Lesson Highlight: Meeting and Greeting

It’s time for another nibble of Bitesize Irish!

From time to time, we’d like to offer you a little taste of what the Bitesize Irish Gaelic on-line learning program has to offer by highlighting one of our lessons.

In this highlight, we’ll look at one of our conversation lessons: Meeting a stranger.

Conversation practice

One of the challenges of learning on your own is the lack of opportunity to converse with others. For many learners outside of Ireland, myself included for my first two years of learning, Irish is primarily a written language.

Bitesize Irish gives you the opportunity to practice speaking the language by following along with, and participating in, real-world-situation conversations, including greeting friends and strangers, talking about yourself, making plans, giving directions, ordering a meal, speaking to a shopkeeper or a doctor, etc.

Practice in four parts

In each conversation lesson, you first hear the conversation spoken very slowly and distinctly, line-by-line, and are prompted to repeat the lines after the speaker.

When you’re comfortable with that, you then have the opportunity to hear the same conversation at closer to normal, conversational, speed, and are again prompted to repeat the lines after the speaker.

In the next part, you take the role of each speaker in turn, replying in response to what the other speakers say.

Finally, you get the chance to put yourself into the conversation, substituting your own information/ideas for what the speaker would say. Links to previous lessons that you may want to review before doing this make it easier for you to participate.

Here’s what it looks and sounds like

Here are snippets from the slow- and normal-speed versions of Meeting a stranger. The actual conversation in the lesson is slightly longer, and includes asking about where the other person is from.

Slow:

SEÁN: Dia dhuit!

Hello!

TADHG: Dia is Muire dhuit!

Hello!

SEÁN: Is mise Seán. Cad is ainm duitse?

I’m Seán. What’s your name?

TADHG: Tadhg is ainm dom. Tá sé go deas bualadh leat

My name is Tadhg. It’s nice to meet you.

Faster:

SEÁN: Dia dhuit!

Hello!

TADHG: Dia is Muire dhuit!

Hello!

SEÁN: Is mise Seán. Cad is ainm duitse?

I’m Seán. What’s your name?

TADHG: Tadhg is ainm dom. Tá sé go deas bualadh leat

My name is Tadhg. It’s nice to meet you.

Role play

Now it’s your turn!  First, play the part of Tadhg.  Listen to each recording of Seán, and reply as prompted (in the actual lesson, you would follow this by role playing Seán, so you get to say both sides of the conversation):

SEÁN: Dia dhuit!

TADHG: (Say “hello!”)

SEÁN: Is mise Seán. Cad is ainm duitse?

TADHG: (Say “I’m Tadhg. It’s nice to meet you.”)

Over to you!

Now it’s time to put yourself into the conversation!  First, play the part spoken by Tadhg in the previous conversation, but use your own name instead of his. Then do the same for Seán.

Common conversational topics

Some of the topics other covered in Bitesize’s conversation lessons include:

  • Greeting a friend
  • Introducing people
  • Talking about where you live
  • Talking about your work
  • Talking about your pastimes
  • Making plans to go out
  • Ordering food and drink in a restaurant
  • Finding things in a shop
  • Talking to a doctor
  • Parting company

And, of course, additional topics will be added as the program continues to grow! All conversational lessons follow the same four-step format of Listen and Repeat: Slow, Listen and Repeat: Normal Speed, Role Play, and Over to You!

Types of lessons available at Bitesize

As of this writing, Bitesize currently offers three types of lessons:

  • Vocabulary: These lessons help you learn new words and terms in the language, and show you how to apply them by putting them into useful, everyday, sentences.
  • Grammar: These lessons give you the basic building blocks of the language in easy, “bitesized”steps, so it doesn’t get overwhelming.
  • Conversation: These lessons, as you’ve just seen, give you a chance to use what you’re learning in real-world situations, such as meeting and introducing people, ordering in a restaurant, giving directions, etc.

All of the lessons are audio-rich, so you can learn the correct pronuciation by listening to and emulating the speaker.

These lesson highlights, or “nibbles,” which we’ll offer from time to time, will always include some of the audio from the lesson being featured, so you can get a feel for how the program works.  Bitesize members, of course, can access the complete lesson, with full audio.

Happy learning!

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