This audit was carried out in the context of Languages Connect, Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026 and Implementation Plan 2017-2022. The audit sought to identify the range of languages schools offer, the languages schools wish to offer, and the range of language teachers employed in schools. It was also intended to identify teachers who are qualified to teach a foreign language but who may not currently have the opportunity to teach that language in their schools, with a view to providing opportunities and incentives for these teachers to upskill by means of CPD or post-graduate courses. Finally, it sought to identify locations where there is a level of interest and demand for mother tongue support to inform further provision.
The results of the audit will be used to inform future actions which will be taken as part of the foreign languages strategy. Data is presented on the breakdown of languages taken throughout the different stages of school, including in junior cycle, transition year, and Leaving Certificate. This data highlights the dominance of French, and the various factors that influence how many languages a school is likely to offer. Data is presented on foreign language teachers in schools and spare capacity, or lack thereof, and the demand for upskilling. The languages that schools would like to be able to offer is also presented. The languages spoken in schools in addition to English and Irish are presented, as well as data on the provision of non-curricular languages as part of the Leaving Certificate, and support classes for these languages.
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