Karen Ruddock, National Co-ordinator, manages our agency, directing our various activities and organising staff. She began as a second level teacher in the sciences, did post-graduate studies in Applied Linguistics, EFL and Japanese language pedagogy, and taught these at second and third level. She also has experience in curriculum development, implementing ICT in the MFL classroom, and teacher training, and ran a consultancy for a number of years providing cross-cultural training, and language consulting. She has been with PPLI since April 2009.
Kenia Puig i Planella, Language Advisor, joined the PPLI in 2012. She has been working on the development of short courses in languages not yet on the curriculum for the new Junior Cycle Framework and the integration of these with an ePortfolio based on the ELP, and has a particular interest in ISL in this context. She is also working on the development of resources for teachers, and in teacher training. She previously taught at third level in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies in Dublin City University and worked as a language advisor in the Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative. Kenia completed a degree in English at the Universitat de Barcelona, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics in University College Cork, and a Ph.D on second language acquisition in DCU.
Hiroko Ozaki, Japanese language advisor, is seconded to us from the Japan Foundation. She provides ongoing CPD for Japanese teachers and support for the curriculum. She also supports institutions providing Japanese at third level and collaborates with the Japanese Languages Teachers of Ireland to ensure continued interest and growth of the subject. Her specialisation is in Japanese language teaching methodology. Prior to coming to Ireland, she worked in Japan, India, Australia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Kyrgystan, Indonesia, as a language teacher and a language advisor. Her particular interest is in the area of intercultural language teaching and learning. This is her sixth assignment with the Japan Foundation.
Michele Kelly, part-time Administrator, ensures that the office is run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Michele began her career as a post-primary school secretary, and later went on to work in the Irish college in Rome where she developed an interest in Italian. If you have any administrative queries or would like to know who the right person to talk to is, phone her on 01-8057794 and she will put you in touch with the right person.
The initial languages targeted by the initiative were Spanish, Italian and Japanese, and Russian was added a few years later. We see our role now as widening to encourage, promote and support the learning of all languages at post-primary level, and to develop policy and structures for the introduction of other new languages based on research of best practice and on the experience of the initiative in relation to the existing languages.
Supporting the learning and teaching of languages at post-primary level by providing access via this web platform to relevant resources and materials and offering opportunities for communication and discussion via Facebook and Twitter for students and teachers, opportunities for language upskilling and links to innovative and creative teaching methodology for teachers, and information for school managers and parents. Check out some of the great resources, links, and videos on the site! Our latest addition to the site is a blog for students of French which can be accessed by clicking here.
Working on the creation of short courses in modern languages not yet on the curriculum for the new Junior Cycle Framework. Currently we are nearing completion of generic specifications for use in the creation of actual courses in new languages, based on the NCCA template. The aim of these courses is for students to develop language proficiency in the chosen language within level A1 (Council of Europe scale). The course also enhances learning by developing language and intercultural awareness skills combined with digital literacy skills. We are working with language specialists to develop courses in specific languages (currently Irish Sign Language, Japanese, Polish, and Russian) and are planning to create short courses in some home languages too. We are also developing a range of support documents to assist course developers and teachers in bringing the new short courses to the classroom.
Planning for the future in relation to Japanese and Russian in order to ensure sustainability and developing a strategy to have these languages regularised in the general curriculum as mainstream subjects in accordance with their official status as curricular subjects.
Developing policy on the introduction of new languages based on research of best practice and on the experience of the initiative in introducing Japanese and Russian.