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New Leaving Certificate Languages: Update

As this challenging yet fruitful school year is coming to an end, we are delighted to provide an update on the implementation of the new Leaving Certificate language options.

In the school year of 2020-2021, 40 schools worked with PPLI to provide Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese through various programmes in Junior Cycle, Transition Year and Senior Cycle. Despite the impact of Covid-related measures, we have received positive feedback from students through our mid-term and end-of-term surveys. Principals were also delighted with this year’s experience of introducing the subjects and working with ex-quota PPLI teachers. We have received expressions of interest from a number of schools keen to introduce the new languages and we recently finished the pilot of a blended learning taster course for Leaving Certificate Polish. We hope that, with a continuous joint effort, the take-up of schools introducing new languages to their curriculum will improve in the future.

With the increased demand for languages in the coming school year of 2021-2022, we are delighted to welcome 11 new members to the PPLI teacher team. They will be supporting the Polish, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese curriculum in schools; some will also contribute to the pilot and research of alternative provision models for the new and lesser taught LC languages. PPLI will be delivering a comprehensive CPD programme to support these teachers and the introduction of their subjects in schools. The first part of the CPD will take place in June. Following public health guidelines and drawing on our experiences of the previous year, this training will be delivered online with interactive tasks before and after the sessions. We intend organising activities and games to strengthen the social presence of the online training and to help new teachers establish a sense of community and belonging to a team formed by teachers and supported by PPLI. To follow our updates on the CPD, search #PPLI_CPD on Twitter.