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Title: An exploratory study examining the views and experiences of parents and young people involved in Irish Medium Education in Northern Ireland
Author: Quinn, Edel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 2263
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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The current study aims to compare and contrast the experiences of two groups of young people who accessed IME within the NI context- those who have been in receipt of IME throughout their school career and those who attended an IME primary school before transferring to English Medium Education (EME) for their post-primary experience. Six young people (3 IME- 1 female, 2 male; 3 EME- 2 female, 1 male) and two parents (1 IME, 1 EME- female) were interviewed. Participants were selected via purposive sampling. A qualitative methodology was employed. Transcripts were analysed using a general phenomenological approach to thematic analysis. Four themes were initially identified from the thematic analysis, 'personal identity,' 'school culture,' 'contextual aspects of the Irish language' and 'support.' In order to adopt a more theoretical approach to analysis, the data was later re-examined in relation to the social ecological framework (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; 1986), which consists of five interrelated systems. 'School culture' was evident across all five systems, while 'contextual aspects of the Irish language,' was important in three. 'Support' was a theme within the organisational and policy systems, while 'personal identity' was only found within the individual system. The findings indicated a deep-rooted connection with the language regardless of educational setting, which was further cemented through an association with cultural identity and socio-historical factors. The research suggested that positive early education and language experiences resulted in a deeper personal connection to the language. A more positive attitude was expressed towards IME than EME, relating particularly to the 'unique' atmosphere which was created in IME settings. It also suggested that IME was successful in facilitating maintenance and use of the language for those pupils who remained in IME, as transfer to EME for post-primary education may not have allowed adequate time or opportunity to access Irish-speaking networks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available