Name: Megan Jones
Location of Study: Carraroe, Ireland
Program of Study: Irish Language – SS104 Intermediate Course
A brief personal bio:
I am a chemical engineering student and will be a sophomore in the fall of 2014. On campus, I am involved in Celebration Choir and Campus Ministry and, off campus, I am a tutor for SAINTS with St. Adelbert. In the fall, I will be participating in research with a professor of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. I began studying the Irish language in the fall of 2013 and am very excited to immerse myself in this language and culture.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
My participation in the NUI, Galway, program will offer me experience handling an immersive, challenging environment and adapting quickly to that environment. Throughout my academic career and in any career path, this is an invaluable skill to possess. Additionally, the course would provide me with an in-depth understanding of people of other cultures. I can, therefore, live my life with a greater sensitivity to the diverse backgrounds’ of others and become more aware of my own. Through the program, I would be able to expand my worldview in order to become more globally aware. Also, with the knowledge gained, I can contribute more fully to the Irish language community at Notre Dame. I intend to pursue an Irish Language and Literature minor with a Language focus. I would also want to tutor in the CSLC, participate in the Academic Reading Groups, strengthen the Irish Club, and create more ways in which other students can develop their Irish skills. . I would also be able to engage in the Irish community of my hometown and future residence. Moreover, this program would have great personal significance for me because it would allow me to connect more wholly with my family in Ireland.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
The program provides the opportunity to be in constant practice with the language and offers a wealth of resources between the instructors and native speakers. Since the Irish Language Center is in the heart of Carraroe, I am able to become fully immersed in the culture and the language. The program includes lectures on Irish History, Literature, Folklore, and Society as well as special classes in traditional Irish singing and dancing. In addition to knowledge of the culture of the Gaeltacht, I seek to gain a significant level of proficiency with speaking, writing, and reading the Irish language. The particular course in which I would enroll – the Intermediate Course – focuses on greatly improving my vocabulary, grammar, and ability to communicate effectively in the language. Speaking and listening are the two areas in which I need the most practice and development and this particular program would, therefore, be very profitable and effective for me. Through the summer language study, I will develop into a much stronger communicator, which will impact all realms of my life.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Arabic with native speakers on academic and political topics such as political theory, foreign policy and ethics.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to speak, read, write, and listen at a level two semesters beyond my current level of Irish study.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to discuss academic and political topics and hold advanced conversations in Irish with native speakers.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to write at an advanced level on academic matters in Irish with proper formatting and structure.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
Due to the intense nature of the program, formal commitment to activities in the Connemara area will not be possible. However, there are many ways in which I intend to involve myself in practicing the language through community engagement. As all masses will be held in the Irish language, I will be able to participate in mass in Irish at Carraroe’s Catholic Churchon a weekly basis. Visiting the local shops and local pub, An Chistin, will also be a rewarding way to socialize with local residents. Additionally, I will be attending Gaelic football games and other community events such as the local boat races during my four weeks. Even within my residence, I will be able to practice Irish regularly with members of my host family.
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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: