Sunday 16 December 2018

Changes made to Irish oral exam for teachers to help curb 'exam anxiety'

Stock photo: Getty
Stock photo: Getty
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The process for entry as a post-graduate student to one of the State’s primary teacher training programmes is being streamlined with the introduction of a single oral Irish exam.

The change will apply from 2019 for applications to the Professional Master of Education (PME) in Dublin City University, Maynooth University, Marino Institute of Education and Mary Immaculate College.

Until now, applicants to the post-graduate entry route to primary teaching have had to do separate oral Irish exams on the same day as an interview at the institution concerned.

A fail in the Irish oral examination would result in the interview result being discounted, causing considerable stress to students on the day.

From next year, there will be one Irish oral examination for all candidates, which will take place in February at venues around the country, before they apply to their preferred college(s).

The exam will be administered by the Centre for Irish Language Research, Teaching and Testing in Maynooth University using the Teastas Eorpach Gaeilge (TEG) test.

Candidates who are successful in the oral Irish test may then apply to their preferred college(s) and be called to interview.

The oral Irish exam will cost €65, with refunds expected for applicants who enter via the PATH programme for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a further cost of €45 or €50 for the college application.

Education Minister Joe McHugh said he believed that one standardised Irish oral would do a lot to help reduce anxiety and pressure and help prospective students give their best.

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