School leaders

 

What Can We Do To Support You?

• PPLI fund heritage languages classes “Polish lessons have been a great impact on my school life. Thanks to these I got to use my native language without fear of someone not understanding me.” (Klaudia 2nd year)
• School exchanges (15K over 3 years for 20 schools)
• Teacher upskilling (70K available 2019)
• Ex-quota teachers to 60 schools
• Post-grad courses for teachers
• Additional allocation for diversification of languages

For more information and teaching resources see PPLI.ie

 

CPD / Upskilling for teachers

What is the MFL Teacher Upskilling Scheme?

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.

Funding for School Exchanges Scheme

Twenty schools have been 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. Click here for more information and ideas.

Avail of CPD & Resources

• Supplementary training materials are available on the PPLI website free of charge for all MFL teachers to diversify, enhance, and expand MFL teaching
• Resources to support teaching and learning in the classroom
• Resources for guidance counsellors are available as lesson plans
• Work placement portal and resources

Broaden Your Curriculum

• PPLI can assist you with the introduction of new languages via short courses, TY modules, and introductory first year courses. The broader your curriculum the more options you are providing for your students.
• Provide a short course for students not currently taking a foreign language. Curriculum support is available from the PPLI which have developed a generic short course for use in providing any MFL, and specific short courses in ISL, Japanese, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. All are fully aligned with NCCA templates and guidelines.

Benefits of Offering a Foreign Language in Your School

Get National Recognition

PPLI can help you to promote the work of your MFL colleagues in school

  • German department in Newpark Comprehensive hosting a language assistant
  • Teachers in Lucan Community College in organising a school exchange
  • Presentation College Wexford using digital tools to support teaching and learning
  • Apply for a European Language Label from the European Union to show that you are a centre of excellence in MFL learning and teaching.

Promote Your School

• Give parents the message that language learning is important to you – recent research by Red C shows that 78% of parents think learning a language is important as a life skill, and 81% think it’s important for finding work
• Demonstrate the range of opportunities open to students in the context of modern languages.
• Support the languages of the new Irish thus recognising the value that linguistic and cultural diversity delivers to individuals, society and the economy
• Show that you are a school where languages are celebrated

Shape Student Futures

• Shape the paths that your students take in the future.
• More Languages More Options “No matter what else is on the CV, we really are
looking for languages” (Laura Glendon, Software Industry)
“A foreign language is something to make you stand out from the rest” (Niamh Cacciato, Lawyer)
“Had I not had a foreign language, I wouldn’t have had the massive opportunities I have had in life” (Ciaran MacSamhrain, Engineer)

Develop Skills

• Learning languages supports development of communication skills, resourcefulness and creativity, problem solving and teamwork
• Language awareness developed in MFL learning improves skills in the first language
• Languages are an asset because they complement all sectors including STEM and business
“Students with languages can go into a whole range of diverse areas from writing to business to technical to diplomacy, international law and politics, it’s limitless” (Orlaith Tunney, Careers Services, Trinity College)
• Use languages teaching and learning to support the Digital Learning Framework. Tutorials to support the domains in the languages classroom are available on
the PPLI website.

Promote Well-being

• Learning languages supports development of communication skills,  resourcefulness and creativity, problem solving and teamwork
• Language awareness developed in MFL learning improves skills in the first language
• Languages are an asset because they complement all sectors including STEM and business
• Use languages teaching and learning to support the Digital Learning Framework. Tutorials to support the domains in the languages classroom are available on
the PPLI website.

Look to Europe

• Ireland has signed up to Barcelona objective of mother tongue plus two for every citizen
• Ireland as the only partly English-speaking nation in Europe will attract further funding opportunities such as opportunities for teacher exchange through
Erasmus+
• Foreign language competence is even more important in context of Brexit “Export diversification is our best defence in the face of Brexit challenges” (Minister Breen)

The Strategy

Under the Foreign Languages Strategy we will

  • Increase the number of post-primary schools offering two or more foreign languages by 25%
  • Increase the number of students sitting two languages at Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate by 25%
  • Increase the number of students in higher education studying a foreign language, in any capacity, as part of their course, by 20%
  • Increase the number of participants in Erasmus+ by 50%
  • Double the number of teachers participating in teacher mobility programmes
  • Double the number of foreign language assistants in schools
  • Improve learners’ attitude to foreign language learning
  • Improve the quality of foreign language teaching at all levels

There are 100 actions in the Strategy, including

  • Introduce Mandarin Chinese as a Leaving Certificate subject
  • Introduce curricular specifications for heritage speakers for Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese
  • Develop a range of short courses in languages for Junior Cycle
  • Explore the potential for introducing bonus points at Leaving Certificate for studying foreign languages in cases where students apply for higher education courses in language-related areas
  • Enhance employer engagement in the development of new trade languages
  • Increase the opportunities for short-term teacher exchanges for post-primary teachers
  • Carry out periodic surveys of students’ attitudes and experiences of foreign language learning
  • Incentivise schools to diversify their language offer, including by means of concessionary hours, where appropriate
  • Progress pilot programme for co-operation with foreign-owned companies, or indigenous companies with a foreign presence, to enable students in Further Education and Training and Higher Education to do work placements in the parent country
  • Implement the newly developed Junior Cycle short course in Lithuanian
  • Appoint “language champions” from business and other sectors to demonstrate the opportunities available for graduates with foreign language competences
  • Develop new models of delivering language teaching, such as shared classes and blended learning. This will allow students who are part of small immigrant communities, within specific schools, to develop their heritage language skills

Implementation of this ambitious strategy will require significant changes to how foreign languages have been taught in the past and will require extra resources. The Minister is confident that the correct policies will be put in place under this strategy to increase the number of foreign language teachers.

The strategy contains a number of actions to ensure we have a steady supply of teachers to deliver on the ambition of the strategy, such as:

  • A baseline data collection exercise to understand current supply of foreign language teachers
  • Research to identify future language needs, with the aim of ensuring provision and uptake in line with those needs
  • Identify teachers who are qualified to teach a foreign language but who may not have had the opportunity to teach that language in their schools. Provide opportunities and incentives for these teachers to upskill by means of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or post-graduate courses
  • Consider the possibility of a post-graduate programme for teachers, with a language, who may be able to learn another language
  • Explore the potential for alternative, flexible models such as blended learning (a combination of face-to-face teaching with computer technology), clustering learners, and evening / weekend classes
  • Incentivise schools to diversify their language offer, including by means of concessionary hours, where appropriate

Working with
languages

Watch and listen to some of the career stories

 

learn more

Did you
know?

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