A group of students from the School of Educational Sciences took a highly inspirational trip to Dublin in January 2023, funded by the University’s Bangor Fund which is supported through donations from alumni.
BA Childhood and Youth students following the Multilingualism in Childhood module experienced, first-hand, the challenges facing the sustainability of a minority language and the fundamental role of education in supporting and maintaining language use.
Professor Enlli Thomas, who teaches the module, said, “This trip, by far, has been one of the highlights of my 20+ years of teaching at Bangor University. Being able to ignite students’ passion and see them buzzing with enthusiasm around the subject to such a degree was truly gratifying, undoubtedly enhanced by the real-life experiences provided on the trip.”
The group visited a Gaelscoil – an Irish-medium primary school situated outside of the Gaeltacht (the traditional Irish-speaking region) – to learn more about the challenges of immersion-based educational practices in non-Irish-speaking regions and to experience for themselves the strategies used in transmitting Irish to the pupils. They also spent valuable time in structured discussions with the first ever cohort of Initial Teacher Education students to be taught wholly through the medium of Irish training to become teachers for the Irish-medium setting. These experiences were supplemented by a visit to the Long Room at Trinity College, to learn about Book of Kells and appreciate the antiquity of language, and to the Temple Bar region of the City, to appreciate Irish culture.
Dr Clive Underwood, Course Director for the BA Childhood and Youth Studies course added, “Without the generous funding provided by our alumni, many of the students who benefitted from the trip would not have been able to attend. We are very grateful to the Bangor Fund for providing this opportunity for our students and are certain that these students will remember this trip for many years to come.”
The Bangor Fund is funded by generous donations from Bangor University alumni and supports activity that enriches students’ experiences whilst studying with us here in Bangor.