Kil­flynn pupils prove a ‘dab’ hand with words

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By STEPHENFERNANE

TEACH­ING kids that words are the in­no­va­tors of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and change has proved to be a fruit­ful ex­er­cise for one group of pupils at St Teresa’s Na­tional School in Kil­flynn, as they have just had their def­i­ni­tion of the word ‘dab’ in­serted into the Collins Dic­tio­nary.

Teacher Deirdre Laide was teach­ing her first-class pupils of 2016-17 how to use a dic­tio­nary and the­saurus when she asked them to look up the word ‘Dab’. This is when the chil­dren no­ticed that the dic­tio­nary did not have a sec­ondary ref­er­ence for the word as a dance move.

The pupils con­tacted Collins Dic­tio­nary and were asked to sub­mit their sec­ondary def­i­ni­tion of the word. The class came to­gether, and wrote and sub­mit­ted the def­i­ni­tion. Just a few weeks ago the school re­ceived a let­ter from the ed­i­tor of the Harper Collins Dic­tio­nary stat­ing that their def­i­ni­tion was to be in­cluded on page 100 of the dic­tio­nary, and also in its on­line ver­sion. The new in­ser­tion reads as fol­lows: ‘2. If you do a dab, you do a dance move where you put one arm in front of your face and the other out to the side.’

The chil­dren are ab­so­lutely de­lighted with their achieve­ment, which demon­strates the im­por­tance of work­ing to­gether as a team to im­ple­ment change. Deirdre said it is hugely sig­nif­i­cant for the chil­dren to see that their ac­tions and opin­ions have an im­pact. She in­formed the pupils of the news on Mon­day af­ter­noon, and it was greeted with huge ex­cite­ment.

“They were thrilled and so de­lighted. I was able to pass around the dic­tio­nary, and they opened up the page to see for them­selves the re­sult of their own work be­fore them. That im­pact at such a young age is pow­er­ful. It was lovely to see,” Deirdre said.

“It’s also so im­por­tant for them to un­der­stand that the English lan­guage is al­ways evolv­ing. The sub­mis­sion of such a ‘cur­rent’ word in their mod­ern vo­cab­u­lary brings the dic­tio­nary alive for them and makes it rel­e­vant. The whole ex­pe­ri­ence has been ex­tremely ex­cit­ing for them. Over the two years since they sub­mit­ted their pro­posal, they had of­ten asked me if I had re­ceived word back from Harper Collins, so it is lovely to see their ef­forts fi­nally come to fruition.”

Photo by Dom­nick Walsh

Teacher Deirdre Laide and Prin­ci­pal Ide Bros­nan pic­tured with stu­dents at Kil­flynn Na­tional School as they cel­e­brate get­ting the word ‘dab’ – a dance move – into the Collins Dic­tio­nary.

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