Tá mo mhac, Art, ag criochnú a chéad bhliain ar an mbunscoil anseo i gCúil Aodha amárach. Nach go gasta a shleamhnaíonn an am. Nílim ag maíomh gur geinias é – ach faoi láthair tá sé ag déanamh ceachtanna i leabhar Sudoku a mhathair!
Níl a fhios agam an cruthúnas é sin nó nach ea ar an dtaighde nua atá déanta ag an Dr. Judith Wylie ó Scoil na Siceolaíochta ag Ollscoil na Ríona, Béal Feirste, a thugann le fios go neamh bhalbh gur fearr i bhfad a eiríonn le daltaí Gaelscoile ná daltaí ar chomh aois leo i ghnath scoileanna.
An ceannteideal ón dtaighde seo, deir sé go bhfuil go bhfuil daltaí ocht mbliain d’aois i ngaelscoileanna ar chomhchéim le daltaí deich mbliain d’aois i ghnath scoileanna.
Anois ar eagla iad san a chaitheadh amhras ar leitheid seo de thaighde mar seo bheith amuigh ansin ag…caitheamh amhrais ar an dtaighde seo…ní doigh liom go bhféadfaí a mhaíomh gur ionad léinn é Ollscoil na Ríona atá claonta i bhfabhar na Gaeilge. Seo taighde acadúil agus léiríonn sé go gcuireann an Ghaeilge gaoth i seol do pháíste agus iad ag tabhairt faoin aistear ar mhór aigéan an oideachais.
Seo an preas ráiteas ina iomláine, an leagan Bhéarla atá agam anseo. Déanfaidh mé iarracht theacht ar an leagan Ghaeilge. Ní fhaca mé aon tuairisc ar an dtaighde seo in aon mheán Bhéarla…nó Gaeilge. An bhfaca sibh a leithéid?
*Groundbreaking research demonstrates underlying advantages of Irish-medium
Recent research carried out by Dr Judith Wylie and Dr Gerry Mulhern from
Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Psychology has indicated that there
are significant underlying advantages to children who are being educated in
Irish-medium Schools. Aside from the obvious cultural and social benefits
of bilingualism, their research shows that there are real cognitive gains
from being bilingual. The research – the first of its kind involving the
Irish-medium sector – looks at ‘short term memory’ and ‘working memory’
performance in primary school children.
Dr Wylie explained, “Short memory and working memory are centrally important
in all learning, indeed everyday tasks such as reading, reasoning and mental
arithmetic rely heavily on these processes. Using standardised tests of
verbal and visual memory, our research compared groups of children from
Irish-medium schools with children from the more usual English-only schools
in Northern Ireland.”
Results indicated that children who attended Irish-medium schools
significantly outperformed those from the English-medium sector. On
average, 8-year-old and 10-year-old children from Irish-medium schools were
found to outperform children of a similar age from English-only
the most dramatic finding was that 8-year-old Irish-medium children
performed at least as well as, and in several areas better than,
10-year-olds from English-only schools.
Dr Réamaí Mathers from Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta (The Trust For
Irish-medium Education) welcomed this news saying, “ This groundbreaking
work adds further evidence to the increasingly indisputable body of good
science that shows that children who are educated in Irish-medium schools
are not only receiving the benefit of two languages but are also receiving
tangible educational advantages. Earlier this year, Key Stage 2 assessments
(Primary 7), which focus on the areas of English and maths, demonstrated
that for the last three years attainment in Irish-medium education has been
higher than the Northern Ireland average. What the Queen’s research
provides is a deeper insight into the mechanisms at work in the superior
performance by Irish-medium children when compared to the more usual English
Dr Mathers continued, “This research is another affirmation for our schools
not only in their role in the revival of our indigenous language but,
because of the deep functional mental processes involved in bilingualism,
their role as centres of excellence in education. Irish-medium education is
providing children with the highest levels of attainment. Indeed, so
compelling is this educational case, that the argument for the ongoing and
increased support for the sector at nursery, primary and post-primary level
is more compelling than ever.