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General and Professional Education
3/2013 pp. 18-25

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Irish schools experienced a rapid increase in the inflow of immigrant students only in the last couple of years. Currently about 10% of students in primary schools and about 8% of students in post-primary schools have immigrant backgrounds. They are also a very heterogeneous group. Unlike most other OECD countries, first-generation immigrant students in Ireland, on average, achieve education outcomes similar to their Irish-born peers, possibly because the socio-economic backgrounds of these students are similar to or higher than those of their Irish-born peers. However many of them do not speak English at all. To address the issues that have arisen as a result of the sudden inflow of immigrants, the government has responded quickly with a strong political commitment and policy initiatives, tools, and materials to provide language support and intercultural education. This paper presents intercultural education strategies and practices in Irish schools.


Ireland, Intercultural education, Irish education, immigrants in Ireland, intercultural strategy


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