A Review from Northern Ireland of the Linguistic Devolution of Primary School Languages.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where children at primary school do not have a right to learn another language. This chapter presents a first scholarly review of the interplay between modern foreign languages, the indigenous Irish language and Ulster Scots variety, situated within the complex politico-linguistic landscape of Northern Ireland. In order to understand the situation, a clear explanation of the political context of Northern Ireland is presented. As well as examining policy and practice in relation to primary school languages in the United Kingdom nations, the chapter concludes that any move to include languages on the primary curriculum will need proper resourcing and careful navigation of the sensitivities between languages in this part of the world.

KEY WORDS: Irish, Primary languages policy, Ulster Scots
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Learning in Anglophone Countries
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges, Practices, Ways Forward
EditorsUrsula Lanvers, Amy S. Thompson, Martin East
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-56654-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-56653-1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2021


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