Irish language schools in Ireland have outperformed English speaking schools in math and, surprisingly, English.
Dr Reamai Mathers, from a support organization for Irish-medium schools, said that research being carried out at Queen’s University, in Belfast, shows children in Irish-medium schools have a better short-term memory than their counterparts in English-medium schools.
These results are the findings of the Department of Education in Ireland. This is good news for Irish-medium schools that had been criticized by some inspectors.
“The recent reports in the press in relation to schools across all sectors placed an extremely unfair emphasis on Irish-medium schools,” said Dr Mathers.
“These latest figures highlight that children who attend Irish-medium schools, such as those mentioned in the recent press reports, are in fact out-performing their English-medium counterparts in the two most important aspects of the primary curriculum, English and maths.”
Dr Mathers pointed out that reading and reasoning rely on short term memory and agility.
“Tasks such as reading, reasoning and mental arithmetic rely on these.
“Researchers believe these superior results are due to what may be called “the bilingual advantage”, with children who are fluent in two languages having a greater amount of mental agility.”
Over 7.4 percent of Irish primary school student attend Irish-medium school. Currently there are 298 Irish-medium primary school in the Republic of Ireland.