Flynn, Jessica


Language: Irish

Location of Study: Carraroe, Ireland

Program of Study: NUI Galway Irish Language Course

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

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A brief personal bio:

My name is Jessica Flynn and I am finishing my sophomore year at Notre Dame. I am a Business Analytics major with a supplementary major in ACMS, and I am hoping to add a minor in either Irish Studies or Irish Language. I have a brother, Brendan, and two sisters, Tara and Julia. I am from Dublin, Ohio but I will be studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland in the fall. I live in McGlinn Hall. I am beyond excited to be learning the Irish Language in the Gaeltacht this summer, and then living in Ireland again in the fall.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

My course of study of business and applied math may not suggest that Irish is necessarily a complementary course of study. Studying Business Analytics and ACMS portrays the image of a “numbers person,” but I feel that through studying the Irish language, I am able to stretch myself and immerse myself in the culture that is conveyed through the language. Between grammar and pronunciation lessons, studying a language reflects a people and a culture more than anything, and I hope that immersing myself in an Irish-speaking culture will give me a new understanding of the Irish culture. This grant allows me to study Irish not only in the classroom, but in everyday conversation. It is an integral step in my progression in the language and understanding of the culture.

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

As a result of this experience, I hope to achieve a more natural ability to converse in the Irish Language. I want to grow in confidence in my speaking abilities and be able to understand and hold a conversation without defaulting to English to ask for vocab words. Rather than stopping when I want to say an English word I don’t know in Irish, I want to use circumlocution to continue the conversation in Irish. I will challenge myself to use the Irish language outside my classes in my host family’s home and with my peers after class. Along with this, I want to focus on carrying over every grammar rule I know (and can easily use in my writing) to my speaking abilities as well, which I will be able to improve in my classes at NUI Galway. Overall, I hope to leave this summer with an improved speaking ability.

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

At the end of the summer, I will approach and carry a conversation with a native speaker without resorting to English vocabulary. Additionally by the end of the summer, I will be able to use only Irish in my host family’s home, even if this means that sometimes I have to talk around what I am trying to say. Finally, by the end of the summer, I will be have advanced by the equivalent of one semester of Irish at Notre Dame.