Name: Kimberly Bauer
Location of Study: Donegal, Ireland
Program of Study: Oideas Gael
A brief personal bio:
I am a rising junior in the College of Arts and Letters at University of Notre Dame. I am an Anthropology and Irish Language and Literature double major. I live in Darien, a small suburban town right outside of Chicago but currently live in Walsh hall on campus. Following my SLA experience, I will be studying at University College Dublin for the fall semester!
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
My SLA grant is extremely important to me as an Irish Language and Literature major because I want to reach fluency in the Irish language. Over the past three semesters of taking Irish classes, I have found a great passion for the language and having the opportunity to study it in its native country along with other students who love the language would be an amazing experience. Currently, I aim for my future to include pursuing a career involving archaeology in the country of Ireland and I believe my love for and proficiency in the Irish language would help me greatly.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I hope that this summer language abroad experience will help me to grow as a student and as a person. This experience will not only greatly improve my language skills from the immersion, but it will also expose me to other cultural knowledge. I believe that experiencing not only the language in its native environment but also the culture in the country in Ireland will help me expand my world view and my perspective on different subjects. I also hope to meet and befriend other students that share the same passion and love for the Irish language as I do. This will be a new and exciting experience that will hopefully result in much personal growth.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to hold an entire conversation with a native speaker in Irish.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to proficiently write in Irish at a level equal to two semesters beyond my current placement.
3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to attend courses in the Irish language at University College Dublin and actively listen and take part in the courses.
4. At the end of the summer, I will have increased my knowledge of vocabulary in the Irish language in order to heighten my conversational skills.
5. At the end of the summer, I will be able to comfortably converse in Irish with my friends from the program without the conversations feeling forced.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
I plan to fully take advantage of my language study by completely and totally immersing myself in the language. I plan to make every effort to speak primarily in Irish, especially with native speakers. I also intend to take every opportunity to immerse myself in the culture as well by attending events outside of the classroom, such as becoming involved in activities with Irish sports, dancing, music, and the local people!
Reflective Journal Entry 1:
My first week in Ireland is now over and I feel like it has been so much longer than a week! We’ve done so much every single day and I have learned so much Irish in such a short span that I can’t believe I have only been here for eight days!
During my first week, I was in level 2 and had the most wonderful teacher, Collette. I feel like my Irish has progressed so much during just this one week that I cannot wait to see how well I am doing at the end of the four weeks. We’ve practiced a lot of speaking and listening which has been a little tough due to the fact that I am in an Ulster county but I have mostly learned standardized Irish as well as Munster so I pronounce things a little differently. Even though this has been a bit of a struggle, I feel like I have improved both skills greatly.
I have also spent a good amount of time meeting the locals in the time we have had outside of class. I have been living with some other ND students at a house about a mile away from the school and three quarters of a mile away from the town area, and we have met a good amount of people during our time walking around Gleann Cholm Cille as well as during our time spent in town. This has been a great experience because I have actually been able to speak Irish with native speakers and although I do still get quite nervous while doing so, I feel much more comfortable with it, especially since the locals are all so nice and happy to be speaking with you!
Today is the first day of my second week here and we will get new students as well as new teachers and I am interested in experiencing a new teaching style and seeing what I can get out of it. I also have a study group planned for later this evening with some friends in the program, and I’m excited to go over our notes and practice what we have learned thus far!
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Reflection on my language learning and intercultural gains:
Reflection on my summer language abroad experience overall:
How I plan to use my language and intercultural competences in the future: