The Irish language is considered to be a very important part of the country's heritage and culture and is undergoing something of a rebirth thanks to a major effort by the public and private sectors, aided by the government. Books, magazines and newspapers printed in Irish, are on the increase, consequently the need to teach the younger generations has heightened, but with it a realization that this has to be done in a stimulating manner, to retain a level of interest.
There are many ways of introducing children to Irish in a fun way, which will help them to appreciate a language which is not the easiest to grasp. Certain TV shows are transmitted just in Irish, which can help, as too do the numerous websites and chat rooms, which also only use the Irish language. However, it is through games and interactive toys that a child will really progress and develop an understanding, at their own pace.
Things like vocabulary quizzes are a terrific way of bringing enjoyment to learning with certain online interactive contests which award points at varying degrees of difficulty, dependent upon the age of the children. Pictures of things like animals, vegetables, and colors will be seen and when magnified, an Irish word will be displayed, which the child must match to a particular item or object. With the incentive of gaining more points for more correct answers, the participants quickly learn the words and better still, remember them for the next time. Simple CDs can also be bought which concentrate on using things like the days of the week, months of the year, numbers and shapes, and putting them into basic sentences.
Humor is always a winner in teaching children, so the use of books with amusing illustrations is a guarantee to gain the attention of a child and more importantly, keep it. Once they are focused, the tips for pronunciation and grammar will follow, often without them actually realizing. Phrases can be delivered that are comical, but educational at the same time.
The use of puppets, posters cards and puzzles are all additional ideas which are proven to work, but the key is to make the lessons fun and enjoyable, and to do that they must concentrate on subjects of interest, or something the children can relate to. Holidays and the seaside seem to work well, as does the school talk, as long as it isn't too serious. Teaching them that the Irish word for summer is samhradh, trá means beach, and swimming is snámh, are all terms that mean a lot to kids, so the chances are they will remember them. Perhaps even a phrase such as: Táim ag dul amach chun uachtar reoite a cheannach, which translates to I am going out to buy ice cream, will strike a chord, after all what child does not like the tasty treat?
Irish language for the Irish people is very important, and for parents who maybe didn't get the chances which are now available, the prospect of their children learning to speak it via a series of fun exercises, is both heart warming and a source of great satisfaction.
If you are looking to introduce your children to Irish there are many Irish language resources available in particular the educational jigsaw puzzles which double as fun activities. Check out the puzzles and prints at www.vividstores.ie for some wonderful learning aids.