Aims

The Primary Language Curriculum sets out an image of children as communicators, readers, writers and thinkers, and a vision and understanding of primary classrooms as places where children are enabled to progress at their own pace in environments and relationships which are supportive, engaging and inclusive.

Aims

The aims of the Primary Language Curriculum are presented in three groups: focusing on children and their lives; children’s communications and connections with others; and children’s language learning and development.

1. Children and their lives  

The Primary Language Curriculum aims to support teachers to

  • enable children to build on prior knowledge and experience of language and language learning to enhance their language learning
  • encourage children to embrace Irish positively, and promote our cultural identity through the use of the Irish language
  • encourage children of different languages and cultures to be proud of and to share their heritage
  • recognise the wide variation in experience and ability and language style which children bring to language learning in school as a first step in enabling them to engage in relevant and meaningful communicative relationships.

2. Children’s communications and connections with others  

The Primary Language Curriculum aims to support teachers to

  • embrace children’s uniqueness by nurturing their appreciation of their home language, their understanding of language and diversity, and their ability to use different languages, gestures and tools to communicate with people in a variety of contexts and situations
  • encourage and enable children to communicate effectively in both the first and second language of the school and to communicate in their heritage language for a variety of purposes
  • enable children to fully engage with and enjoy a wide range of relevant and meaningful linguistic and communicative experiences with peers and adults.

3. Children’s language learning and development  

The Primary Language Curriculum aims to support teachers to

  • promote a positive disposition towards communication and language by fostering within children a lifelong interest in and a love of language learning for personal enjoyment and enrichment
  • broaden children’s understanding of the world through a rich variety of language experiences and through fostering an awareness and appreciation of other languages and cultures in an enriching learning environment
  • encourage children to engage personally with and think critically about a broad range of spoken, gesticulated, written and multimodal texts
  • support children to develop their literacy skills and enable them to progress at their own learning pace in oral language, reading and writing
  • nurture within children an awareness of language, allowing them to appreciate and understand the content and structure of languages and acquire a basic understanding of the history of languages and other cultures.

Further information on how the above aims shape children’s language learning in particular school contexts is provided in Section 5: Planning, teaching and assessing for learning.