Name: Delia Ryan
Location of Study: Galway, Ireland
Program of Study: NUI Galway Irish Language Course
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
A brief personal bio:
My name is Delia Ryan and I just completed my first year at Notre Dame. I am from Milton, Massachusetts but I live in Walsh Hall at Notre Dame. I have two brothers, Christopher and Brendan, and one sister, Grace. I am a Mathematics major in the College of Science and I am planning on minoring in the Irish Language. I am so excited to be able to participate in this program!
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
My SLA Grant is important to me because it is enabling me to build the foundation that I need in the Irish language. The four weeks that I will spend in Galway will be invaluable in my studies of the language, as well as being an unforgettable experience. The exposure that I will receive to the language and culture is unparalleled anywhere else. This grant will allow me to experience the language from its very source so I can learn the intricacies of conversation and grammar. Following the completion of the program, I will be far more experienced in speaking and thinking in Irish, which will help greatly in my future Irish courses. The grant is huge step in my eventual fluency in the language.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Through this grant, I hope to achieve a greater familiarity with the flow of the Irish language so that I can understand and speak in basic conversation. I want to form habits of thinking in Irish, so that I can respond instinctually, rather than having to think in English before contributing to a conversation. While I am there, I hope to expand my vocabulary exponentially so I can take part in everyday conversation. After taking two semesters of Irish, I have a good sense of the basic rules of grammar but I struggle to be able to come up with the vocabulary necessary to carry on a conversation. By the end of my four weeks, I hope to be able to carry on a conversation without consulting a dictionary, even if it means using other vocabulary to get around a word I may not know. In short, I hope to achieve an intermediate understanding of the language.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
Over the four weeks that I will spend in Galway, I hope to accomplish three specific goals. I will approach a native speaker and carry on a conversation entirely in Irish. I will advance my knowledge of the language by the equivalent of at least one class at Notre Dame. I will be able to communicate in Irish about the links between the language and the history and culture of the country. I look forward to accomplishing these as well as all the other challenges that come my way while I am abroad!
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: