Language Teachers


“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Adams

In the changing world Ireland finds itself, it is now key for the young people to be language ready to face Brexit and the globalisation of the enterprise world.

The introduction of the Junior Cycle key skills puts languages at the front of education. Learning languages addresses the eight key skills and enables learners to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face today’s world. Language teachers are key to building these skills.

How can we help you to promote the importance of languages in your school?

Language teacher upskilling programmes

The MFL Teacher Upskilling Scheme was developed under ‘Languages Connect’ strategy to draw out the existing, unused ‘dormant’ language capacity in our schools. The scheme was aimed at languages teachers qualified in a language they are not teaching or are not teaching to full capacity. The idea was that with upskilling these teachers could get equipped to teach a language again after a period of not teaching it, or that they would be able to expand their teaching of the new language, perhaps moving from junior cycle teaching to senior cycle teaching. With upskilling, schools are able to expand their capacity in languages provision or add new languages that are available on the curriculum. MFL teachers in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian languages are currently availing of the upskilling scheme.

The new round of MFL upskilling funding is now open until the 31st May 2019. For further information, click here.

Language Teacher exchange programmes

If you are a French or German teacher have you applied to go on one of the DES teacher exchange programmes? Information is available – click here

Value of foreign languages for work

A variety of Irish people using different languages across a range of sectors demonstrate how valuable languages have been to them in their careers, presenting a strong case for learning a foreign language from a career’s perspective. If you know any other inspiring young people that you think have a convincing story in relation to learning languages please let us know!

Visit our page Working with languages to listen and read career stories showing the value of foreign languages for work.

Language exchanges and Funding for School Exchanges Scheme

As part of raising awareness of the value of learning foreign languages and of the value of spending time abroad, schools are being offered the opportunity to apply for funding as part of a new Funding for School Exchanges Scheme. Ten schools will be awarded €15,000 each to contribute towards exchange costs such as flights, to offer scholarships to students who would not otherwise be able to participate, or for other needs that the school identifies as contributing towards language learning on the exchange. Skills developed through taking part in language exchanges which include adaptability, problem-solving, networking and communication skills as well as actual language skills, are necessary in order for students to develop and thrive in the future as well as to find employment.

Funding for School Exchanges Scheme: Guidelines and Application – click here

Languages Connect: How-to Manual and Toolkit for School Exchanges – click here

Resources to support you in your teaching: Check out the latest resources at

  • Most recently we have facilitated the development of a series of tutorials which demonstrate exactly how you can implement the Digital Learning Framework in the MFL classroom. They are available – click here
  • Tutorials on Strategies for Teaching and Learning Using the Target Language in the MFL classroom are available – click here. By doing these you will recognise the benefits of using the target language in teaching and learning, maximise the use of the target language as a teacher, implement strategies to support your students in their use of the target language, plan for progression in target language by both teachers and students, appreciate the role of the language of instruction in the MFL classroom.

Information and resources

To support the teaching and learning of foreign languages in your school available at

  • Junior Cycle for Teachers: Resources to support you in the implementation of the new MFL specification – click here
  • PDST: Supports the teaching and learning of MFL in post-primary schools. See their website for resources – click here
  • TPNs: The Teacher Education Section (TES) of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) has established a supplementary funding scheme, TPN, to support the work of Teachers’ Groups and Associations (TGAs) which afford Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and professional peer support to all Post Primary teachers.

For more information:

Junior Cycle Skills booklet – click here

Junior Cycle guidance and resources for curricular languages – click here

Junior Cycle guidance and resources for non-curricular languages – click here

Gradireland Languages Careers Booklet – click here

Languages Connect: How-to Manual and Toolkit for School Exchanges – click here

PPLI Funding for School Exchanges Scheme – click here

The following TPNs are available for language teachers:

French Teachers Association – click here

Association of Teachers of Spanish – click here

German Teachers Association of Ireland – click here

Association of Teachers of Italian – click here

Japanese Language Teachers of Ireland – click here

Association of Teachers of Russian in Ireland – click here

Communities of Practice

“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wegner-Trayner 2015)

The communities of practice are being set up all over Ireland to support teachers who want to meet, discuss, and share ideas. There are open to all language teachers, language assistants, and PME students.

These are teacher led and each community can decide how they want the meetings to be chaired, how to decide which topics will be discussed, timing, how often they meet, etc.

Teachers will enrich their professional knowledge as well as have meaningful exchanges with colleagues.

Meetings usually take place in local education centres.

This video will explain what the communities of practice are. Click here to watch.


Contact PPLI

Sandrine Pac-Kenny is the contact person in PPLI to help with the setting up and the administration of the communities of practice:

Communities of practice are advertised on our Facebook page, our Twitter account, on the Post-Primary Languages Initiative website and also emailed to the schools.

Working with

Watch and listen to some of the career stories


learn more

Did you

Only 6.5%
of the world’s population are native English speakers