Name: John McGinn
Location of Study: Carraroe, Galway, Ireland
Program of Study: Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaelige – An Ceathrú Rua
A brief personal bio:
My name is Jack McGinn and I am a Mathematics and Irish Language and Literature double major seeking a concentration in Irish Language. I am from Rochester, NY, where I recently began playing Gaelic Football and Hurling with the local club teams. I have completed two semesters of Irish at Notre Dame and look forward to continuing my study of Irish this summer.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
As an Irish Language and Literature major, this SLA Grant is of great importance for me. It is only through this kind of immersive program that I can hope to reach fluency in the Irish Language. By surrounding myself completely with the language and abandoning hopefully all of my English, I seek to improve my comprehension, accuracy, and speed in Irish. This program offers the unique opportunity to live actively through the Irish language, rather than simply study it in the classroom a few times a week. This program will help to improve my relationship with the language towards one of a speaker rather than that of a student.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
One of my main goals for this study abroad experience is to improve my speaking and listening skills. Hopefully I will be better able to converse at a faster rate with few pauses. Ideally I will also begin to rely less on translating what I hear back into English but instead better understand the original Irish itself. Currently, I have to actively think about the proper grammar rather than understand it as correct or incorrect simply through familiarity with the language. Hopefully, by hearing such a large amount of Irish day after day and communicating in it, my speaking and listening will become more automatic and reactionary rather than an actively thought out translation.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Irish with native speakers about current events and topics relevant to the Gaeltacht.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to converse casually with native speakers in Irish for extended periods of time.
3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to converse with native speakers in Irish about Gaelic Games, including running commentary as well as general conversation about the games.
4. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read Irish language literature intended for language learners.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
I plan to use Irish at all times and intend to limit my use of English completely for the duration of the trip, engaging with my host family as well as other native speakers as often as possible. I hope to engage in conversation with a variety of speakers to improve my scope of the language. I also hope to get involved with the local GAA club, at the very least by attending practices and improve my comprehension speed through communicating with other players. I plan to use my Irish to learn more Irish, rather than reverting to English to ask what a word is or for clarification.
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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: