A conference supporting multilingual learners and literacy will take place at UCD on November 24th and 25th, 2012. The conference is organised by UCD and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Dublin.

This is the second annual conference of the network of Polish schools, Ireland’s biggest network of migrant-led schools.

At a time when the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland is striving to improve and increase literacy levels, all schools which support and develop the multilingual skills of their students play a vital role in this work. Among these are the growing number of migrant-led schools in Ireland as well as the many mainstream Irish schools which provide non-curricular language classes on their own initiative.

Census 2011 is testament to the huge diversity of languages spoken in Ireland: almost 10% of the population said they spoke a language at home other than English or Irish. From an economic viewpoint, there is a demonstrable need to maintain and increase this multilingualism in Ireland. Government needs to invest more in supporting and encouraging language learning from a young age.

As the first academic institution in Ireland to provide such a level of support for migrant education and integration, this conference is a demonstration of UCD’s leadership in this area and its ongoing investment in education.

Over 90 delegates are expected to attend. These include representatives from all the Polish schools in Ireland as well as the principals of the various Irish schools which already teach many different languages, e.g., Polish, Arabic, Japanese, etc.

An important discussion point will be the proposed Junior Certificate reform and the introduction of languages, such as Polish, at Junior Cert. level.

Among the speakers and experts who will attend the conference are Prof. Bairbre Redmond (UCD) who will open the conference, Prof. Sarah Smyth (Trinity College, Dublin), Prof. Hans Luschützky (University of Vienna, Austria) and Dr Agnieszka Rabiej (Jagiellonian University, Poland).

For more information contact:
Name: Niamh Nestor
Tel.: 086 3961430
Email: niamh.nestor@ucdconnect.ie, niamh.nestor@gmail.com