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July 27, 2016

What to expect in the Gaeltacht - Bairbre Ní Fhlatharta, PME Primary student

Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht:

The PME Primary September 2014 and March 2015 cohorts have recently completed the second 'Tréimhse sa Ghaeltacht" in Carna, Connemara. The course is designed to give students the opportunity to gain confidence in the Irish language through complete immersion. Having completed our two trips, I now see how effective this is and the benefits involved.


Last year I decided to stay with a host family as I saw it as an opportunity to get to know my classmates. From the beginning, host families provide a warm welcome and will go out of their way to make your stay a pleasurable one. The days can be long on the course and certain aspects can be draining, so it is great to have a home-cooked meal waiting for you in the afternoons.


The morning classes were very beneficial and provided us with the opportunity to question some of the elements of the language that students may find difficult. Grammar topics took precedence in the morning classes, with an emphasis on conversation. I find that this balance is what we needed to put things into context and provide the opportunity for us to practice what we have learned. The teachers appointed have a vast knowledge of the language, their passion for which is evident as they are always willing to assist any of the students during the course. Some of the teachers are primary school teachers themselves, which is very beneficial as we obtained various tips and ideas for when we enter our own classrooms.

Ceardlanna & Imeachtaí an Tráthnóna:

The course provides workshops in the afternoon that cater for different aspects in which we can use the language as teachers. This is very beneficial to us as we learn how to integrate the language with different subjects such as PE, Art and Drama. We are also given a wealth of ideas on games and activities that promote different skill sets. Other workshops focused on the resources available to us and how to use them in a classroom setting.

Activities such as céilís, table quizzes and concerts with local performers were organised in the evenings. These activities complimented the course as we were able to use the language in various social settings.

Tascanna Gaeltachta:

We are required to complete various tasks during our two stays in the Gaeltacht. In our first year we were required to do a presentation on a topic associated with the local area. This consisted of research and interviews with local residents on different topics before presentation of the information. This was a great opportunity for the students to converse with the locals as we can obtain a wealth of different words and sayings through those interviews alone. In the second year we focused on two different tasks, debating and the resource portfolio. I found the debating very beneficial, again for gathering words and different terminologies. The resource portfolio task was very interesting, as it required us to create a new resource and show how we could use it in a classroom setting. I enjoyed this task as it allowed us to hear different ideas and opinions of other students that could be very useful in the classroom.

Ar Deireadh:

Overall, the two visits to the Gaeltacht proved very beneficial. I found that students gained more confidence in using the language as the days went by. I do feel that you will get from the course what you put in. A conscious effort to use the language as much as you can will benefit you immensely. Immerse yourself in the language; speak to the locals, the shopkeepers and the publicans. This is a great opportunity, so use it to your advantage.
Thaitin an dá thréimhse go mór liom agus bhain mé an-tairbhe as an méid a rinneamar. Mholfainn go mór iarracht a chur isteach agus tú sa Ghaeltacht; is iontach an deis í an teanga a úsáid agus feabhas a chur ar do chuid Gaeilge. Feictear an dul chun cinn a dhéanann na mic léinn agus iad ag baint úsáid as an teanga, go háirithe an mhuinín a bhíonn acu tar éis na tréimhse.

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