Advertisement IRISH people are in danger of underestimating their own ability to speak their native language, according to research carried about by a Mary Immaculate College (MIC) researcher. Previous articleMunster’s Gavin Coombes Called Into Ireland CampNext articleCall for innovative ideas to make Limerick city ‘energy positive’ Meghann Scully TAGSGaeilgeIrishKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick PostMary Immaculate College Indeed, the same study suggests that lack of confidence in the cúpla focal could be linked to an absence of quality feedback in school.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Shane Barry, an Applied Linguistics doctoral student at MIC has drawn the conclusion based on his interviews with current civil servants who were asked to rate their own Irish language proficiency.In his study, he asked participants to evaluate their own ability to speak Irish in a current conversational setting. The research found that 60% of respondents would generally downplay their own abilities but would answer more favourably to specific questions, such as their ability to order a cup of coffee in a Gaeltacht area.Barry suggests that those who claim to have low Irish self-efficacy have generally experienced a ‘lethal combination’ of experiencing poor performances and a lack of feedback during school.Barry explains that the Official Languages Act of 2003, which requires public bodies within the Irish state to provide services through both Irish and English, served as the inspiration behind the study.“A recent official report where sixteen Government departments were surveyed, of which there are over 21,000 employees, revealed that only 2.62% of staff are recognised as having a competence in the Irish language – or in other words, capable of interacting with the public through Irish when required.“The most important implication emerging from my research is that these misaligned self-efficacy beliefs are a more accurate predictor of performance than actual ability when it comes to the Irish language.“There appears to be a much larger number of civil servants, and generally the wider population, that are completely misrepresenting their Irish knowledge by declaring themselves as non-speakers of Irish. This results in a general withdrawal from using the language with a belief that the Irish language is ‘gone forever’ or ‘forgotten’.“This research is unique in that it is the first study to investigate Irish language self-efficacy beliefs, or perceptions, in current civil servants. What is striking is how those that have studied Irish in school, even to a high standard, are so quick to declare themselves as non-speakers, despite contrary evidence.“The findings in this research suggest that the Irish population possesses a knowledge of Irish language that is often unacknowledged or dismissed due to negative experiences from our school days.“What may be needed, not just for the population in general, but for the civil service in performing its obligations under the Official Languages Act, is a form of refresher training to unlock this knowledge and build people’s self-efficacy beliefs in their Irish language abilities.“By doing this, we may finally change our emotive relationship with the Irish language to a more positive one, where hearing our native language on the street or in shops could become less of a surprise to us.”Shane Barry is a departmental assistant and current PhD student in Applied Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Literature at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. The full paper, ‘Irish language self-efficacy beliefs and the Official Languages Act 2003’, appears in the 2020 edition of Teanga, and is free to access at https://journal.iraal.ie/index.php/teanga/article/view/213 Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Twitter Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Print Email Linkedin LimerickNewsIs fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla clisteBy Meghann Scully – February 3, 2021 451 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Facebook WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limerick
Bassist, Josh Myers, best known for being in Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, is currently working on his revived side project, Big Words. With two upcoming dates in July and potential for more in the fall, Live For Live Music chatted with Myers to find out more about what’s going on with Sister Sparrow and to learn more about what he’s been up to recently.L4LM: Take us through your younger years. What were some of your influences? Who inspired you and how did you find your way into the music industry?Josh Myers: I started playing music when I was about 6. I grew up outside of Boston and got into classical piano for a number of years. I never really got good at that. Right around the beginning of high school, I switched piano teachers. My new teacher was a jazz pianist. Instead of just teaching the mechanics of the piano, he was teaching the mechanics of music. That’s where I started to get really into music.Around 16 or so, I really got into the guitar and it came very naturally to me. Then, I switched to bass about a year later, just as a hobby. This is the same story that every bass player has. There were way too many guitarists in my group of friends. I picked it up for the first time at a friend’s house, who happened to have one, and we played Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” for like six hours with one groove. When I got really into the electric bass, I went through all of my favorite music just playing along to it. It gave me a chance to learn different styles by different people.By the time I got to college age, I was thinking I was going to be a jazz musician. I still play a little bit of jazz, but it’s been taken over more by the stuff I loved in high school, which was The Meters, Soundgarden, Tool. It swings back and forth, whether it’s the ’70’s funk, soul, and groove stuff that really moves me or that really heavy grunge that I just loved and would listen to in high school in my room on loop.L4LM: What is currently happening with Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds? Can you bring fans up to speed on what they can expect next? JM: The guitarist, Sasha Brown, left and began doing his own thing. Unrelated to that, Arleigh Kincheloe became pregnant. There was a long period of time when people were asking us what was going on with the band. We weren’t touring. The main thing that we did was tour. We would occasionally take a break to record. We were never the kind of band that put anything in front of touring, so it was a huge change for us. Post baby, we still have plans to be a band. We are all still in the fold. That’s what we’re all thinking.After Sasha’s departure show in New York, we had about ten shows after that. It was mainly Northeast stuff, and we played some New Year’s shows. We played Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, which was amazing. We opened for Galactic at Playstation Theater in Times Square. Then we went on Blues Cruise in January and had four sets on that boat. After the fourth one, we were all looking around like, “Okay, that was it. We’re on break now.” It was a really strange feeling.Break has been really good, actually. I’ve reconnected with the writing side of myself, and the freelancer side. I’ve had a ton of different gigs, going to different places, doing stuff I haven’t done in the last four years because I’ve been full time on the road. It’s been great.L4LM: This brings us up to your revived project, Big Words. Tell us more about that.JM: After the band realized that we were going to have some time off, I started doing a lot of soul-searching. I did some iTunes library searching and found this music that I had written and recorded back in 2009. The band, Big Words, was completely different. We actually had the drummer from the original line-up of Sister Sparrow, Bram Kincheloe. Basically, I just forgot about it. I remember when I stopped doing it, I made a conscious effort to tell myself that I had been leading and starting bands for my entire career. If I didn’t stop that, I would become one of those people that are control freaks.I wanted to branch out and see what other bandleaders’ styles were. I also wanted to check out my own bass playing and give it a real chance when I wasn’t the one calling all the shots. Fast forward eight years, I’m listening to this music and thinking, “Oh man! I like this stuff. It’s so good.” I totally forgot about all of it. While listening to a few of the songs I was thinking, “I wrote that?”I reached out to a few people that I’ve been wanting to play with, and they all said, “yes.” They are all great guys and amazing players. The goal now is to put this music in their hands and let it breathe. There’s a lot of room for stretching out, and we plan to do a lot of the ‘anything can happen’ attitude with the music. Hopefully, everything will happen.L4LM: You have a few shows slated for July with possibly more in the fall. Is that the plan?JM: That is the plan. We’re working on some more dates in September right now. We’re going to look at more in October. I’m hoping to do a couple weekends every month once we get going, and hopefully, record in the winter.I have a lot going on. Basically, I’m home a lot of the time. I’m still on the road quite a bit, but it’s more of little quick runs on weekends. Being home, I’ve had a chance to really spend a lot of time working on music production, mixing, writing stuff of my own, and working with other writers. You have a lot less time to think when you’re sitting in a van.L4LM: Do you have anything going on during festival season? Are there any projects or collaborations you are working on throughout the summer?JM: As of now, I have one thing booked with a band called The Mammals. They’re up in Woodstock, New York. They put on a festival called The Hoot, which is at the end of August. That’s what I’ve got for festival stuff right now. Next summer, I would love to hit festivals with Big Words in between Dirty Birds dates.The line-up for Big Words for their upcoming shows on July 14th and 15th will consist of Myers on bass, Danny Mayer of The Eric Krasno Band on guitar, Chris Bullock of Snarky Puppy on sax, and Bill Carbone of Max Creek on drums. For more information on Big Words, and how to get tickets for their upcoming shows, please visit their Facebook page. To check out their music, head over to their BandCamp page to take a listen.Words by Sarah Bourque
Atlanta drivers are all too familiar with the Georgia Department of Transportation electronic signs warning, “Ozone Alert Day.” The warning flashed on 35 days last year. On 22 of them, ozone hit unhealthy levels. The problem prompted Gov. Zell Miller to sign an executive order requiring all state agencies, departments and universities in the 13-county area to submit a detailed ozone action plan by March 31. The order called for plans that would reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips by 20 percent. “Our long-term goal is to do that all summer every summer, whether there is an ozone alert or not,” Miller said. “Our aim is that every state employee carpools or takes mass transit or telecommutes at least one day a week as a common practice.” Plans to start such things as telecommuting, alternative work schedules and incentives to use transit are being finalized. “There are 13 counties in the metro area that don’t meet the EPA ground-level ozone standards,” said Pam Earl of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. The EPD has a team of forecasters who meet every day to forecast the next day’s ozone levels. If they believe the ozone will reach unhealthful levels, they designate the next day an “Ozone Action Day.” The warnings had an impact. “On some Ozone Action Days, we saw a reduction in peak-hour traffic,” said Jeane Pierce, who coordinates the EPD Voluntary Ozone Action Program. Ozone is a colorless gas. It forms when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds combine in sunlight. The ozone “season” is May 1 through September 30. “Generally, our ozone concentrations are highest during June, July and August,” said Jerry Walker, a plant pathologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “This year we had some in May.” May 13 was Atlanta’s first ozone action day this year. Pollutants from cars, trucks and other sources merge with hot, stagnant air to create high ozone levels. Ground-level ozone is a serious lung irritant. High ozone levels can cause breathing difficulties in the elderly, children, athletes, people who work outside and those with respiratory problems. It makes outdoor activities unhealthy. “I think we should be concerned,” Walker said. “This is the worst U.S. pollutant we have. Atlanta contributes to this through the number of automobiles we have.” Walker worries, too, about plants in high ozone levels. For the past 24 years, he has followed ozone levels closely. He has found that some plants can’t take it. “For example, tulip trees (yellow poplars) and grapes have a hard time,” he said. “We found some damage to wild black cherry trees. And if those high ozone levels came earlier in the summer — say in June or July — we could have seen more damage to trees and to flowers such as petunias.” Walker is studying how ozone affects plants in the new Envirotron at the Georgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga. The state-of-the-art facility has special growth chambers to help researchers study environmental effects on plants.