The following letter written by me was published in the Irish Independent on the 4th February 2009
Teacher wrong on decline of Irish
I refer to the letter from an unnamed former Irish teacher (’Irish language aid must stop’, Letters, January 31).
Teachers and the education system are often blamed — appropriately or otherwise — for our general inability as a nation to speak our own language. Given that the first language is currently enjoying what some term as a revival, the writer’s timing in admitting the ‘death of the Irish language is . . . the sad reality’ is somewhat unfortunate.
Perhaps this person, while maintaining a practice of ‘never imposing [their] ideals on others’ has missed the key point of effective teaching which begins with inspiring a passion in students for their subject.
Indeed, my French teacher at school always encouraged us to watch TV5, a fantastic resource, and would have never dreamed of dismissing it as a ‘grandiose white elephant’.
If all Irish teachers carry the same disdain for efforts to support our heritage, as exhibited by this person who would prefer to remain anonymous, the outlook for current and future students of the first language is certainly grim.
Rónán Ó Braonáin