Levelling the playing field: New Irish Language category added to the European Language Label Awards
- Léargas invites Irish Language Projects to enter this year’s competition -
Léargas, the national agency for international and national exchange programmes in education, youth and community work, is inviting Irish-Language projects to enter this year’s European Language Label Awards (ELL). Applications for the 2021 awards close on Tuesday, 1st June.
The European Language Label Awards is an EU initiative and annual competition that celebrates the most creative and inspiring organisations, communities, and volunteers at the forefront of language teaching, learning and promotion. This year, Léargas has introduced a separate category for Irish-language projects, and an application form is available as Gaeilge, for projects operating in the youth, education or community sectors.
Irish Language projects previously recognised at the annual awards include:
- Na Cnocadóirí, a hillwalking group based in Dublin that promotes the use of Gaeilge in the local community;
- An Foclóir Aiteach or ‘The Queer Dictionary’ which provides Irish translations for terminology relating to the LGBTQI+ community; and
- ‘Labhair Gaeilge Liom’ a branded badge for people working in customer-facing roles to encourage and promote the use of the Irish language in public places.
Commenting on their European Language Label Award win, ‘Labhair Gaeilge Liom’ Project Leader Noreen Breen said: “It encouraged us to continue with the project. When we entered the competition in the first instance we were just starting out and winning the award gave us the encouragement to keep working on it”.
On the introduction of the new Irish language category, Noreen added: “The Irish language needs attention and to be encouraged, it has enough challenges, so being in a category of its own will encourage others to get involved.”
Award Manager and Léargas Language Officer Eli Babei said: “Year on year, we’ve seen a steady number of applications for original and creative projects promoting the Irish language. This year Léargas’ aim is to have a unique category to acknowledge, celebrate and promote the incredible Irish-language projects that bring Gaeilge to life in classrooms and in the wider community.
“Moving to Ireland several years ago, I myself did not grow up learning Irish. However I’ve been so inspired by the people and platforms that are fostering the language and making the journey to learn so interesting and interactive, that this year I’m making the effort to learn Irish too. We hope this new category, and having the application form available as Gaeilge, will encourage even more fantastic projects to apply this year.”
Léargas has managed the European Language Label Award in Ireland since 1999. Over 150 educational, training and community groups and language teachers, learners and ambassadors have received and ELL Award.