Protestant pupils don’t speak Ullans
A NEW survey of Londonderry secondary school pupils to be launched today has revealed no-one from a Protestant background said they could read or speak Ulster-Scots even though some of their family members could, the Sentinel can reveal.
The survey results are part of a new online resource to help pupils discover more about the languages of English, Irish and Ulster-Scots which will be launched by Mayor Alderman Maurice Devenney today (Wednesday, May 16).
Pupils were asked ‘if your family read or spoke Ulster-Scots were you more likely to read or speak Ulster-Scots yourself?’
In the survey no-one from a Protestant background said they could read or speak the Ulster Scots language even though some of their family members could.
Equally controversially, the majority of Londonderry school pupils surveyed did not think Ulster-Scots and the Irish language should be treated equally.
Only 45 per cent per cent of the people who took the survey thought the two languages should be treated the same.
Ulster-Scots’ musical heritage was also lost on Londonderry’s post primary pupils: 88 per cent said either no or not sure when asked whether they had come across Ulster-Scots in relation to music.
Equally, 62 per cent said they hadn’t come across Ulster-Scots on road signs, 57 per cent said they hadn’t come across Ulster -Scots in place names, 56 per cent said they hadn’t come across Ulster-Scots as used by politicians or in advertising/newspapers and only 31 per cent said they had come across Ulster-Scots in language classes.
The survey also found boys wanted to learn the Ulster-Scots language more than girls.
In relation to the Irish language 64 per cent of those who took the survey thought that the Irish language was not only for Catholics.
Sixty-four per cent of those who took the survey said they had not come across the Irish language in language classes and only 35 per cent of the pupils said they had come across the Irish language on the internet.
The majority of students (54 per cent) said they hadn’t come across the Irish language in conversation although 50 per cent said they had come across it in advertising/newspapers.
Many pupils (84 per cent) were aware of the influence of the Irish language on people’s names and nearly 72 per cent of those who said they could read or speak the Irish language came from families that read or spoke the Irish language
Unsurprisingly, French was the most popular second language (63 per cent) with German a close third, although 50 per cent of those surveyed didn’t speak a second language.
Mayor Maurice Devenney today launches the new project, titled CONNECT 3, which was jointly designed and developed by Derry City Council and The Verbal Arts Centre to record young people’s attitudes to these languages.
Young people from a range of schools in the Derry City Council area were surveyed to establish their level of awareness of the languages of English, Irish and Ulster-Scots and to ascertain what role social influences play in young people’s different attitudes to languages.
Survey data from these workshops was subsequently analysed and used to form the basis of the CONNECT 3 website.
Mayor Alderman Maurice Devenney said: “The Connect-3 project illustrates how a creative approach to dealing with complex subjects such as language and cultural identity can often be the best; and because this project has been designed in partnership with young people from the Council area, it accurately reflects contemporary attitudes towards the languages of English, Irish and Ulster-Scots.
“I would encourage as many schools as possible in the Council area to make use of this creative resource as a means promoting positive attitudes to languages and fostering good relations”..
The new website which can be accessed at www.connect-3.co.uk includes a fun, interactive language awareness quiz with a range of teaching resources designed to complement specific areas within the NI post-primary curriculum.
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Weather for Londonderry
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 6 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 28 mph
Wind direction: North