Thursday, July 24, 2008

Basque Students in Ireland

While the Spaniards complaint about the effort by the Basque society to strengthen the use of Euskara some Basque parents make sure that their kids learn their own language plus Spanish... and English.

This article published at Mid Ulster Mail talks about it:

Basque-ing in Maghera!

Published Date: 24 July 2008
By Staff reporter

EVERY year now for the past 12 years a group of young people from the Basque Country have spent the month of July in or around Maghera.

More often than not the weather is never kind to them but a warmer welcome they couldn’ t possibly find.

The pupils are aged from 13 to 17 and attend bilingual schools in the Basque Country. Although they are taught through Basque and Spanish, from as early as the age of 4 they start to learn English and many of them end up doing the Social Sciences course in 4th and 5th year through the medium of English.

So, naturally many of the children spend part of their summer holidays improving English. One of the options for the childreen over this year was Malta, another was Dublin and another was the USA but these children chose to come to Maghera.

In fact, for one of the young people, Jon Martinez, this will be his fifth time in as many years.

The pupils stay with local people and are now very much a part of the local July scenery.

They go on various trips, the highlight of which is two nights spent in Donegal, and this year they have done lots of sporting activities such as paintballing and adventure water sports.

But they are also quite happy doing set dancing or playing football and volley-ball in Maghera itself.

Of course, all this would not be possible without the help of members of the Carntogher Community Association who every year very kindly help to organize the trip.

The pupils leave on Saturday but not before having a farewell party followed by a special edition of the Slaughtneill disco this Friday evening.

I pity those Spaniard parents being used by Madrid to boycott the bilingual education efforts put forward by Euskal Herria, Catalunya and Galiza.

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