Languages in Northern Ireland: Policy and Practice
This chapter argues that Northern Ireland’s geographical and political status in the UK has important consequences for questions of language learning, languages in the community and language policy. It examines the most important contextual factors for languages in Northern Ireland, and deals with two main areas: languages in the education system and languages in the community. In both sections, it discusses both policy and practice together. A final section draws together the main issues and the implications of Brexit for languages in Northern Ireland. It argues that what is now urgently needed is a radically different level of awareness, not only in wider society in Northern Ireland, but also in education and in local government, of the importance of languages for peace, community relations, security, trade, diplomacy, international relations and crucially, for intercultural understanding (at home and abroad).