The New Oral Language Curriculum

New Primary Language Curriculum for English and Irish – Junior Infants to Second Class

Information for Parents

Soon your child’s school will be using a new Language Curriculum for English and Irish. This curriculum is for all children in all primary schools.

Why is there a new Language Curriculum?

Since the last primary curriculum (1999), life has changed. Thanks to research, we know more about how children learn to speak, read and write and how to help them. We also now have up to two years of free pre-school education for children. The new Language Curriculum is up-to-date with all of these changes.

Tell me more about the new Language Curriculum

Over the coming years,

  • your child will do lots of talking in class sharing what they think and feel. This helps them to learn more about talking with others and talking about different topics.
  • your child will be helped to learn to talk, read and write at their own pace. The Language Curriculum helps children with different learning strengths and needs.
  • your child will learn English and Irish through play and playful activities especially in junior and senior infants. This helps your child as they move from pre-school and as they continue their learning in primary school.
  • your child will see links between English and Irish as they learn the languages. The new Language Curriculum will help your child to do their best when learning English and Irish.

How does the Language Curriculum help my children to learn Irish?

  • In an English-medium school, your child will learn Irish during Irish lessons as well as using it at other times of the school day.
  • Gaeltacht schools and Gaelscoileanna can choose to teach through Irish during the whole school
    day for a period up to the end of senior infants. Where this happens, your child will learn English in school after this period of time. Schools work with parents and boards of management when making this decision.

Is the rest of the primary curriculum changing?

Yes, over the coming years the entire primary curriculum will be reviewed. Work has started on a new language curriculum for third to sixth classes.

Where can I find more information?

The new Language Curriculum for English and Irish is available at

Resources to support literacy and numeracy in Irish are available on

How can I help my child at home?

As a parent or guardian, you can talk to your child about things that interest them and have fun with reading and writing. The new Language Curriculum online includes a section called Support Material. While much of this looks at classroom work, you might nd some of it helpful at home. The material includes lots of advice, photos and videos about how you might support your child as they learn to talk, read and write.

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