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beginners 1

10 week course
every Thursday 6-7:30pm GMT
Start Date: 29th February 2024


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What do a pirate queen born in the 1500’s, and a contemporary hip hop trio from Belfast have in common? Irish, An Ghaeilge. 


Irish is one of the oldest living languages in Europe, despite its decline in the 19th century due to famine and colonial rule. It is a Celtic language, related to Scots Gàidhlig and Manx. 


The Irish language has, and continues to be fite fuaite, intertwined, with colonial resistance, Irish history, a distinct Irish artistic expression and visions for the future. 


Whether you’re a complete beginner, or have a cúpla focal, you’ll be guided through the basics in the language. This will be explored in the context of influential figures from then and now, as well as by introducing art and culture from different periods to explore how both impact how people use the Irish language to express themselves today. 


The aims of the course are… 

  • To introduce you to beginners phrases, vocabulary and grammar.

  • To allow you to have simple conversations about your everyday life, hobbies, where you are from, where you live, what you do etc.

  • To discuss the history and decline of the Irish language because of colonialism.

  • To discuss what is happening in contemporary Ireland, and Irish speaking communities across the world. 

  • To explore how, by interweaving language, art and politics, the Irish language has been a source of resistance, and continues to be. 

  • To use the Irish language playfully. To express yourself meaningfully.

  • To explore useful language learning tools for self-learning. 

The course will be taught by Em Ó Ceallaigh (/Ball). Em is a language educator and theatre-maker.  Em is from Dublin and the first person to speak Irish in their family. Em's passion for the Irish language developed by attending and working in the Gaeltacht. Em now creates theatre as Gaeilge or bilingually and has facilitated storytelling workshops in Irish (and the other languages spoken), to encourage playfulness and new relationships with language. Em completed the CELTA teaching training for teaching English. Em is interested in exploring how shame around languages and learning impact playful and contemporary speaking of Irish. 


There will be a taster class on the 22nd of February 2024. Book here.


The first session will begin on 29th February 2024 and will run over 10 sessions every Thursday evening. Each class lasts from 6pm - 7:30pm (Irish time). There will be approximately 30 minutes of optional homework each week, completion of which will help you to advance in the language. 


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