Saighdiuiri Beaga Gaelach

Director: Neasa N' Chianain

Ireland. 2004| 40 mins

At the height of the Celtic Tiger boom, Irish immigrants started returning and repopulating not only the cities but also remote Gaeltacht areas. Small schools suddenly found themselves accommodating children from very diverse backgrounds, who were faced with the daunting prospect of immersion in a language and culture that they had never encountered before. To help them with this hurdle Cuntoiri Teanga were introduced, 22 in all, in Donegal. A Cuntoiri Teanga is a language assistant, who comes into the classroom at the school’s invitation. They nurture and stimulate a love and passion for the language amongst Irish-speaking children, and work with non-Irish speaking children to help them integrate into an all-Irish speaking school system. Saighdi?ir’ Beaga Gaelacha (Little Soldiers of Irish) observes May, a Cuntoiri Teanga, and the relationship she builds with an interesting mix of children in a small two-teacher school on the edge of the Gaeltacht. Shown with Return to Tsunami.

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