How to practice your Irish language despite the summer break in classes
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Bíonn tú ag freastal ar ranganna Gaeilge, you attend Irish language classes. The classes don’t run during the summer. How can you advance your Irish language speaking during summer?
Even during class, you feel like you’re missing the chance at more immersion, more chances to have conversations, more chances to ask questions that are important to you.
It can be frustrating, too, because the class can go off on tangents that don’t match your goals.
Introducing Ceardlann an tSamhraidh (Bitesize Summer Workshop)
Instead of going back to classes in September feeling “Níl aon Ghaeilge agam”, how about going back to class with the instructor wondering if you spent your summer in the Gaeltacht!
Bitesize Irish, specialists in online learning, are holding an online workshop in summer 2019. How can you learn without daily practice?
Cearlann an tSamhraidh is a workshop, with a difference. The workshop revolves around daily Irish language conversations on video calls. The conversations are structured, and based on specific topics. We provide video recordings of the role-play, so you can even practice in your own time. So it doesn’t matter if you can say more than “Dia dhuit” right now.
The workshop will include weekly group calls with a Bitesize Irish coaches, where you can get answers to your questions. These calls will also motivate you to keep a regular rhythm. Recordings will be provided if you can’t make them.
On top of boosting your conversational skills, the workshop is run through a private online forum. Every day, we regularly post challenges that you can work on and share with the rest of the members.
The workshop is for generous people. Rather than asking “what can the workshop do for me?”, ask “what can I bring to help others on this same journey?”.
The workshop is time-limited. The forum will shut-down one week after the four-week workshop ends. This will give you the motivation to connect and share during the time of the workshop. Hopefully, you’ll create connections that will long out-live the workshop.
Who we are
Dr. Eoin Ó Conchúir is the founder of Bitesize Irish. The Irish language is his mother tongue. Having been brought up speaking Irish, he then started sharing the language with others online, which started over 20 years ago. He founded the successful online community “Irish Gaelic Translator.com”, which grew into one of the biggest communities of the Irish language at the time. His definition of success is that you’re using the Irish language every day to connect with others to find a true connection with your heritage.
Gabrielle, our Community Manager, has been a lover of the Irish language since she first visited the Gaeltacht when she was thirteen years old. A native of Co. Westmeath, she studied a degree in Irish at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she was a founding member of the university’s first Irish language newspaper (it only lasted one edition, but she’s very proud of it!). She then picked up a post graduate diploma while living in An Chearthrú Rua, in Connemara. She then worked on a masters in Nua-Ghaeilge. She’s currently training to be an secondary school (high school) teacher for English and Irish subjects. She’s really excited to meet the Bitesize community and help people learn her favourite language!
Siobhán is our Language Assistant, there to support members of Bitesize Irish. A native of Galway, she holds a Diploma in Applied Irish and Translation and has years of experience helping learners of all ages master Irish. One more than one occasion, she has been stopped on the streets of Dublin, recognised from her Bitesize Irish YouTube videos!
Why An Cheardlann Samhraidh will help you
- Gaeilge GACH Lá. Irish EVERY day. If you’re not using Irish every day, you’re not making a deeper connection with your Irish heritage. Use it through speaking, reading and writing.
- Tobfoghlaim: daily immersion through scheduled structured conversation
- Conversation skills: the key part of learning the Irish language
- Amaze others are your Irish language classes in September (“Did you spend the summer in the Gaeltacht??”)
- Connect and belong: get to know others who are on the same journey as you
- Be generous: we all have unique insights from our past experiences
- A daily expectation: your job will be to show up. We’ll expect you to show up. Your fellow members will expect you to show up.
- Bitesize pieces: progress is always slower than you think. We build up obstacles in our minds, thinking that the small steps are not “enough”. Take it one bite at a time.
- Latest resources: connect with people outside of your daily class, to see how others boost their Irish language learning.
Registration has closed
Plus VAT if you’re in the EU.
Don’t miss out. This registration page is ONLY open until Sunday June 23rd 2019 (the first week of the workshop). The workshop lasts for four weeks.
- Week 0: Registration opened on Wednesday June 12th 2019
- Take the time to introduce yourself on the private forums, and then pro-actively connect with others on the forum by replying to their introductions. Seek to find the “uncommon commonalities” between you.
- Week 1: Daily conversation video calls begin Monday June 17th
- Different structured conversation cheat sheets provided for each day of the week (Monday-Friday). Call at 20:00 Irish time (15:00 Eastern), and we’ll provide you with a place to coordinate with others to find other times that suit you.
- Video recordings provided to practice the conversation yourself.
- Regular “challenges” posted on the forum.
- Registration for the workshop closed on Sunday June 23rd 2019
- Week 2: First of three weekly Q&A calls with the Bitesize team on Tuesday June 25th at 19:00
- Daily conversations and challenges and connection continue
- Week 3 and 4: Daily conversations and challenges and connection continue
- Last day of the workshop is Friday July 12th
- Private forums shut down on Friday July 19th (by then, we hope you’ve made connection that will far outlive this workshop)
The workshop requires effort and energy on your part. If you try the workshop and feel that it is not helping you to speak Irish, then please contact us within 30 days requesting a refund.
Ach, ach, ach! But, but but!
“I don’t speak enough Irish to take part.”
No, you do. You’re already good enough. All we ask is that you’re an active learner of the Irish language. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been learning Irish, but let’s say that you should be in the process at least three months.
“I don’t attend Irish language classes.”
While the workshop is focused on those who normally attend Irish language classes, it’s not a requirement. We do ask you to show up, and be generous. Your questions to others are a sign of your generosity.
“I might be away while the workshop is running.”
If you’re going offline for a couple of weeks, the workshop will not be suitable to you. The private forums will be accessible on your mobile device. Recordings of the weekly calls with coaches will also be made available. Daily video calls will be hosted on appear.in, see their device requirements for attending video calls. So if you miss a few days, you should be fine. It comes down to whether you want to show up daily.
“The time of the daily conversation doesn’t suit me.”
The daily structured conversation with peers is based on cheat sheets we will provide during the workshop. The default time for the daily (Monday-Saturday) conversation is 20:00 Irish time, that’s 15:00 Eastern. If you’re in Australia, for example, or otherwise the time doesn’t suit you, then we suggest you be a pro-active member of the workshop. You’ll have a place to coordinate with your peers. You’ll recruit other members to find a time that better suits at least two of you. At very worst, you can show up daily on your own and read through the structured conversation. This will give you the habit of speaking the Irish language daily.
“My Irish grammar isn’t good enough.”
Whose is? You don’t need to be able to speak Irish already. That’s why we simply ask that you’re an active learner of the Irish language. The workshop is your vehicle to the next step in learning. A step in becoming a speaker of the language. The combination of daily challenges and daily video conversations will give you ample immersion for the four weeks.