Languages Improving Lives

The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland (a non-HEI partner on Strand 3 of MEITS) hosted a seminar in Belfast on 27 June 2017 on the theme of ‘languages improving lives’. An overview of MEITS from this perspective was presented by the Principal Investigator, Wendy Ayres-Bennett, and this was followed by an exploration of the Irish-language component of Strand 3 by Mícheál Ó Mainnín. The third contribution, by Thomas Bak, was on the health benefits of language learning which included reference to many languages, including Scottish Gaelic; this proved to be of particular interest to the many representatives of the Irish-language community who were present. The audience also included representatives of the Chinese Welfare Association in Northern Ireland, Alzheimers NI, and officials from the Departments of Health and Education. The core concern of the seminar was to link the health benefits of language learning to support for learning Irish in a post-conflict society where language issues have often been heavily politicised. 

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