MA Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge
Duais Ghaeilge Gael Linn
Why did you choose teaching and why Hibernia College?
I took some time off work after my second child was born and began reflecting on what I really wanted to do and what best suited family life. Hibernia was the obvious choice for me because I had young children at home and could work my timetable around them.
What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME?
I taught Irish at third level in my former life.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area?
I noticed that there were many children in English medium schools struggling with the sounds of Irish. Even in the older classes, some children were not recognising fadas. I wondered why English medium schools didn’t use an interactive phonics programme such as Fonn Fónaice in the teaching of Irish. It’s a very user-friendly and fun programme used in a lot of Gaelscoileanna. I interviewed teachers to see how they felt about the use of such a programme. Many were not aware that it existed but were very familiar with the English language programme Jolly Phonics. I focused on this area for my research because I believe that the foundations for reading in Irish should be laid down early in order to demystify the language from the start. Far too many children believe that reading in Irish is difficult because they have not had the right start in Irish literacy.
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?
I was lucky enough to get a job this year in the school I most wanted to teach in. It’s a Scoil Lán Ghaelach with a lovely atmosphere and I’m very happy there. It’s also the school my children attend, so working there makes for an easier life all round.
What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME?