Location of Study: Donegal, Ireland
Program of Study: Oideas Gael
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, the College of Arts and Letters, and Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
A brief personal bio:
I am a current sophomore majoring in Irish Language and Literature. I will have completed four semesters of Irish at the end of this year, and am planning on taking two more classes, so I will finish through Advanced II. I am interested in Irish literature, especially early medieval stories and folklore.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
As a student with what will be four semesters of experience in Irish by the end of this semester, a summer abroad will be extremely beneficial for my fluency in speaking and ability to hold a conversation. I have taken an Irish language course every semester here at Notre Dame, but finding opportunities to use Irish outside of class is tough. Therefore, I have been able to grasp the grammar aspects of the Irish language much more easily than the speaking parts. I expect that the chance to learn Irish in an immersive environment where Irish is still being used on a regular basis will be crucial for me to really reach a level of proficiency in speech that is simply not possible through usage a few times a week. Because I am not yet sure of my career goals, a broad ability to both speak and write Irish will be extremely helpful.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Hopefully, I’ll be able to improve my fluency and understanding throughout the summer. The opportunity to focus heavily on speech is something we don’t get enough time to do in the relatively short class periods here at Notre Dame, so four weeks of intensive Irish speaking could do wonders for me. Additionally, because I will take a class taught in Irish, and I will probably apply to be a peer tutor, it would be most beneficial to spend my time working on my speaking fluency. I really want to be able to hold a long conversation with a native speaker by the end of the summer.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to better communicate with native speakers about everyday topics without much hesitation and with a more natural ability.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to utilize native phrases and think more in terms of how Irish speakers “think”, instead of using English phrases directly translated into Irish.
3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read and write at a more complex level with a better understanding of tense and structure.