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Written Answers. - Language Studies in Dublin.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 58. Mr. Callely Information on Ivor Callely Zoom on Ivor Callely  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  her views on the potential to develop and establish Dublin as the international centre of excellence for education in particular for English language studies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6599/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach In so far as the question refers to teaching English as a foreign language I am fully aware of the great potential of Ireland with its extensive network of people with expertise and experience in this area. The significant development of this service into a major industry is a matter of great satisfaction. According to a survey commissioned by Bord Fáilte over 150,000 foreign students visited Ireland in 1993 to study English as a foreign language spending an estimated £180 million in tuition and accommodation. Throughout the 1960s to the 1990s the Department of Education monitored the educational aspects and provided a system of official recognition. More recently the reconstituted ACELS organisation with its [1412] registration, monitoring, inspection and promotion roles was established in partnership with the main interests in order to ensure that the quality of provision is excellent in all respects.

I believe that the existence of the reconstituted ACELS, which works in close co-operation with Bord Fáilte, ensures we have the structures in place to enhance the reputation of Dublin and Ireland as a centre of excellence for the teaching of English as a foreign language.

In so far as the question may infer that some specific institute dedicated to English language studies should be established to make Dublin an international centre of excellence for English language studies I would wish to be further advised on that matter. A number of universities have established specialisms related to this field and Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann is also concerned with work in the area of language learning.

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