The Challenges Facing Irish-Medium Primary and Post-Primary Schools When Implementing a Whole-School Approach to Meeting the Additional Education Needs of Their Students

Achoimre: The literature states the importance of adopting a whole-school approach to inclusion and for meeting the needs of all students. This study investigated the challenges faced by Irish-medium (IM) primary and post-primary schools in relation to providing a whole-school approach to inclusion […]. The findings suggest that
like immersion schools internationally, IM schools need more resources through the medium of Irish
in relation to assessment, evidence-based interventions, and teaching/learning resources.

Exemptions from Irish: An Inclusion Dilemma

Achoimre: While exemptions from Irish are periodically reported in the media, they have attracted little academic commentary. Learners with certain special educational needs (SEN) qualify for an exemption from Irish when clear criteria are met (DES1, 1994; DES, 1996), but there appears to be a gap between policy and practice. This paper presents findings on the educational profile of learners with Williams syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental condition that results in an intellectual disability (ID) but an aptitude for language learning. Most of the teacher participants in the study acknowledged the languagelearning capacity of the learners but some portrayed professional dilemmas of working within the parameters of an exemption from Irish. While this paper primarily aims to open the debate on exemptions from Irish, it also proposes a framework for the teaching of Irish to learners with SEN.

‘Bilingualism in autism: Evidence and recommendations for education practice’

“Bilingualism does not negatively impact autistic people and may provide benefits for cognitive and socio-emotional development. It is an essential part of someone’s identity”. This guidance document summarises the latest findings in the field of bilingualism in autism research. This summary focuses on the information needed by educators to provide up-to-date and adapted advice to bilingual families of autistic children and young people.