FAQ – Mother Tongues Poetry Competition

Competition

FAQ

Mother Tongues Poetry Competition

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by Mother Tongue?

In this competition Mother Tongue is intended as a language the pupil has been using from a young age. For some children it might be the language they have been using from birth. For some children it is a language they feel is their mother tongue because they have been using it since they can remember.

What do you mean by Second language?

In this competition second language is intended as a language the pupil has learned in the school years, so after the age of 4 or 5.

Can parents submit poems?

Yes. Parents can submit their child’s poem as long as it is an original poem on the theme of language and identity.

Can teachers submit poems?

Yes. Teachers can submit a pupil’s poem as long as it is an original poem on the theme of language and identity written by one child.

What if my child has special educational needs?

Children with special educational needs can choose to enter under category G (Pupils with special educational needs).

How will submissions in the Special Educational Needs category be grouped?

Each form asks pupils to enter their age and the class they attend. The submissions will be evaluated by the poets with the support of SEN experts and entered within the parameters of the existing categories.

Can I submit a video poem?

Only poems in ISL or BSL can be submitted as video poems.

Can I submit a poem in a sign language other than Irish or British?

If you are based in Ireland or Northern Ireland and you want to submit in a sign language other than Irish or British please get in touch. We want to make sure we have assessors who can evaluate your poem fairly, so this year we may not be able to cater for all signed languages. However, do send an email to discuss options.

I would like my pupils to submit a poem in Irish, but Irish is not their first language. Should they enter the second language category?

Yes. Pupils who have learned Irish in school can submit poems under the second language category.

Where do I list the names of the languages I used in my poem?

When you open up the form you will see that there is a box where you can enter the language or languages of your poem. This is to help assessors.

I don’t know how to spell well in my mother tongue/in my second language. Will I be penalised?

There will be no penalty for spelling errors.

I want to submit a poem that is a mix of my mother tongue and my second language. Which category should I enter?

If the poem contains an almost equal use of a mother tongue and a second language you can choose your category based on your preference. If the poem is written primarily in one language, you should enter the category of that language (mother tongue or second language).

Can I write in more than one language within the same poem?

Yes. Any language is welcome and a mix of languages is also welcome. Please list the names of the languages used.

Can I submit a poem in a sign language other than Irish or British?

If you are based in Ireland or Northern Ireland and you want to submit in a sign language other than Irish or British please get in touch. We want to make sure we have assessors who can evaluate your poem fairly, so this year we may not be able to cater for all signed languages. However, do send an email to discuss options.

My poem is about identity, but has nothing to do with language. Can I still submit?

No. The theme Language & Identity is a theme that taps into the links between language and identity.

I have pupils in my class who don’t speak English yet. Can they submit a poem in their mother tongue?

Yes. The poem can be in any language.

I have a mixture of pupils who are first and second language learners of Irish. Should I enter my pupils under different categories?

Yes. If pupils have Irish as their mother tongue they should be entered under the mother tongue category.