Language Awareness

Language awareness is explored in the Revised Primary School Curriculum through Gaeilge, English and the Modern Language. Children are encouraged to explore how language works and to identify patterns and structures. This should help them to better understand how their own language/s work and in turn help them to develop strategies for learning a new language:

‘The language awareness component is especially relevant in the Irish context. (...) Language awareness is also a component of both the English and the Gaeilge curriculum. Comparisons may be highlighted between these languages and the target language in various ways, for example by focusing on the alphabet, sentence structure, conventions of language, the language appropriate to particular situations...'(NCCA Pilot Project on Modern Languages in the Primary School - Draft Curriculum Guidelines, p.8)

Language awareness in the MLPSI classroom can be explored and developed under the following headings:
•How language works
•How I learn languages
•A world of languages
•Playing with language 
Click here to see how an MLPSI school explores Language Awareness 
Please see the following resources for suggestions and activities to explore these four key areas:
Practical recommendations:
  1. Encourage pupils to 'play' with language and to enjoy new sounds and structures through rhyme, story telling, song, poetry and tongue twisters.
  2. Explore the patterns that exist in different languages
  3. Look at the importance of grammar and develop an awareness of how it works in Gaeilge, English, the Modern Language and any other languages in the classroom
  4. Raise awareness about the different languages in the immediate community
  5. Explore other languages and discuss similarities and differences
  6. Discover how intonation, stress and accent can aid understanding
  7. Look at the significance of gesture and facial expression
  8. Look at the relationship between language and identity
  9. Discuss different strategies that pupils are using for learning  a language
For further information on how to develop the language awareness strand please refer to the language specific pages on this website (French, German, Italian and Spanish), particularly the Incareer sections for access to past booklets. Further ideas can also be found in editions of our Language Links newsletter which can be downloaded from this website.