In a world in which young people are being constantly reminded of employability and the terrible job market, you may wonder what the point is in learning minority languages such as GCSE Irish. While languages such as German, Spanish and French are spoken widely across the world, meaning that learning them will potentially provide students with transnational business opportunities, languages such as Irish are not spoken by many people.
However, education is not just about employability and doing business abroad. There are plenty of personal and professional advantages to choosing to study GCSE Irish or even at A Level.
Why choose to study Irish?
- Irish culture is really interesting. As you are hopefully aware, when you learn a language you also learn about a culture; whether or not you have Irish heritage, learning about Irish language and culture is a thought-provoking and enriching experience. Also, Irish culture is somewhat underrepresented in Britain, meaning the opportunity to learn this language and develop a deeper understanding of Irish culture, literature and geography is not to be passed by, if you get the opportunity.
- You will stand out from the crowd. Many people speak Spanish, French, Chinese and other popular languages, but if you are able to put an Irish GCSE or A Level qualification on your CV you will not only have evidence of your excellent language skills for studying a challenging, unusual language but you will also have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd with a memorable CV. Do not underestimate this aspect!
- Learning Irish will provide you with a gateway to other Gaelic languages such as Scots Gaelic and Manx. So if you are interested in Gaelic culture and language, learning Irish will give you a fascinating insight. In fact, Irish is the oldest surviving Gaelic language, so the chance to learn such an old language is not to be missed.
- You will improve your language skills. Of course, any language you study will allow you to develop your language skills and Irish is no exception. This is a valuable, transferrable skill that will serve you well throughout your life, even if you never use your knowledge of the Irish language again.
- More and more people are speaking Irish and the language is gaining more recognition. Indeed, recently Ireland has chosen to submit an Irish language film to the 2015 Oscars which has been described as a ‘great opportunity to have “Ireland’s native tongue reach a wider international audience”’. This is an exciting development which shows the Irish language is still relevant.
- Job opportunities in Ireland. Because more and more people are speaking Irish in Ireland, if you aim to pursue a career within this country, having a good grasp of the Irish language will be a definite advantage.
Hopefully this blog post has informed and inspired anyone who is considering taking Irish for GCSE or A Level. It’s a fascinating language and a fantastic opportunity that many students find rewarding and enjoyable.