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ERIC Number: EJ791457
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Minority-Language Education in a Situation of Conflict: Irish in English-Medium Schools in Northern Ireland
McKendry, Eugene
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v10 n4 p394-409 2007
While Irish-medium education has developed strongly over the last 20 years, most Irish speakers in Northern Ireland learn the language in English-medium schools, which currently provide the majority of teachers in the bilingual Irish-medium sector. This paper discusses the background to Irish in Northern Ireland from the plantation of Ulster to the aftermath of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The Linguistic Atlas of Ireland and census returns provide demographic data. The position of Irish in the education system must be evaluated in the context of languages provision in the curriculum in general, not only in Northern Ireland, but in the UK as a whole. The lower status that Irish had in the European Union until recently has relegated it to a disadvantaged curricular position, where schools can only offer the subject after provision is guaranteed for major mainland continental languages. Examination entries figures are analysed to trace trends in uptake. Curriculum reviews in Britain and Northern Ireland that make languages optional from age 14 in a more crowded curriculum are discussed. While Irish should remain a reasonably popular choice for pupils, the future of the language in English-medium schools in Northern Ireland is not assured.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)