Why learn Polish?

Polish is the second most widely spoken Slavic language, and understanding Polish opens doors to a fascinating and deeply rich culture. About 20 million people of Polish descent live outside of Poland, making it one of the biggest immigrant groups in the world. Due to the large population of Poles living outside of Poland, the language and culture has spread across the world. 

Polish in Ireland

The 2016 Census showed that the Polish community is the biggest national minority living in Ireland with a population of 122,585. Approximately 25,000 of these are children and young people. Across education, there is an imperative to support and capitalise on the multilingual abilities of the social and cultural as well as the long-term economic benefits of maintaining heritage languages.

Did you know you can study Polish for the Leaving Cert?
Three children enjoying Polish Summer Camp

Leaving Cert Polish

Polish has become a curricular subject since 2020, with the first cohort of students being examined in 2022.

Polish complementary schools

Information on Polish complementary schools in Ireland is available – click here.

Learn some classroom vocab with our Polish language mat

Language mat with Polish vocabulary and English translation

Check out our “Why Learn Polish?” video playlist!

Short Course in Polish as a Heritage Language

The short course in Polish as a heritage language developed by PPLI aims to maintain and develop students’ proficiency levels in Polish and their knowledge of Polish literature and culture, in order to consolidate and deepen their literacy skills and make them more self-aware as learners. This 100 hour course is based on the Generic Short Course in Modern Languages which was in turn developed using the Framework for Junior Cycle (DES, 2015) and the Junior Cycle Short Courses Draft Handbook ‘Developing Short Courses in Junior Cycle’. The course provides the ‘learning statements’ and key skills which all short courses are based upon.

This short course is designed to stimulate students’ interest in the Polish language and culture and to nurture their desire to maintain proficiency in Polish. It will foster an attitude of curiosity and openness to both the heritage culture (Polish) and the newly acquired culture (Irish), and it will highlight students’ participation in a multicultural, cosmopolitan society. In a multicultural society, it is important that young people have the opportunity to learn about their Polish culture, appreciate similarities and differences, and learn to observe, reflect and suspend judgement when discovering new cultures while simultaneously reflecting on their own. This course offers opportunities to do this.

The specification, assessment guidelines and the learning journal are all available – click here.