


Dr Bozena Dubiel is a lecturer at TU Dublin Blanchardstown Campus where she teaches
on the Early Childhood Education programme. She lectures in Child Development, Research
Methods and Curriculum Development and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate
research projects. Originally from Poland where she gained her undergraduate and M.A.
degrees in Language Education, she continued her research at DCU and was awarded a PhD
degree in Language Acquisition. Her research interests include bilingual language acquisition,
child language development, heritage linguistics and language education.

UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others. Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life. Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way. Considering the above mentioned UNESCO points, Ireland Tamil Sangam established the mother tongue education program more than 22 centres across Ireland with the help of Volunteer Teachers.

Frederique van Buuren moved to Ireland from the Netherlands in 2007. With an MA in Translation, she initially worked in the Financial Services Sector as a Trainer and Team Manager, after which she moved on to set up her own practice as a Translator, Editor and content reviewer under Bluebell Language Services in 2015. In 2014 Frederique joined a group of enthusiastic parents who had the wish to establish a Dutch language school at primary level. Since the school, De Madelief – Dutch Language and Culture school – opened in September 2015, she has worn different hats; starting as a School leader, assistant teacher, teacher and currently Chair of the Board of the school.
Frederique’s presentation will give an overview of the following topics: the vision of the school, its pupils and the people that learn in De Madelief, the school programme and operating times, its setup and funding, the importance of a good network within the Irish community as well as the school successes and challenges.

Edita Kaškevičiūtė, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania.

Choose between:

Ana Regina Lessa participated in the first Migrant Teachers Bridging Programme (2019). She is developing the TY Portuguese Short Course and the Online Essay Support for Portuguese Leaving Certificate with the Post Primary Languages Initiative. She is an Irish Research Council (IRC) Postgraduate Scholar in Hispanic Studies at UCC; her current research examines the translation of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal’s work. She completed an MA in Translation Studies at UCC. Ana completed also an MA in Spanish and Hispanic-American Literatures at University of São Paulo. She worked in the International American School, teaching the International Baccalaureate and in the Language Centre of SENAC in Brazil. She graduated in Teaching and Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at USP.
34 Immigrant Internationally Educated Teachers from 17 different countries graduated on the 4th July 2019 from the first Bridging Programme. This innovative programme has helped them to develop additional knowledge and confidence to teach in Irish schools, and nearly half of the graduates have been offered employment for the school year. Ana Lessa, one of the Bridging Programme participants, will share the story of her struggles and success in the journey towards employment in the Irish Education system.

Dr. Hsiao-Ping Hsu is an assistant professor in the school of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies at the DCU Institute of Education. Hsiao-Ping obtained his Ph.D. degree in learning technologies from the University of Texas at Austin and his primary research interests include digital learning, teacher technology integration, digital literacy education and technology-rich instructional design. He has first authorized two articles in leading academic journals and contributed 20 presentations at internationally peer-reviewed conferences. Hsiao-Ping is also a Fulbright scholar and has significantly contributed to the knowledge exchange between Taiwan and the United States by research presentations and invited talks

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Evan Furlong moved to the cold emerald isle from exotic Taiwan in the year 2000 and is raising two multilingual children in Ireland since 2005.  Evan attended the University College Dublin for her M Ed. and she is the principal of Dublin School of Mandarin Chinese and has been teaching Mandarin Chinese to both primary and post-primary schools since 2008. 

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