Eaton, Sarah


Language: Irish

Location of Study: Gleann Cholm Cille

Program of Study: Oideas Gael

Sponsors: Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures

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A brief personal bio:

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

I grew up in Elmhurst, which is near Chicago. I attended the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy for high school and came into Notre Dame as a Neuroscience major before I realized that I did not want to pursue science further. I am now an Accounting major. I decided to take Irish because it sounded interesting and I fell in love with the language. I am now pursuing a secondary major in Irish Language and Literature. On campus I am involved in KiND club, SUB, hall council and work at the law school café.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

By receiving an SLA award, I do not expect to become fluent in Irish. However, I do expect to expand improve my pronunciation and further my comprehension of spoken Irish. As of now, while I am proficient in reading and writing Irish, my speaking and comprehension skills need improvement. The aspect of Irish I have always struggled with is pronunciation. Through this program, my pronunciation will improve as I will not only be constantly producing Irish myself, but listening to others produce it as well. Beyond improving my pronunciation skills, I will also improve my comprehension skills. During conversations and classes with other students and teachers, I will have to not only produce Irish myself, but understand their responses so that the conversation can continue. By focusing on conversational Irish at this program, I will be able to better distinguish exactly what is being said and craft better responses. Overall, from this grant, I will be able to have better and more thorough conversations through the Irish language.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to use both simple and complex sentences when having a conversation in Irish so that I am able to more fully express myself. 2. By the end of the summer, I will have expanded my vocabulary to include both general subjects, such as food and travel, as well as more specific dialectical vocabulary. 3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to understand the majority (90%) of what is said to me in Irish. 4. By the end of the summer, I will have improved my pronunciation such that I will be accurately able to pronounce a word I have never seen before without looking up the pronunciation.