Parents/Immersion Education

Immersion Education

General information about the advantages of immersion education in our schools

What is immersion education?

Immersion Education is the system of education of an Irish-Medium school. Classes are taught through the medium of Irish, school staff converse with each other through Irish, all business and Board of Management meetings are held through Irish and pupils are encourages to converse Irish with each other. The school strengthens and promotes its Irish-speaking community both inside and outside the school gates. Irish-medium schools are open and welcoming and to that end, they support parents in partaking in schools life through different events from Irish classes to the Parents’ Committee and much more.

Aims of Irish-medium Education

  • To provide an excellent standard of education to pupils in our schools
  • To promote and reinforce holistic development of children
  • Promote the Irish-language, Irish culture and the Irish-language community


The Immersion Education Model

Comprehensive studies have found that the most effective method of acquiring a language is through immersion.

It is policy in all schools under An Foras Pátrúnachta that immersion education is implemented and practised. Immersion education means that all subjects, school business and internal communication are carried out through the medium of Irish. In this way, all aspects of the language surround the pupil, helping them to quickly understand and acquire the language. The class teacher will speak and teach through Irish only to the pupils from the beginning of Naíonáin Bheaga (Junior Infants) until the second term in Naíonáin Mhóra (Senior Infants) or later.

Research shows that children in immersion education do better in the reading and writing of English and Irish than the national average. (Ó hAiniféin, (2007), Cloud, Genesee & Hamayan (2000) ).

Why Choose an Irish-Medium School?

Parents and guardians chose an Irish-medium education for many different reasons:

  • It is extremely important to them that their children are fluent as Gaeilge.
  • They recognise that children get a particular perspective on our culture and others.
  • Due to the pride developed in children in their language, their culture and in themselves.
  • An ability to speak, read and write fluently in two languages.
  • The excellent education children receive in Irish medium schools.
  • Raising of self-esteem and sense of identity.


Along with these reasons, there are numerous other benefits for children who attend an Irish-Medium School.

For further information, resources and FAQs, visit




Bilingualism is defined as having the ability to speak two languages.

Children who attend An Foras Pátrúnachta schools are proficient in both Irish and English.

Research on bilingual education shows that children who learn bilingually:

  • Perform better academically
  • Find it easier to learn other languages
  • Achieve higher scores in English and Maths
  • Are open to other cultures and less racist



Our move from bilingualism to multilingualism has begun. We will grow multilingual education in our schools by implementing the ‘CLIL’ system, as used across Europe, thus providing additional opportunities to our students in the long run.

For further information, resources and FAQs, visit


    According to research on bilingual education, the following are the results for students who go through the system:

    • Better performance academically (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002).
    • Easier to learn a third and a fourth language (Cenoz & Valencia 1994).
    • An understanding and openness to other cultures (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002).
    • Improvement in cognitive functioning in creativity and communication (Bialystok et al. 2005).
    • Higher scores in English and Maths (Education Research Centre, 2011)
    • Enhanced awareness of identity, culture and sense of community (Baker, 2003)
    • Increased Self Esteem (Baker, 2003)
    • Bilingual Education enriches academic productivity, creative talents andself-esteem in students (NMABE, 2006; Cummins, 2000)
    • Improved communication and social skills (Cummins, 2000)


    For further information, resources and FAQs, visit


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