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Teaching Languages School Of The Month

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Glór na Mara National School is situated in the center of Tramore, Co. Waterford, overlooking its beautiful bay. It is a mixed school with classes from Junior Infants to 6th Class.

Glór na Mara is now a large school with an enrolment of 470 pupils. Our staff is made up of 1 administrative principal, 17 classroom teachers, 6 support teachers and 4 SNAs.

The school boasts a long and rich history dating back to 1866/1867. The current school is an amalgamation of two schools: Star of the Sea and Edmund Rice National Schools. Amalgamation took place in 2000. Click here to read more about our school’s history.

Our school Principal is Pat O’Mahony. He is very supportive of the MLPSI and also sad to see it ending since the school entered the initiative at the very beginning in 1998.

The whole school approach:

French is taught by a visiting teacher. Laurence, a native French speaker, teaches 5th and 6th classes. There are two 5fth classes and two 6th classes comprising a total of about 120 pupils. Each class gets one hour and thirty minutes weekly divided into two sessions of forty-five minutes.

Children in the school get to see various artworks on the walls from French activities. Many pupils from younger classes love trying their French when they bump into Laurence in the corridors. When Ireland plays France in rugby we hear ‘’Allez les Verts’’ against ‘’Allez les Bleus’’.

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Spanish has been the modern language taught in Scoil Barra Naofa Cailíní since the MLPSI was set up.

Our school is situated in the eastern suburbs of Cork city. Many of our children go to Spain and the Spanish Islands for holidays and their parents are impressed with the level of communication they have when they meet other children, or go to shops and restaurants on holidays. The girls love to show off their third language!

Spanish is spoken throughout the school! Even the Junior Infants greet Elviee, our Spanish teacher with a cheery ¡Hola! And they are well able to count to ten in Spanish. Many of the teachers have learned a little Spanish over the years and they are very positive about developing a whole school approach to the language. Intercom announcements such as ‘No vamos a fuera’, all school signs such as ‘La Aula Principal’, ‘Dirección’ etc are in three languages, Gaeilge, Espanol and English.

Last year the principal, Mrs. McCarthy got the opportunity to visit a school in Granada, and we have established links between our two schools. It was a great opportunity to add to our Caja de Espana. Since then we have had some correspondence; the Spanish children sending us information about the cities in their province, and our children sending personal profiles in Spanish, as well as colouring work related to the language. We look forward to developing this link over the coming years.

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December 2011 -  St. Colman’s N.S., Cappagh, Croghan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

St. Colman’s N.S. or Cappagh N.S. was opened in 1975. It replaced two local schools, Kilmurry & Kilclonfert. Our Patron Saint is St.Colman’s whose well is situated behind the school. Cappagh considers itself an environmentally friendly school and has successfully gained two green flags so far. Students are also encouraged to participate in a variety of sporting and cultural activites.  Cappagh is a rural school with five full-time teachers. Since 1999 the school has participated in the Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative.  In Cappagh, French is taught to 5th & 6th class by a visiting teacher.

 Whole school approach to the ML/the ML & other curricular areas:

At this stage French is very much a part of our school and is integrated into the classroom – a very successful cross-curricular part of the 5th & 6th school programme. French can be seen on our notice-boards, classroom & office doors and has been integrated into many other subjects including Geography, History, English, Irish, P.E. and Music. The Class-teacher and Visiting Teacher meet regularly to ensure other curricular areas run in conjunction and complimentary to the French Programme.

January / February 2012: Glenbeg National School, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

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Glenbeg N.S is located just a few miles from Dungarvan in Co.Waterford. With 130 pupils and six teachers, it is a medium sized country school.

Our school Principal, Ms. Cleary, has a designated area in the main hall to display our German work. Children from other classes, as well as the parents, have an opportunity to view our projects and become familiar with German.

German has become important in school events - children from the 5th and 6th classes make introductions, sing songs and do rhymes at school-Christmas plays, our school mass and on graduation night.

Our German classes also make presentations to the other classes - the children practice their German and children from other classes learn little phrases and become familiar with the language.

When arriving at school, the German teacher is often greeted with GUTEN TAG by the younger children.

Quotes from pupils of their views of the ML:

  • ‘I like German because I always have fun and it will make it easier in secondary school’
  • ‘It’s easy to learn and speak, it’s also good because we do competitions that help us learn more’
  • I like learning German because it’s a new language, it’s interesting and fun.‘

Submitted by Maud Cunningham, German teacher.

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Kilglass NS joined the MLPSI Programme in 2008 and since then, we have been learning French in a fun, fresh and integrated way.  The French language itself is visible throughout our school and we, the students of 4th, 5th and 6th Classes try to use it, as we’re acquiring it, on a regular basis.  Our French teacher is ‘Madame’ Fitzgerald and we have a time-tabled French Class with her for 45 minutes on a Wednesday and another 45 minutes every Friday.

Click here to see a powerpoint we developed to show how French is learned in our school.