A noticeable trend of our guests on the Bitesize Irish Gaelic Podcast is that they suggest you should reach out to other learners of Irish Gaelic.
A good example is Dineen Grow. She said: Start Something! Don’t feel alone and stuck, trying to make that deeper connection with your Irish heritage alone. Instead, reach out to others. Create a place for those people to meet if there’s nothing to be found around you.
Suggested Facebook Pages
In that spirit, we’ve collected the top Facebook pages for you to use if you’re learning to speak Irish Gaelic.
Read along to what their communities are saying. Contribute (yup, even in English). Post your learning experiences (“Now I know what ‘agus’ means!”).
You’ll be surprised how you’ll get to know the other people there. There are indeed thousands of people learning to speak the Irish language outside of Ireland, but the number of people who reach out in a certain place like Facebook is small enough.
So here goes (you can click on the heading to visit the Facebook page)
Irish Language Learners
This is indeed the main group to join on Facebook. Being the most active group, it will be easiest for you to jump in and take part.
It’s run by a man in the US who has a love for the language.
Do it now: visit the page, click “Join”, and post to the group saying “Dia dhaoibh! I’m here from Bitesize Irish Gaelic!”.
Irish Language Learners’ Forum
This community is an extension, I believe, of the irishlanguageforum.com, or know as “ILF” to its members.
If you’re stuck with a certain grammatical question, this could be a great place to get help. The members are active, and have been part of the community for years.
Do it now: visit the page, click “Join”, and follow along. It’s a closed group, which simply means you need to become a member to see its contents.
Irish Language Study Group
Its own description says it all:
“This group is for those serious about learning Irish. Please, no posting news articles about Ireland, recipes, language politics, etc. Only post questions relating to learning Irish or links relative to the task. Go raith maith agaibh.”
Specifically set up to arrange Skype meetups with fellow learners, for peer-to-peer learning.
Bitesize Irish Gaelic Page
Come on, how could we leave out our own page! We post happenings we come across for the Irish language to keep you informed. We always welcome a comment on the page.
Do it now: Visit our page, and click “Like”.
Bonus: Bitesize Irish Gaelic Members-Only Group
Looking for a private place to practice your Irish? Our private Facebook group for people who signed up to Bitesize Irish Gaelic will give you the support you need. Ask other members questions, post your frustrations, and your wins.
Make Irish Gaelic part of your day
You don’t have to be an advanced learner to benefit from the groups above.
One characteristic of the most successful learners I’ve come across is that they incorporate the Irish language into their daily lives. Create your own personal Gaeltacht. And we have five tips on practising Irish Gaelic every day.
Those learners don’t “box off” the language into a “Sunday study session”. Instead, they find ways to interact through the language every days. They reach out and make new friends. They listen to Irish language media. They do their best to post a word or a phrase in the language.
If you’ve been feeling stuck and alone, trying to learn to speak Irish, I hope these pointers help you reach out.
5 thoughts on “Top Facebook Pages For Learning Irish Gaelic”
Irish Language Learners’ Forum actually began as a simple group when Facebook was new and I was in college. The group was called Irish Language Learners and has no affiliation with the forum mentioned in this article, though it’s good to know of it! Only recently did the more active Irish Language Learners ask to change our name to avoid confusion. It is good to see so many so active around the world! Another great way to get involved in your community is to look into any GAA activity in the area – Gaelic sports are surely spreading and with them Irish language and culture.
When you join these Facebook groups, write a post saying where you live, and ask if there’s anyone else in your area. Being able to get together with people is a big, big help.
Treat yourself to an occasional Irish Language Immersion Weekend. Don’t feel intimidated attending these events. After all, everyone attending these events are learners. There is always a beginners level and instructors are quick at determining which level is best for a student based on the curriculum for the weekend. As a beginner (still a beginner) I learned a lot and even made a few new friends. The events that I’ve attended are not all classroom – there were sessions on customs, music and dance. Meals were fun as you have the opportunity to practice and interact with intermediate and advanced level students who are always happy to help beginners. Again, don’t be intimidated – give it a try!
Thanks for the plug for ILF (Irish Language Learners)! Just to clarify, the man who runs the forum, Breandán, is from Australia, not the U.S. There are learners from all over the world who participate on the forum, though, and it’s a good community…most of us came over from IGTF when it crashed in flames several years ago.
Another good Facebook page, for more advanced learners, is Gaeilge Amháin. True to the name, all posts are in Irish, so it’s not the best choice for beginners, but once you’re starting to get to where you can follow written Irish, it’s a great place to practice. Participants aren’t judgmental (they’re almost all of the “Is fearr Gaeilge briste ná Béarla cliste” mindset), so it’s a safe haven for those who are just beginning to get comfortable with the idea of trying to use their growing Irish skills with other speakers and learners.
There’s been a wee bit of confusion due to two very similar group names.
“Irish Language Learners’ Forum” is the group described above by Ms. Audrey Nickel.
The Facebook Page & the Facebook Group, both named, “Irish Language Learners,” are in fact headed by a very nice gentleman from the USA.
The founder of Irish Language Learners has been an incredible help to another Irish language Facebook Group, begun in 2013, called “Irish Language Education Advocacy.” The latter group is not as helpful with language learning, compared with Irish Language Learners (ILL). Irish Language Education Advocacy (ILEA) does provide a little bit of language information, but also posts about current issues directly relevant to Gaeilge as an endangered language, initiatives- and barriers- to helping revitalize language interest & learning resource accessibility, the Irish and Canadian Gaeltachts, and the Irish diaspora’s relationship with Gaeilge.
Among the objectives of ILEA are to encourage the study of Gaeilge:
• as an economically relevant world language,
• as an academic pursuit,
• and, a necessity for social equity & stability (particularly upon the nonpolitical, but geographical, island of Ireland).
The common end goal of these means, for ILEA, is the (gradual- or “process” 😉 of) depoliticization of the Irish language, in the spirit of peaceful intercultural communication, and for the sake of future academic accessibility.
ILEA welcomes ALL, and has no political, religious, nor governmental affiliation.
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