Name: Michaela Fallon
Location of Study: Donegal, Ireland
Program of Study: Gleann Cholm Cille
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
A brief personal bio:
My name is Michaela Fallon, and I am a junior at Notre Dame originally from Columbus, Ohio. I am studying English with a supplementary major in Irish Language and Literature. I am an active member of both the Irish Club and the Irish Dancing Club here at Notre Dame. During the Fall 2016 semester, I studied abroad at Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland, where I was able to study some of the great Irish writers of the English language while also continuing to improve my Irish Language skills.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
As a supplementary major in Irish Language and Literature, it is important to me to become as comfortable as possible in with the language before my time as an undergraduate is up. While Notre Dame offers many amazing resources for developing my language skills, my SLA Grant will allow me to use Irish throughout the entirety of my day, so that I can really improve my usage of the language. My love for the Irish language is a passion which I discovered during my studies here at Notre Dame, but my goal of being proficient in a second language is not a new one, and hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish that during my time in Donegal thanks to my SLA Grant.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
During my four weeks in the Gaeltacht, I hope to achieve a sense of comfort and ease while using the Irish language. I want to be able to respond quickly and easily to questions in Irish, instead of taking an inordinate amount of time to formulate my answers. I want to feel comfortable using Irish not only in a classroom setting, but also outside of the classroom, within the community and during my day-to-day activities. I also want to learn more about Irish culture: specifically, the culture within the small community of the Donegal Gaeltacht in which I’ll be living. I hope to return to Notre Dame in the fall having improved my Irish and being prepared for the next Irish course I’ll be taking, Advanced Irish I.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate my thoughts in a day-to-day setting by using the Irish language, without resorting to English and without continually taking long pauses before speaking.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the culture within the Gaeltacht and a comfort in participating in the cultural activities of the area.
3. At the end of the summer, I will have read at least three Irish language books.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: