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EOL community members

Helen English

Country: Ireland
City: Maynooth
Address: Moyglare Road
School: Maynooth Post Primary School
Functions: Teacher & Language Support Coordinator

About the school

Maynooth Post Primary school is a co-educational secondary school with 1152 students. Maynooth Is a university town and the school maintains strong links with a variety of departments in the university. Students are of diverse backgrounds and the school caters for all ability ranges. The school has a strong academic reputation and also offers a very wide range of extra-curricular activities.

Language skills

The school offers Irish, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. Irish is compulsory, students may choose one modern foreign language. There are language exchange programmes for students studying French, German and Spanish. Many international students attend private language classes at weekends; these classes are often supported by their respective embassies. They can enhance their Leaving Certificate results by sitting an extra exam in their home language.


An important function as Language Support Coordinator is to promote the diversification of languages in our school. It also involves putting supports in place to help students stay strongly connected with their home languages and to encourage them to sit Leaving Cert exams in these languages where possible. I also support parents of newcomer students by liaising with the local Education and Training Board run by Kildare Wicklow ETB, who offer EAL classes for parents of students attending the sc

Strength and experience

Two of my students have in recent years won the Leargas National Language Learner award. This award recognises exceptional achievements in the area of Language Learning. Other students have won national awards for literary translations. I also run the European Commission Juvenes Translatores competition in the school. One of the most important events in the school calendar is the annual Language & Culture Day, which I organise each year. In November 2016 40 countries and 32 languages were repres

Project related to EOL

I have been involved in a number of etwinning projects and have recently (2016) completed a Teaching Academy course on "Managing Diversity in Classrooms. In Nov 2017 I completed (again on Teacher Academy, SEG platform) a course on "Effective Parental Engagement for Student Learning"

Needs and wishes

I would like to be engaged at European level with initiatives that support language diversity, multilingualism and plurilingualism in schools. These are essential supports for the successful integration of newcomer/migrant students. I would also like to continue to encourage Irish students to strengthen and expand their repertoire of language skills.