Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Education, general, including:, *training, *pedagogy, Ethnology, Family studies

Publication Details

Journal of Home Language Research 4(1), 3.


This article reports parents’ experiences of the Tús Maith (Good Start) home visiting scheme in South-West Ireland. The goal of Tús Maith is to support parents who wish to speak Irish to their children at home in the Kerry Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking heartland area. Home visitors spend an hour a week, over a period of six weeks, interacting with children and parents with varying levels of competency in Irish. Home visitors who are native speakers of Irish, offer individualised guidance on how to promote the use of Irish as a home language, while encouraging families to engage in activities and events organised through Irish in the local community. This paper reports findings from three focus groups with parents (n=22). A thematic analysis of qualitative findings reveal that home visits supported parents by: offering targeted linguistic support focused on language enrichment/learning; providing access to social networks through Irish; creating a designated time to focus on Irish in the home; and promoting the local dialect of Irish. It emerged that the home visiting scheme reaffirmed parents’ decision to speak Irish in cases where Irish was the home language, while motivating and encouraging parents with varying levels of proficiency in Irish, to incorporate Irish into their daily language use. Challenges emerge in terms of assessing outcomes over a limited period of time, along with encouraging more proficient speakers of Irish to engage with the scheme. Home visits emerge as a potentially effective intervention to support the use of minoritized languages at home.



An Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultuir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spórt agus Meán