As part of LASC’s work on our strategic objective of broadening the scope of Spanish language education in Ireland we have been working with a network of Spanish teachers in secondary schools around the country.  This work, in partnership with Worldwise Global Schools, seeks to include more of a focus on Latin America in Spanish class, but also to bring a critical and solidarity based approach to global citizenship education in schools.  

This work consists of workshops in schools, mostly with Transition Years and 5th years, delivered by LASC’s Education Officer; teacher training sessions with Spanish teachers; and action projects with the pupils as follow up from the workshops.

Prize-giving at Balbriggan Community College

In 2021, we ran our first national video making competition.  Pupils in participating schools were invited to work in groups of 3-4 people, deepening their own research on the topics covered in class, and developing a bilingual video that can be used for education and awareness raising in the future. We had 14 groups participating, some with video and others with a combination of video and powerpoint. 

One of the aspects that we included in the video making process was an exchange between the pupils and members of the Latin American migrant communities in Ireland.  The pupils researched their topics and then sent questions (via LASC) that were replied to by video in Spanish with Spanish subtitles.  The pupils then took these video responses to their questions and included them in their final video.   

Prize-giving at Balbriggan Community College

For LASC, this was an important part of our broader strategic objective of building solidarity through community to community links and connections between Ireland and Latin America, in this case Interaction with members of Latin American migrant communities in Ireland and workshops participants in secondary schools. 

At the end of the year, a panel of 5 people, including three members of Latin America communities in Ireland, judged the videos on the basis of 4 different criteria: Structure, Analysis of the issues, Creativity, and Use of Spanish.  Although there was stiff competition, there was one clear winner: Balbriggan Community College.

Prize-giving at Balbriggan Community College

For competition prizes, we worked with a women’s weaving cooperative in Guatemala to source some FairTrade textile products.  This was delayed for some administrative reasons and due to COVID complications, but we finally got our prizes to Yinka, Mary and Eniola from Balbriggan last week.  

On a beautiful sunny day in North County Dublin last Thursday, in the company of Spanish teacher Laura Maldonado, Worldwise Global Schools Education Officer Lizzy Noone, and the principal of Balbriggan Community College Emmet Sheridan, we finally presented the three pupils with their well-earned prizes.   

With their permission, the video is now on the LASC website and will be available as an educational and awareness raising tool for others into the future.  

Well done Yinka, Mary and Eniola!