When it came to naming our twin boy and girl we felt strongly that we should have a link to our heritage and decided to give them Irish names. Whilst we do encounter problems from time to time, primarily systems not recognising the fada leading to mispronunciation. I think it is important to now introduce our native tongue to the twins .
At nearly three and a half they are exceeding milestones for speech and understanding of the English language so now is a perfect time to begin introducing Irish in the home.
Having only purchased Sadbh Devlin’s “Bí ag spraoi liom!”, children’s book to add to our book collection and as the first Irish language book to read to the twins. The story does really tug at my heart-strings as a full-time working mother who is constantly juggling lots and I felt a reflection to some degree as little Lúna, an inventor, wishes her Mammy would play more with her. Already the book is a hit and it is quite sweet to hear the kids quite decent efforts at their first words as Gaeilge! Sadbh also blogs over on Where wishes come from.
So to my delight in the same day a huge parcel arrived, stuffed with books which I had forgotten about as it had been some time since I read over on Ruth Chambers, It’s just a phase blog, about how the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht were offering families a free language pack, to encourage our children to have an earlier introduction to the Irish language in the home. The pack is aimed at children under the age of five and is for families who would also like to raise their children through Irish or like us who would like to introduce our children to their national language and give them a better understanding of it so that by the time school comes they have learned naturally in the home.
I applied for the pack immediately by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with some basic details but here is a quick link to the application form which you can fill out and mail to this email address to apply for your own pack. https://www.chg.gov.ie/gaeltacht/the-Gaeltacht/language-support-schemes-programmes/language-support-pack/
I was genuinely shocked at the volume and quality of books that were in the pack, There were both small and larger board books with plenty of pictures aswell as story books with beautiful illustrations. A lot of the books in the pack also have cds, which we have yet to play but will do so as it is important that all of us, given that the adults in the house are quite rusty, know the correct pronunciations. This is a great resource to have in the home to re-introduce the Irish language and a fun tool for the entire family to learn from and enjoy.
Reading is something I have enjoyed from a young age and a tradition that the twins are following suit with and seeing them enjoying these books and making great efforts with their first few words as Gaeilge, even though we only have it a few hours, is giving me hope that by the time they reach school that they will have a good language foundation to build on.
So if you are a little nervous about your rusty knowledge of Irish, take it from me that so far so good I am happy to be re-learning myself and we give this fantastic language pack a big thumbs up. I will post regularly on my blog and social media pages on how we are getting on as we continue on our efforts to introduce the Irish language into our home.