Fourth to sixth class pupils from St Paul’s School in Castlerea enjoyed taking part in the new Primary Language Sampler in recent weeks. The sampler module, arising from the school management’s successful application for new funding from the Department of Education, is a means for raising awareness among primary school pupils of the range of languages used by their peers, in their schools and community.
Over 500 schools nationwide are taking part and offering modules in a range of modern foreign languages and Irish Sign Language during this school year. The fun and inspiring module introduced the pupils to German and was taught over a six-week period during the normal school timetable.
Frau Callinan was delighted to share her language skills and teaching experience with the pupils, having gained the skills while teaching in Castlerea Community School for many years. A suite of resources was produced, including lesson plans for teachers and tutors and ‘Language Passports’ for all participating pupils to show their family and friends. Packs were sent to participating schools to help support both the teaching and learning. This was further supported by resources created by the tutor to suit the particular class and context.
Staff and management were delighted to support the project, seeing it as an opportunity to open children’s minds to the importance of languages as a life skill for student’s future education, relationships, travel and career opportunities for example. Learning languages can only serve to increase the children’s understanding of the links between people of all languages and cultures and increase the will to understand each other and our shared place in the world.
The module greatly helped to build awareness and celebrate diversity within schools and communities. It also worked to support the teaching of the Geography curriculum and added to our Blue Star project, which strives to increase awareness of the EU and the countries and cultures involved.