Just recently, I wrote about our efforts to provide a service of one-to-one tutors for helping you learn to speak Irish Gaelic.
I’ve decided that this incarnation of the tutor service will not go ahead, to be able to focus on our strengths for helping you.
We are best at helping you learn to speak the language of your Irish ancestors through our online tools and language support.
This does not mean we’re ruling out some kind of virtual face-to-face service. As Pat told us after meeting his tutor during our test phase:
One of the features unique to “BIG Live” that I found most helpful was the direct and immediate interaction with the tutor. I was surprised at how helpful it was to be able to actually “see” how Aonghus pronounced some of the more difficult words. He took the time to show me different techniques to produce some of the more subtle sounds that aren’t typically found in English pronunciation.
So the value of being able to interact with an Irish language speaker is not lost on us. There may be other ways to provide this type of service – and I’m not ruling out that type of service in the future. Learning a language is really hard, and even harder when you don’t have people around you who are speaking the language every day.
We can help you today in these ways:
- Bitesize Irish Gaelic online program: learn to speak the language of your ancestors, in Bitesize portions. As a member, you can contact our language support at the end of each lesson if you need help with something. It’s a long journey to speak some Irish, but with this program you can learn in Bitesize portions any time you like.
- Irish for Beginners: a free email course over thirty days, which includes access to our popular ebook “The Irish Language: Your Key to Gaelic Ireland“.
- Bitesize Irish Gaelic Podcast: free discussion show in English. You get to hear the experiences of people like you interested in Irish Gaelic and Irish culture.
- Learn Irish With Eoin: an crash-course for beginners. Recorded by Eoin in Limerick, Ireland. Available in limited edition as a CD at the time of writing, and downloadable as audio files with accompanying PDF files.
- Audio Program: a full 90-lesson audio course, based on our Bitesize lessons.
- Ebook “The Secrets to Practicing Irish Gaelic Every Day” gives you handy steps in incorporating the Irish language into your everyday life, once you’ve already gotten started into learning the language.
- Pronunciation Cheat Sheets: our hugely popular cheat sheets help you decipher the pronunciation of just about any written Irish Gaelic word using our 4-Step Method.
This is a good time to cover what you can do to keep learning the language:
- Break the journey into one of Bitesize portions. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the work ahead of you.
- Attend any Irish language lessons you can find locally.
- Attend an annual immersion weekend if there’s one within traveling distance to you.
- Reach out, and start something, as Dineen Grow said on our podcast.
- Listen to Raidió na Gaeltachta with both passive and active listening, as Audrey Nickel described.
- Watch TG4 television, which has built-in subtitles.
- Listen to songs in Irish Gaelic.
- Read simple children’s books in Irish Gaelic.
- …and what else would you recommend? Feel free to leave a reply below.
Thanks to each of the people who participated in our Bitesize Irish Gaelic Live “test” stage: Pat, Renee, Isa, Jason, Jose and Debbie. Their patience, understanding, and enthusiasm was always generous.
Our focus on what works for us is also a reminder for you as a learner of Irish Gaelic: don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take it one bite at a time, and you’ll figure things out over time. The worst you could do is to be so scared that you don’t even try it out, only to live to regret you never started to learn Irish Gaelic.