SALIS - Ms. A. Leahy, B.A., M.A.


Multicultural Education / Language Immersion

Gaelscoileanna and Multicultural classrooms: exploring the potential for transfer to enhance L2 learning experiences

Principal investigator: Dr. Angela Leahy
Associate investigators: Dr. Annette Simon, Ms. Fiona Gallagher

School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, Dublin City University. This exploratory research project examines two school types: the Gaelscoil model of primary school education and the English-medium primary school. It focuses on the role of Irish in the Gaelscoil and the role of English in the English-medium school. It examines how the role of language is viewed by a variety of stakeholders in the context of: -

  1. Learners with no prior knowledge of Irish who complete their primary schooling through Irish in Gaelscoileann
  2. newcomer learners with little or no knowledge of English who complete their primary schooling through English in Ireland.

The project focuses specifically on examining the role of context in shaping stakeholders’ views and experiences. It does so by examining what individuals involved in each context say about learning through Irish/English in each of the settings.

Relevant stakeholders in both educational contexts (teachers, school principals, academics in colleges of education/teacher trainers, learners from fifth and sixth classes, learners’ parents, policy makers, commentators and key spokespersons) are contributing to this project by responding to a set of questions prepared by the research team. Their contributions are being recorded and stored in order to create an electronic bank of spoken views and opinions on this subject. Published texts (media, educational and political) on each context will also be added to this bank. A number of follow-on projects are planned.

This research is funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences.