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Ruane welcomes foreign language classroom assistants

23 May, 2008

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, welcomed over 100 modern language classroom assistants from all over Europe to a reception in Parliament Buildings last night.

The language assistants have been in secondary schools across the north of Ireland since September 2007, giving young people the opportunity to develop their language skills from a native speaker, as well as helping the language assistants develop their English.

Speaking at the event, the Education Minister said: "Modern languages are essential to help our young people develop and reach their potential. I believe that learning a second language is a gateway to other worlds and can help our young people to become creative, confident and articulate individuals, enabling them to play their full part in global society and to achieve their full potential.

"I am passionate about languages and believe that every young person should have access to learn a modern language. Since becoming Minister over a year ago I have introduced new programmes to help our young people have access to the enjoyment of new languages.

"These programmes include the Primary Language Programme which gives primary schools access to a Spanish or Irish tutor. The Revised Curriculum gives greater access and flexibility to schools which gives them greater scope to offer modern languages.

"So I would like to say: Merci, gracias, danke and go raibh maith agat to everyone here tonight. I hope you have enjoyed your education in the north as much as the pupils have enjoyed your support."

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