Name: Anna McGinn
Location of Study: Carraroe, Galway, Ireland
Program of Study: Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaelige – An Ceathrú Rua
A brief personal bio:
I am a rising Senior originally from Rochester, New York. I am majoring in Physics and minoring in Irish Language and Literature. I have taken three semesters of the Irish language and am looking forward to learning even more in Ireland this summer.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
This grant will allow me to further improve my Irish language abilities. It will especially help with my speaking and listening skills which I struggle with. After the completion of this program, I will finish my Minor in Irish Language and Literature and, if I am lucky, continue onto the Supplementary Major. This improvement in my Irish skills will motivate me to read Irish works in their original language, such as plays or literature from class. All of this will aid me in my goal to become fluent in Irish. My mastery in the Irish language will also allow me to have more options in pursuing a teaching career, as I would then be able to teach Physics or Irish.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
The main thing I hope to get out of this grant is a significant improvement in my speaking and listening skills. Being surrounded by the Irish language from day one will definitely help me in this respect especially since I won’t be distracted or concerned about other subjects while I’m there. I also hope to learn more about the culture surrounding the language. I especially want to learn more about sean-nos singing and dancing and maybe try my hand at it as well. By the end of the program, I hope to be able to hold conversations with my classmates for longer and on more topics than I could at the beginning.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to converse in Irish with more ease than I currently can.
2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to hold conversations in Irish on a variety of topics with a broader vocabulary.
3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to better understand the culture associated with the Irish language.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
One of the main things I hope to do is, at the very least, see a play in Irish. I love theatre and it would be amazing to see a show performed entirely in Irish even if I don’t understand much of what they’re saying. If possible, I would love to try acting while speaking in Irish. Another thing I would love to try is Gaelic Football and/or Hurling. I’ve tried playing Hurling a few times before and I liked it so I would love to try it in Ireland and learn some of the terms in Irish. Seeing and attempting sean-nos singing and dancing is something I’m also looking forward to. Basically, I’ll try anything that’s put in front of me, from food to dancing!
Reflective Journal Entry 1:
It’s been a little over a week since I came to Carraroe (An Cheathrú Rua) and I’ve just begun my second week of classes. Being here is more amazing than I expected! The scenery is gorgeous and I’ve already gone on a few walks just to take in the view. The house I’m staying in is great as well. My Bean an Tí is so nice and patient with us when we’re attempting to speak in Irish to her. I try to make an effort to say what I can in Irish and every day I can speak and understand a little more. My housemates and I all (thankfully) get along and we speak in Irish to each other when we can. We have at least one person from each of the four class levels and we’re all learning things from each other.
We have class every day except for Sunday and half days on Wednesday and Saturday. The intermediate class (méanrang) is definitely challenging me every day, especially since the teacher speaks mostly Irish the entire time. I’m slowly understanding more and more of what she’s saying and I’m learning so many new terms and phrases. I can’t wait to see how much I’ve improved by the end of this course! After class, there’s also fun activities or lectures you can opt to go to. So far, we’ve learned céilí dancing, sean-nós dancing, and sean-nós singing. We’ve also gone on some excursions as well. We’ve visited Patrick Pearse’s house, Spiddal, and Galway.If the weather’s nice, we’ll even visit the Aran Islands!
Sin é anois. Slán!
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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: