The Instigator
I-am-a-panda
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
NotPurpleHaze
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The learning of the Irish language in Ireland should be non-compulsory during the senior cycle

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,259 times Debate No: 9372
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

I-am-a-panda

Pro

Full Resolution: The learning of the Irish language in the Republic of Ireland should be non-compulsory for all during the senior cycle.

===DEFINITIONS===

Senior Cycle - The common term for the 5th and 6th year of the Irish educational system, which involves studying and taking the Leaving Certificate (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Compulsory - required; mandatory; obligatory

Please don't semanticise this debate

===BRIEF OVERVIEW===

Currently, the learning of the Irish language is compulsory for school receive government funding (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

It also required by most colleges for all courses.

===PRO ARGUMENT===

1) NON-PRACTICALITY:

The learning of the Irish language is largely wasteful. Appropriately 40,000 to 80,000 fully native speakers living in Ireland (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Most of these live in Gaeltacts are in the Isolated West of Ireland (http://en.wikipedia.org...), which means the use of the language would be uncommon

The very fact the language is only spoken by a minority in one country is not a justifiable basis for it's compulsory teaching.

2) EDUCATION

In the studying of Irish for the Leaving Certificate, it is the largely learning of poetry and stories. Although learning conversational is justifiable for both patriots and for rough and tumble encounters in the west of Ireland, knowing an Irish poem is unnecessary.

I await an opponent.
NotPurpleHaze

Con

And you call yourself Irish.

1) NON-PRACTICALITY:

As you have already said, Irish is required by most colleges for all courses. And this is not what we are arguing, so would the fact that Irish is required by most colleges not be a practical reason for its compulsory learning?:)

You claim that Irish is only spoken by a minority, but from your source it is clear that a large percentage of the population have a great interest in the language:

"Furthermore, a much larger number regard themselves as competent in the language to some degree: 1,656,790 (41.9% of the total population aged three years and over) regard themselves as competent Irish speakers."

Also the rising interest in our native language can be seen here:

http://www.gaelscoileanna.ie...

And those statistics do not include any school in the gaeltacht areas, as they are not a part of gaelscoileanna.

Irish is also now recognised as an official EU language:

http://ec.europa.eu...

Irish remains our first language, as it should for national identity, but if its compulsory learning is gotten rid of, how could we still justifiably claim that it is our first language?

"The very fact the language is only spoken by a minority in one country is not a justifiable basis for it's compulsory teaching."

I'd agree with you if we were on about a foreign language, but in my opinion the fact that it is our native language is a justifiable basis for its compulsory teaching.

2) EDUCATION

I don't see what how the language is taught should have to do with whether it should be taught or not. If you wanted to argue that a revamp should be done on how it is taught, you should have.

And anyway what other way could it be taught? What makes knowing a poem in English necessary?
Debate Round No. 1
I-am-a-panda

Pro

I thank Purplehaze for his response.

1)NON-PRACTICALITY:

"As you have already said, Irish is required by most colleges for all courses. And this is not what we are arguing, so would the fact that Irish is required by most colleges not be a practical reason for its compulsory learning?:)"

--> Most of which receive government funding, which means they'd change their requirements.

"You claim that Irish is only spoken by a minority, but from your source it is clear that a large percentage of the population have a great interest in the language:

"Furthermore, a much larger number regard themselves as competent in the language to some degree: 1,656,790 (41.9% of the total population aged three years and over) regard themselves as competent Irish speakers." "

--> Amount of people who can speak it doesn't equate to a great interest in the language. I would regard my self as 'competent', but competent varies from person to person. That percentage are competent due to the compulsory teaching of it up until 6th year of secondary school.

"Also the rising interest in our native language can be seen here:

And those statistics do not include any school in the gaeltacht areas, as they are not a part of gaelscoileanna.

Irish is also now recognised as an official EU language"

--> Letting it be non-compulsory doesn't mean purging every school of everything Irish. It leaves it as an option. If you have an interest in it and want to learn it, you take it. If you don't, take a different subject. The government houldn't be in a position to decide what we do and don't study based on ad populum.

"Irish remains our first language, as it should for national identity, but if its compulsory learning is gotten rid of, how could we still justifiably claim that it is our first language?"

--> It's not as if we're purge pour libraries of Irish works. It leaves an option to study the language for your leaving certificate. You still do it up to Junior certificate and that covers most basic conversational Irish, enough to still claim national pride.

"I'd agree with you if we were on about a foreign language, but in my opinion the fact that it is our native language is a justifiable basis for its compulsory teaching."

--> Great, but under that logic, learning Irish dance, Irish history,Irish music, etc.

Also, this is Irish: http://en.wikipedia.org...

The modern Irish is influenced by English.

Education seems to be an unnecessary point in this debate.
NotPurpleHaze

Con

"--> Most of which receive government funding, which means they'd change their requirements."

I didn't see that in your resolution. You gave a brief overview in which you brought this point to the voters attention, but nowhere did you say it would need to be changed. The only thing you argued in round one was that Irish should not be compulsory for the leaving cert.

"--> Amount of people who can speak it doesn't equate to a great interest in the language. I would regard my self as 'competent', but competent varies from person to person. That percentage are competent due to the compulsory teaching of it up until 6th year of secondary school."

So you would have that percentage fall, rather than rise. Personally I think it is a disgrace that so small a number would regard themselves as competent after so much study, but one argument that is often made for the compulsory learning of Irish, is that it would generate an interest in the subject which may cause people to volunteer to send their children to Irish medium schools.

Can you think of any other reason that might be the cause of this rise in interst:http://www.gaelscoileanna.ie...

If not, do you see this as a bad thing? There are many studies to suggest that early learning of a second language greatly improves ones mental abilities.

http://www.ncssfl.org...

Would improving the overall mental ability of the Irish population not be a justifiable reason for its compulsory learning?

"--> Letting it be non-compulsory doesn't mean purging every school of everything Irish. It leaves it as an option. If you have an interest in it and want to learn it, you take it. If you don't, take a different subject. The government houldn't be in a position to decide what we do and don't study based on ad populum."

"--> It's not as if we're purge pour libraries of Irish works. It leaves an option to study the language for your leaving certificate. You still do it up to Junior certificate and that covers most basic conversational Irish, enough to still claim national pride."

Both more or less make the same point.

You might aswell be purging our libraries and schools of everything Irish. As you have said, all that is covered up to junior cert is basic conversational Irish. It is not until leaving cert that you are exposed to some of the great Irish works. And from my experience, you cannot develop an interest in something until you have come in contact with it. Why even bother learning Irish up to junior cert if you do not intend to put it to use?

"The government shouldn't be in a position to decide what we do and don't study based on ad populum."

What? Is that not the only way that a government should be able to make decisions regarding the population it governs?

"--> Great, but under that logic, learning Irish dance, Irish history,Irish music, etc."

Your logic is incorrect as the majority of Irish people will have already come in contact with Irish dance, Irish history and Irish music enough to know whether they have an interest in it or not, so there would be no need to have these subjects as compulsory. Whereas with the language itself, it takes up until junior certificate to develop a basic use of the language, after which point you are exposed to some of the Irish works. I believe that the exposure of students to these works should be compulsory as they would not know whether they would be interested in them or not prior to exposure.

And Irish history is taught in the final years of primary school and learning Irish dance and Irish music is highly encouraged. In my primary school for example, anyone who wished to learn Irish music was left out of class for the last two hours of every friday to do so, which was encouragement enough for me anyway.

"The modern Irish is influenced by English."

Whats your point?
Debate Round No. 2
I-am-a-panda

Pro

I thank PurpleHaze for this debate.

"I didn't see that in your resolution. You gave a brief overview in which you brought this point to the voters attention, but nowhere did you say it would need to be changed. The only thing you argued in round one was that Irish should not be compulsory for the leaving cert."

--> It would be an obvious knock on effect. Make Irish non-compulsory, they'd obviously be pressured into reducing the need for Irish in many courses. They would lose alot of students who would no longer take Irish if they did.

"So you would have that percentage fall, rather than rise. Personally I think it is a disgrace that so small a number would regard themselves as competent after so much study, but one argument that is often made for the compulsory learning of Irish, is that it would generate an interest in the subject which may cause people to volunteer to send their children to Irish medium schools."

--> Irish would still be compulsory up to 3rd year, wherein a student decides if they have enough interest in the language to study it further. Students would still learn it up to 3rd year. The numbers would not fall, at least not greatly.

"Can you think of any other reason that might be the cause of this rise in interst"

--> Students attend these because of the fact is one of the 3 base requirements for most college courses. The necessity and importance of Irish is huge, and students often struggle, meaning they turn to Gaelthacts to learn it.

"If not, do you see this as a bad thing? There are many studies to suggest that early learning of a second language greatly improves ones mental abilities."

--> This maybe true, but students will only be missing out on 2 years of Irish, hardly impeding the mind. Furthermore, most, if not all, will still be doing a secondary language for college requirements.

"You might aswell be purging our libraries and schools of everything Irish. As you have said, all that is covered up to junior cert is basic conversational Irish. It is not until leaving cert that you are exposed to some of the great Irish works. And from my experience, you cannot develop an interest in something until you have come in contact with it. Why even bother learning Irish up to junior cert if you do not intend to put it to use?"

--> Great works of Irish? Learning poems and long stories is often a difficult part of a language. It's hardly a great work to someone who can only minimally translate it, and is learning completely new vocabulary through a poem or story. And this is from my experience.

The Junior Cert. handles most if not all, real life encounters one would have in Irish.

"What? Is that not the only way that a government should be able to make decisions regarding the population it governs?"

--> It should, but people under 18, the people who have to learn it, have no say in the matter. They have no vote whatsoever. They are making decisions students have no control over.

"Your logic is incorrect as the majority of Irish people will have already come in contact with Irish dance, Irish history and Irish music enough to know whether they have an interest in it or not, so there would be no need to have these subjects as compulsory. Whereas with the language itself, it takes up until junior certificate to develop a basic use of the language, after which point you are exposed to some of the Irish works. I believe that the exposure of students to these works should be compulsory as they would not know whether they would be interested in them or not prior to exposure."

--> Firstly, Junior Cert. is the 11th year of exposure to Irish, from Junior Infants to 3rd year. I think most 15 year olds are mature enough to make a logical decision based on there experience. The Junior Cert involves knowing a poem and a short story, which exposes them to some works, meaning they can make a decision, if the 11 years of exposure was not enough.

"And Irish history is taught in the final years of primary school and learning Irish dance and Irish music is highly encouraged. In my primary school for example, anyone who wished to learn Irish music was left out of class for the last two hours of every friday to do so, which was encouragement enough for me anyway"

--> Teaching of Irish Music, History and Dancing varies from school to school, and indeed, teacher to teacher. My school had no such encouragement, as many other schools.

As for Irish History, most of that is covered in History, which is optional. You learn about Celtic Ireland all the way up to Modern Ireland in Junior Certificate history.

"Whats your point?"

--> That the nationalist, patriotic stance that you should learn your native Irish, isn't actually Irish.
NotPurpleHaze

Con

NotPurpleHaze forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by andre 7 years ago
andre
I see that it should not be compulsory during a crucial era of someone's education, but, as for practicality, it is very important that these dying languages survive, and must be taught at least sometimes, regardless of who speaks it now. In Ireland, it would be better if everyone's first language was Irish, and then they would go on to learn English. Such programs work better for the revival and continued survival of Irish and other languages in a similar situation.
Posted by Volkov 7 years ago
Volkov
Tempted to take this. Very, very tempted.
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Vote Placed by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
I-am-a-pandaNotPurpleHazeTied
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Vote Placed by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
I-am-a-pandaNotPurpleHazeTied
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Danielle
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RoyLatham
I-am-a-pandaNotPurpleHazeTied
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