Dáil Éireann - Volume 388 - 13 April, 1989
Written Answers. - Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
25. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Education the measures she is taking to promote the teaching of (a) French (b) German in post-primary schools.
Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke) Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke)
Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke): I have at all times since taking up office made clear to schools managements, teachers, parents and business interests my views on the importance of modern continental languages for our young people. I am happy to see that there has already been a significant increase in the number of schools offering German, for example, and I am continuing to encourage and promote modern language teaching generally.
In particular I have had a survey carried out of the extent to which teachers qualified in modern languages are under-utilised at present. I have followed this up by arranging special financial provision to enable schools to employ additional part-time teachers in order to expand their language teaching, either by freeing up existing teachers or by using the extra teachers.
Following discussion of possible measures to improve language teaching with  the interested parties, including the Confederation of Irish Industry, I am finalising proposals whereby pupils will be facilitated in taking up a modern language ab initio after the completion of the junior cycle. I have also arranged for foreign language modules to be offered in VPT courses.
Finally, I have been a keen exponent of the EC's lingua programme which is to be put before the Education Council next month and which provides for in-service training abroad for language teachers, exchanges of pupils and study periods abroad for undergraduate trainee teachers of languages.
Dáil Éireann 388 Written Answers. Teaching of Foreign Languages.