Grianghraf de dhroichead thar sruth

Excited about Gaeltacht Melbourne but needing more Irish right now? Well, you’re in luck! Gaeltacht.net is back this month with lots of opportunities to improve your Irish or help learners. But what is it exactly? According to the press release: “Gaeltacht.net provides a social network for Irish learners living overseas to help them make contact with fellow learners and to develop their language skills”.

As well as a social netowrk, this site is a research project under the auspices of the National University of Ireland Galway “investigating the most effective ways to provide support to learners and speakers overseas, and how to contribute to an international Irish-speaking community”. This testing cycle will continue through the month of October and there will be three courses available: Tasc An Lae, Dúshlán na Seachtaine agus Misean na Míosa.

Tasc An Lae: short, simple tasks for A1 and A2 (Beginner and Elementary) learners every day. Each day focuses on one language skills – Monday is listening, Tuesday is reading, on Wednesday and Saturday a structured conversation session is available. On Thursday there is a written task, Friday is left open for participant suggestions, and Sunday is used as a day to revise, reflect and offer feedback to the research team.

Dúshlán na Seachtaine: task provided every Monday for learners at B1 (Intermediate) level to complete during the course.

Misean na Míosa: for those with a high level of Irish who want one Irish language challenge each month.

Ronan Connolly, a PhD student with NUI Galway’s School of Education, said: “This research project aims to provide support to learners overseas based on good educational practise. Everyone is welcome to register and take part, and all feedback is appreciated”.

“The success of this community depends on participants being active, helping each other and fostering collaboration. The biggest challenge with a project like this is encouraging those with a good level of Irish to participate or register as a “Language Helper” and encourage the learners, the majority of whom are located in the USA. We are looking forward to many participants and helpers getting involved in this trial.”