Name: Olivia Tuck
Location of Study: Galway, Ireland
Program of Study: Aras Ui Chadhain
A brief personal bio:
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
Reflective Journal Entry 1:
Today is my fourth day in Carraroe, Co. Galway, Ireland. This city and the surrounding countryside is absolutely amazing! And moreover, the people I have met are wonderful. The city and the peninsula on which it is situated is entirely Irish-speaking, which I was hoping to find but did not necessarily expect it. Therefore, this is a true immersive experience. My teacher strives to only speak Irish to us, and uses English strictly to clarify a point if we look lost. I can already see a huge improvement in my understanding of speech. In class we learn mainly vocabulary and common phrases. I feel very comfortable with the grammar and nuances of the language, so building my everyday speech is so important to me.
In speaking to a few Irish teenagers who know Irish as a first and second language, I have found an interesting mixture of feelings toward the language. One whose first language is Irish thought the language was just part of being Irish. Conversely, the person who learned Irish thought the language was silly and he hasn’t used it since high school. I look forward to hearing more opinions on the use of the language.
So far, we have gone to the house which belonged to Patrick Pearce, the leader of the 1916 rebellion, and an area on the coast which holds a chapel built by a saint in the 16th century. Both locations were exceptionally beautiful, and it was amazing to touch bits of Irish history.
Reflective Journal Entry 2:
Hello again from Carraroe! I cannot believe that I have already been here for almost two weeks! The time has flown by. Since last week, I have continued to learn more and more Irish and view a few more iconic regions of Western Ireland.
Last Saturday we went on a day trip to Spiddal, Co. Galway. It is a beautiful seaside town which is also entirely Irish-speaking. After perusing a few Celtic craft stores, we drove to Galway. The Galway Arts Festival is currently going on, so we were able to view many crafts from and meet artists from all over Ireland. We also explored the city itself, stopping in many stores.Yesterday, we went to the Kylemore Abbey, and then the Connemara National Park. The Abbey grounds were beautiful, and its history was a very interesting tale. The National Park was absolutely breathtaking as well. It was a hike amongst green rolling hills and rocky mountains.
I am finding that my Irish improves daily. I can understand nearly all of what my teacher says in class now, and speaking is becoming easier as well. It is definitely because only Irish is spoken in class.
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Reflective Journal Entry 6:
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: