- Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland

Primary School Curriculum and Modern Languages

re : Primary School Curriculum and Modern Languages           reply
23/09/2009 13:12 - School Specific
These is a programme called the Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative (MLPSI) which some schools are fortunate enough to be in. It started about 10 years ago as a pilot project to introduce modern languages in the primary curriculum. Participating schools offer French, German, Spanish or Italian in school to pupils in 5th and 6th class. The lessons are taught by either the class teacher (if they are skilled in the language) or by a visiting teacher. Sadly due to lack of resources it has never progressed to become an integral part of the curriculum and it would seem that newly qualified teachers now need to have a MFL in order to teach in primary school. I have worked as a visiting teacher with the project for several years but the hope now is that the class teacher will be the person responsible for delivering the programme. And with all the core curriculum subjects they have to teach already i think the children will suffer as the modern languages are not seen as such a priority.
Perhaps you can approach the school or the parents council and ask if there is any chance modern languages can be offered. Faiiling that, perhaps see if there are any after school French clubs in your area.
Teaching modern languages at primary level is something i am passionate about and i do think it is too late to wait until the children start their secondary education to introduce them.
Hope this helps!

Primary School Curriculum and Modern Languages           reply
23/09/2009 12:43 - School Specific (Locality: Dublin North)
Many primary schools seem to offer French, Spanish, German etc but my childs school has no provision for any languages other than Irish. How is it that it is available as some schools, even though it is not listed as a curriculum subject?
Without wanting to upset anyone who is very pro Gailege, it would seem far more beneficial to be teaching our primary school children a modern language.
Anyone got any insight/thoughts on this?

re : Primary School Curriculum and Modern Languages           reply
19/09/2011 11:39 - School Specific
The Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative supports schools who would like to offer a third language to their senior classes - applications are welcome from schools wishing to join the programme who have staff with the requisite language skills.There are currently over 530 schools involved in the programme offering the opportunity to learn Italian, Spanish, German and French to their 5th and 6th class pupils. Ireland is currently the only European country where modern language learning is neither a core or compusory element of primary education. For more information, please see

discussion forum terms & conditions