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Your Thoughts: Ceardlann Foghraíochta

For two weeks at the beginning of March, we ran our first pronunciation workshop – Ceardlann Foghraíochta – and it was a hit! We had learners from all over the world – from the US to Australia – and we made it work with daily video calls, downloadable handouts and a private forum. The feedback from participants speaks for itself. 

Melinda:

I found the Ceardlann to be very helpful and enjoyable. It was very well organized and methodical, while at the same time allowing lots of space for questions and practice. Each day covered a different aspect of pronunciation, with lots of repetition as we listened to each other speaking.

I experienced quite a few “aha” moments, too, when the reasons for pronouncing certain letter combinations were explained to me clearly for the first time! It was also the perfect length for me. And finally, it was lovely to meet a few more fellow-travelers! Go raibh míle maith agat, Eoin, Síobhan and Gabrielle for another fun ceardlann!

Angela:

The ceardlann was a very valuable experience. I would highly recommend it. Listening to native speakers pronounce words, sentences, and paragraphs was an effective way to learn correct pronunciation. Having immediate feedback on my pronunciation was very valuable. The handouts grouped each lesson in an easy to learn manner.

Carol:

This workshop was both FUN and extremely helpful. I am a barebones beginner in Irish, and pronunciation has been my biggest obstacle in making some progress. Now, at end of the workshop, I have a decent comfort level with understanding the “pronunciation rules” enough that I can make the next steps – learning some vocabulary, phrases, and even tackling a little grammar.
Yesterday really brought home to me how useful this workshop was (it was St Patrick’s Day and I am in Oakland, California where everything is shut down because of COVID-19). Thanks to Siobhan, I started learning an Irish song, Óró, se do bheatha bhaile. I then followed the links to performances – and to my happy surprise – I could sing along and PRONOUNCE the words! I ended up binge-watching – and singing along (the Dubliners, Sinéad O’Connor, the Fureys, to name a few!!). Having FUN with Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! It doesn’t get better than that.
What is also great about this workshop, is the helpfulness of Gabrielle, Siobhan and Eoin! When I first saw the opportunity for the workshop, I realized that my schedule wouldn’t allow me to participate live. I asked about the possibility of having it recorded! They quickly responded and made that possible – so I never missed a session AND can revisit it! Turns out, listening more than once is VERY valuable.
So – there you have it! Can’t recommend BITESIZE Irish workshops enough! I’ll be sure to sign up for the next one they offer.

Peter:

In doing this course over the last two weeks, my eyes have been opened. I know that sounds a bit cliché. It’s like a light being turned on and seeing the words for the first time. I was apprehensive at first at registering for the Ceardlann but took the plunge as i thought what did i have to loose. I wish i had the foresight to have done lessons like this sooner. My learning prior to Ceardlann was unstructured, learning a bit haphazardly but at least going through the basics of pronunciations during the course has given me a good grounding to continue so the onus is now on me to build on what i have learnt. Doing a course such as Ceardlann is definitely something that i would consider doing again in future.

Aodhán:

The ceardlann was both educational and fun. Learning any new skill is made easier when the teachers and students are engaged fully in the process. I would recommend this workshop to all, no matter your skill level.

Keep an eye out for future workshops in our weekly newsletters!

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