Salomé Riva

Salomé Riva is a fourth year Product Design student from Kells, Co. Meath. Throughout her time in the Product Design programme Salomé has developed a variety of skills including teamwork, communication, decision making, and collaboration. Salomé was part of a third year team that achieved a Highly Commended in Design Award in the 2021 Bolton Trust competition. Through fourth year Salomé has worked with primary school teachers and students in understanding their needs in the Irish language to produce her final year project.

Tógáil Teanga

Tógáil Teanga, ‘Building Language’, is an Irish learning resource aimed at third class primary school students. Tógáil Teanga aims at engaging students in the Irish language in a fun and active way, creating a visual tool to aid in understanding sentence structure, while following the curriculum. The students receive a card with an illustration and pattern and must use the accompanying jigsaw, tile, and writing pieces to figure out the sentence relating to the illustration. The students work in teams to build their sentences, solving the card. The card packs correspond to the different topics in the Irish curriculum. A corresponding web app allows the teacher to access digital versions of the cards, create their own cards, and project a timed version of the cards for a whole class game. Tógáil Teanga promotes teamwork and encourages students to work together to solve the language challenges. The product aims at increasing self-directed learning among students, while being easy to implement and manage for the teacher.

Based off user research, there seemed to be a lack of active learning resources available for learning languages when compared to STEM subjects. Teachers often don’t have enough time to implement active learning activities into their busy day, meaning a lot of language learning is left to traditional means. The standard of Irish in primary schools has deteriorated in the past few years as noted by the Chief Inspectors report. From observational studies students also seem less engaged in Irish lessons and teachers noted a lack of enthusiasm from the students. The current Irish curriculum is very scaffolded by the teacher, this solution allows students to test themselves and self-direct their learning. One of the most difficult parts of the Irish language is understanding the sentence structure as it differs so much from English, the Tógáil Teanga helps students to visualise these differences and the colour coding helps them to create associations between words. Tógáil Teanga aims at creating a fun and practical solution that benefits both the student and teacher.