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Research report examining expectation and realities for Irish-medium practitioners in NI

feet on black and white tiles

Colleagues at the Centre for Language Education Research undertook research investigating the additional competencies and challenges faced by IME practitioners. In Northern Ireland, teacher shortages and the lack of dedicated opportunities for Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) in the Irish Medium Education (IME) sector are recognised as some of the issues which have the potential to contribute to sustained educational underachievement for pupils in Northern Ireland (Fair Start, 2021). The research team of Drs Mel Engman, Aisling O’Boyle, Yecid Ortega, and Sultan Turkan conducted a systematic literature review of immersion education in international contexts and conducted primary research with stakeholders working in the IME sector across Northern Ireland. Research findings highlight the additional teacher competences evidenced in immersion contexts across the globe and in NI. Centre Director Dr Aisling O’Boyle, one of the authors of the report, commented: “The matter of significant additional work undertaken by immersion teachers seems to be compounded by the context of a relatively new and fast-growing sector for which tailored statutory support and recognition is yet to be fully woven into the current education system”. You can read the full report of the research is here  and an executive summary is available here.