Career opportunities in the education sector are abundant for those with Irish language skills. Opportunities are available from Pre-school level to Third Level education, throughout the country.
Early years education - A Naíonra is a playgroup run through Irish for children (aged 3-5 years), who attend daily for 2-3 hours, under the guidance and supervision of a Stiúrthóir (Leader). Demand for Naíonraí places is increasing significantly, alongside the increased demand for Gaelscoileanna places.
Primary & Secondary School - There are now over 400 primary and secondary Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools throughout Ireland. In addition to Gaelscoileanna, Gaelcholáistí and schools located in Gaeltacht areas, teaching jobs exist for Irish speakers in mainstream primary and secondary schools.
There are abundant opportunities for qualified teachers with a high level of Irish. Having a high standard of spoken Irish has become more important than ever at second level since the oral Irish Leaving Certificate exam now accounts for 40 percent of the final grade. Subject teachers with Irish language skills are in demand too.
Other education-related opportunities with Irish language skills include:
- Summer schools/camps and Irish language improvement programmes for all age groups, both within and outside of Gaeltacht areas. Irish Language tourism and courses attract a wide range of people from Irish language teachers required to engage in continuous professional development (CPD), to school, college and university students from Ireland and abroad, seeking to improve their oral Irish language skills, to tourists who want a cultural holiday.
- Curriculum development, the DES Inspectorate and teaching resource developmentare also available.
- Graduates with IT skills, teaching skills and creative ideas are also in demand to assist in the development of interactive resources for teachers with organisations such as the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), the Teaching Council, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) and the Department of Education and Skills.
- Irish Language (Development/Promotion) Officer role is available in Third Level colleges, IOTs, student unions; government departments; County Councils; An Garda Síochána; political parties and the HSE among others.
Irish Language Development/Promotion Officer role is available in third level colleges, IOTs, student unions; government departments; county councils; An Garda Síochána; political parties and the HSE among others.
Teaching abroad - Demand for Irish language teachers abroad is increasing. Scholarships are available to those interested in travelling to America and Canada; Third level colleges in the UK and further afield are providing Irish language programmes, all of which provide opportunities to travel and teach Irish abroad:
- The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Programme offers Irish-speaking graduates the opportunity to work at colleges and universities in the United States that offer Irish language classes. Eligibility criteria include fluent Irish, a primary degree, teaching experience and an interest in being a cultural ambassador for Ireland. Fulbright also provides opportunities for Irish language academics at all levels to teach or conduct research in the USA.
- The FLTA Awards, sponsored by the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery, provide grants for Irish or E.U. citizens with fluent Irish, to teach the Irish language in the United States for a period of 9-10 months. Successful candidates to date have ranged from graduate students to primary school teachers, third-level tutors and other professionals.
- The Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) offers has Irish language awards annually, providing scholarships for graduates to spend time teaching Irish in Canada. There are currently over 30 third level colleges and universities in the USA, Canada (where there is a Gaeltacht), Australia, European countries and further afield, actively providing Irish language and Celtic Studies programmes within their own institutions. Some institutions throughout Britain, such as Coláiste na nGael in London, provide Irish language classes.
What are the main occupations where Irish may be used?
- Bean an Tí
- Childcare worker
- Lecturer / Teacher- Further Education
- School Inspector / Cigire
- School Principal
- Speech & Language Therapist
- Sports Development Officer
- Teacher - Languages
- Teacher - Nursery/Playgroup
- Teacher - Physical Education
- Teacher - Primary School
- Teacher - Secondary Level
What types of courses might help?
- AS003 | Education, Home Economics and Irish - with concurrent Teacher Education - St. Angelas College
- CM002 | Education - Primary Teaching - Gaeltacht Applicants - Marino Institute of Education
- MI006 | Education - Primary Teaching - Gaeltacht Applicants - Mary Immaculate College
- DC003 | Education - Primary Teaching - Gaeltacht Applicants - Dublin City University - DCU
- MH002 | Education - Primary Teaching - Gaeltacht Applicants (Froebel) - Maynooth University
- MI011 | Education, Irish and Religious Studies (Thurles Campus) - Mary Immaculate College
- MI012 | Education, Irish and Business Studies (Thurles Campus) - Mary Immaculate College
- DC005 | Bachelor of Education (Irish Sign Language) Restricted - Dublin City University - DCU
- DC013 | Bachelor of Education in Gaeilge, and French or German or Spanish - Dublin City University - DCU
- CM003 | Baitsiléir san Oideachas Trí Mheán na Gaeilge (Bunmhúinteoireacht) - Marino Institute of Education
- CM004 | Baitsiléir san Oideachas Trí Mheán na Gaeilge (Bunmhúinteoireacht) - Gaeltacht Applicants - Marino Institute of Education
- MI013 | Education, Mathematics and Gaeilge (Thurles Campus) - Mary Immaculate College
Where to go for further InformationGaelscoileanna - www.gaelscoileanna.ie
Naonraí - Na Naonraí Gaelacha
Comhar Naonraí na Gaeltachta - click here