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Developing Language and ICT
Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 30 Nov 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Carlow Educate Together National School (CETNS) is a primary school on the outskirts of Carlow Town, Co. Carlow in the South East of Ireland. The school is located in a disadvantaged area and has the status of DEIS Band 2. The school caters for children between the ages of 4-13. We have approximately 240 students from Junior Infants to 6th class. We have 2 ASD units consisting of 6 children in each class. There is a staff of about 25 which includes teachers and support staff. In line with our European Development Plan, he aim of this project is to participate in mobility activities as part of a broad strategy of development and modernisation in which our school is engaged, with a view to improving standards of Irish across the school. Our objectives can be summarised as follows:- to improved teaching and learning through continuous professional development- to acquire effective methods of language learning through the experience of other countries. - to familiarise ourselves with the latest educational technologies and learn to utilise them in the school setting. - to instill a love of language in our students- to improve standards of spoken irish in our school- to improve children's confidence in speaking in a second language- to obtain best practice models of language teaching and learning from leaders in this areas in other European countries- to broaden the range of strategies and methodologies used by teachers in the classroom in the teaching if Irish. - to revive Irish in our school as a language of communication- to increase literacy levels in Irish amongst our students and staff- to examine international best practice in language learning relating to dying languages in a school settingThe whole school staff (teachers, SNA's, support staff) have an interest in this project, particularly in the context of the anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Ireland and it's relationship with the Irish language. Activities will include job shadowing in countries which have a endangered language, similar to the situation in Ireland where we are reviving our language primarily through the education system. We hope to gain insights into the factors that affect a language from flourishing, and identify how these education system in our neighbouring countries combat this in an educational setting. We are interested in observing teaching methodologies and planning structures whilst also experiencing how teachers are trained to deliver their endangered language to primary school children. We hope to compare and contrast best practice in Wales, Spain and France with our practices here in Ireland. We will prepare observation documents, surveys, and other documents for the purpose of data collection before each mobility in order to best record our progress. Observations will be key, as will meeting with teachers in these countries to share our experience of teaching endangered languages in a primary school setting. In the short term, we hope to reinvigorate the relationship our teachers and students have with the Irish language. We wish to assess best practice and identify what changes we need to make to our structures of teaching Irish. Long term goals include improving children's confidence with the spoken word, improving fluency in spoken Irish, and using Irish as a language of communication on our school setting.
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