38 First Year students from 8 post-primary Limerick schools have recently completed a two-week Mary I Irish Language summer programme at Mary Immaculate College that saw them enjoying tuition and numerous fun activities as Gaeilge.
Mary I Irish Language Camp Promotes Equitable Access to Teacher Education
by ilovelimerick correspondent Chloe O’Keeffe
38 First Year students from 8 post-primary Limerick schools have recently completed a two-week Mary I Irish Language summer programme at Mary Immaculate College that saw them enjoying tuition and numerous fun activities as Gaeilge in an effort to foster a love of the language enabling them to speak it with confidence.
Funded by the HEA (Higher Education Authority), Tús Maith is an innovative pilot programme focused on encouraging individuals from non-traditional teaching backgrounds to choose teaching as a career path.
Over the course of the two weeks of the pilot Mary I Irish Language summer camp the students, under the supervision of a group of teachers and MIC and UL student mentors, attended and engaged in a wide range of activities conducted through the medium of Gaeilge. Various activities included yoga, water sports, art, music, dancing, drama, Lego workshops and taster classes. The camp concluded with a showcase performance, before an invited audience in the Lime Tree Theatre, which also saw the participants being presented with certificates of achievement, acknowledging their enthusiastic participation in Tús Maith.
Speaking on the success of the Mary I Irish Language programme, Programme Manager, Karina Ryan said, “From the early stages of its development Tús Maith was very well supported by post-primary schools in the Limerick area. We are delighted with the positive feedback from both parents and participants as it far exceeded our expectations.”
According to one parent, the experience of the camp broadened their daughter’s perspectives and ideas for her future, making “a very positive impression on her.”
The summer camp is one of the initiatives developed by the National Institute of Studies in Education (NISE) to promote more equitable access to teacher education. NISE is a collaborative body working across MIC, UL, and LIT on teacher education. Following the success of the inaugural programme, it is hoped that the Irish summer camp initiative will continue to grow and develop into the future.
For more info on the Mary Immaculate College go here.
For more stories on Mary I go here.