Aonaid & Sruthanna
What is an Aonad Lán-Ghaeilge?
An Aonad Lán-Ghaeilge (Irish-medium Unit) is a linguistic unit in which students are immersed in Irish from the beginning to the end of the school day. The Aonad operates within a parent school where English is the language of communication and teaching language of the school. The Aonad is similar to a small school, organised and run through a minority language while the parent school is run through the everyday language of the community.
What is a Sruth Lán-Ghaeilge?
A Sruth Lán-Ghaeilge (Irish-medium Stream) is a limited provision of tuition through the medium of Irish, within a parent school where English is the language of communication and teaching language of the school.
Gaeloideachas’ mission is to promote Irish-medium education and to support communities wishing to develop Irish-medium education in their area. It has been proven internationally that the most effective method of language acquisition for school students in a second language is to immerse them in that language during the school day (the immersion system). To do this, students must be free of the influence of the major language during these periods of immersion. The best way to facilitate this is to provide a gaelscoil or gaelcholáiste, in which all aspects of school life can be catered for through Irish.
It is Gaeloideachas’ policy to establish independent post-primary schools, to allow for continuity in Irish-medium education for pupils of Irish-medium primary schools and to allow students from other schools access to immersion education at post-primary level. In Gaeloideachas’ experience it is much more difficult to establish an Irish-medium post-primary school than it is to establish an Irish-medium primary school. Therefore, Irish-medium Units are sometimes established in English-medium schools. This is due to local circumstances, usually related to the geography and population of the area.
However, there are difficulties and challenges associated with immersion education in Irish-medium Units that are greater than those faced by an independent gaelcholáiste. To overcome some of these challenges, Irish-medium Units need basic supports in order to provide effective Irish-medium education for those who to trust in that system. The document below sets out Gaeloideachas’ policy on the appropriate structure for Irish-medium Units at post-primary level. This policy has been developed in consultation with established Irish-medium Units and the organisation’s Board of Directors. If you would like further information on Irish-medium Units, please contact our office; firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 8535195.
PDF download: Gaelscoileanna Teo. Policy on Irish-medium Units