Local Manx speaker Rob Teare will succeed Rosemary Derbyshire as the Department of Education and Children’s Manx Language Officer after her retirement from the post at Christmas.
Mr Teare will head the Manx Language Unit, based in Peel, with a team of peripatetic teachers working with pupils from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 5.
The Manx Language Unit is responsible for producing the resources required for teaching the Manx Language at all levels and supplying teachers to the Island’s schools. This includes a new two-year A level qualification which is now directly comparable to other language A levels, assisting university entry.
Mr Teare said, “The Manx Language Unit tries to ensure that every child on the Island who wants to learn Manx has the opportunity. I believe that every local child should be offered the chance to learn our language”.
Mr Teare, however, acknowledged that not everyone sees the opportunity to learn the Island’s native language as a good thing. “There will always be people who question the value of learning Manx and I suppose I would have been in that camp myself once upon a time. I was very fortunate to meet people like Leslie Quirk and Brian Stowell, who introduced me to the language and its fascinating and articulate way of describing the world that I otherwise never would have guessed existed. For me, as for many others, Manx has not only added another dimension to life on the Island, but has also been a springboard to wider language learning, which was a major advantage for me when working overseas”, he concluded.
But Mr Teare’s commitment to the Manx language extends far beyond the classroom. He is a member of Yn Çheshaght Ghaelgagh (Manx Language Society) and Coonseil ny Gaelgey (the regulatory body responsible for official translations into Manx) and is also involved with Caarjyn ny Gaelgey, Club Spoyrt, the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee, BlognyGaelgey, the Scottish Gaelic Learners’ Association and the North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers. In addition Mr Teare has published two academic papers on Manx and two collections of short stories in Manx, translated from Japanese and Irish.
Awarded both BA and MA degrees Mr Teare also holds a Post Graduate Diploma of Education in Gaelic from Strathclyde University. After teaching for 22 years and lecturing in a Japanese university, Mr Teare returned to the Isle of Man in 2005 to join the Manx Language Unit.
© December 2011