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'Fewer students' heading to Gaeltacht for summer courses


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 06/06/2011. 'Fewer students' heading to Gaeltacht for summer coursesTags: Secondary School News

The impact of the recession has led to a reduction in the number of students travelling to summer colleges in the Gaeltacht to improve their spoken Irish.

According to the Irish Independent, numbers are down from a peak of around 28,000 in 2008 to an expected 25,000 this year.

The newspaper stated that concerns over the nation's financial squeeze have led to many more inquiries about the possibilities of scholarships to cover the €750 to €900 cost of a three-week residential course.

However, the Irish colleges group Concos observed that many students are still looking to take advantage of the opportunity to improve their spoken Irish, as oral and aural exams now make up almost half of the Leaving Certificate's assessment in the subject.

"Although the numbers are down by about ten per cent on the peak, I would think that compares reasonably well with other tourism and cultural sectors which have been worse hit," said Concos spokeswoman Caitlin Neachtain.

Recently, an article by Dr Liming Wang published in the Independent stated that language education in schools should also look to include Mandarin, as this is likely to become a highly useful skill in the coming years.

Written by Donal Walsh
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