NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ791460
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Raising Children to be Bilingual in the Gaeltacht: Language Preference and Practice
O hIfearnain, Tadhg
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v10 n4 p510-528 2007
The popular and official description of the Gaeltacht as Irish-speaking rather than bilingual areas reflects the historically dominant discourse on language ideology in Ireland. While there is little evidence that the Gaeltacht people want to learn English at the expense of their Irish, as may have been the case throughout Ireland in the past, there is no doubt that all do want their children to be highly skilled, literate bilinguals. There is uncertainty in the language community as to which language or combination of languages to use when raising children to achieve this aim. This paper focuses on two aspects of public policy that encourage Gaeltacht Irish speakers to use only Irish with their children: Sceim Labhairt na Gaeilge and the principle of Irish-medium only schooling in the Gaeltacht for all pupils. Fieldwork carried out among Irish speakers in the West Cork Gaeltacht region of Muscrai revealed significant divergence of opinion on how much Irish should be used with children at home and at school to achieve Irish-English bilingualism, and also exposed how many in the community believe that they may have made an error in language choice with the benefit of hindsight.
Multilingual Matters. Frankfurt Lodge, Clevedon Hall, Victoria Road, Clevedon, BS21 7HH, UK. Tel: +44-1275-876519; Fax: +44-1275-871673; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland