€15,000 for schools to offer school exchanges
Upskilling opportunities for teachers & new website launched as resource for schools, students & teachers
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. today (17th September 2018) launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of foreign languages and announced new funding for teacher upskilling and school language exchanges.
The campaign is aimed at school principals, teachers, guidance counsellors, parents, students and higher level institutions. Embassies, cultural services and bodies such as IBEC and Enterprise Ireland (EI) are also involved in supporting the campaign to raise awareness of the importance of learning foreign languages. The campaign will be supported by a new website (www.languagesconnect.ie) which will act as a one stop shop for schools, parents and students on language learning.
The Minister is today inviting existing post-primary language teachers to apply for funding to upskill in a foreign language. The scheme enables existing language teachers to apply for funding to upskill in a language they are not currently teaching but are qualified in. The scheme is available to all post-primary schools and the overall goal is to increase and diversify the uptake of languages learned in post-primary schools. The Department are also developing postgraduate courses, aimed at training existing language teachers to teach in another language, that they are not qualified in.
The Minister also announced dedicated funding to support schools in organising language exchanges with schools in other countries. Schools are invited to apply from today and ten will be 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.