The Certificate in Professional Irish is a part-time programme aimed at public sector employees who deal with the public on a regular basis and are required on occasion to provide a service through Irish. Those who undertake the course have an opportunity to learn specialised language relating to their work and to gain a recognised qualification at the same time.
The aim of the course
The Certificate in Professional Irish seeks to provide participants with the confidence and language skills necessary to communicate through Irish with the public in the context of their work, and to also use the language in social situations. The course helps participants provide a higher standard of customer service through Irish, and this in turn helps the bodies in which they work to fulfil their obligations under the Official Languages Act 2003.
The Certificate in Professional Irish is available at Levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
Students attend a classroom-based session or live online class, usually once a week. In addition to this, an account is created for them on ranganna.com, Gaelchultúr’s e-learning website, and they have the opportunity to do interactive exercises on that site and receive instant feedback. They can also use this resource to revise what they have covered in class and to prepare for upcoming classes.
Both general everyday language and work-related language are taught in the course. Participants learn phrases and terminology relating to the workplace and they are also taught how to deal with customers through Irish on the phone and face to face.
The Certificate in Professional Irish teachers use a modern learner-centred approach in the classroom. Pair work and group work, role play activities and language games feature prominently, giving students an opportunity to practise what they’ve been taught. While some grammar is taught during the course, it is made accessible and precedence is given to interactive, consciousness-raising exercises. Only grammar that helps students communicate more effectively is taught and complicated terminology is avoided.
The participants undertake continuous assessment tasks throughout the course and this is worth 55% of the overall marks. Students also undertake an oral exam at the end of the programme and this accounts for the remaining 45%.
Level 2 (A1) Level 2 is suitable for those who have little or no knowledge of the Irish language (e.g. people who did not learn Irish in school or who left school early) but who would be interested in learning the basics of language. The emphasis on the course is on the spoken language and on developing listening skills, but students also have some opportunities to read and to write the language.
Level 3 (A2) Level 3 is suitable for those who have previously studied the language and are able to communicate at a very basic level in Irish (they can talk about their background and where they live, for example). The emphasis in the course is on developing speaking and listening skills, but students also have some opportunities to read and to write the language.
Level 4 (B1) Level 4 is intended for those who have studied Irish at school, perhaps a number of years ago, who understand a good deal of the language but have had few opportunities to use it in recent years. The emphasis in the course is on the spoken language and on developing listening skills, but students also have some opportunities to read and to write the language.
Level 5 (B2) Level 5 is suitable for people who are comfortable speaking Irish and who use the language from time to time – in a social context or at work, for example. The course focuses on developing the learner’s speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.
Level 6 (C1) Level 6 is aimed at those who are fluent in Irish and who wish to focus on more challenging topics. The participants have an opportunity to add to the richness of their language and gain a better understanding of grammar, and they also learn useful vocabulary relating to work and contemporary life.
Our teaching approach
Gaelchultúr has developed comprehensive syllabuses and every class at every level follows these syllabuses.
The communicative approach to language teaching is used by Gaelchultúr’s teachers, giving learners the opportunity to play an active part in each class.
A strong emphasis is placed on group and pair work and learners therefore have a chance to practise what they’ve been taught. The main focus is on speaking and listening in all classes (with the exception of Cruinneas sa Ghaeilge), but reading and writing activities also feature.Learn more about us
Terms and Conditions
- Course fees may be refunded in full to a learner up to five working days prior to the commencement of the course. The refund must by requested by contacting Gaelchultúr’s staff by email or by phone. (Our contact details can be found here.)
- If, following the first class, the student decides that he/she would like to discontinue the course, 60% of the total fee will be refunded to him/her. Thereafter, no refund will be made to the student.
- Gaelchultúr Teoranta has the right to cancel a class or to amalgamate classes.
- If it is necessary to cancel a class, every effort will be made to place the participants in another class or to register them for an online course. A full refund will be made to the customer if these options do not suit him/her.
- A student may defer his/her registration only once. If he/she wishes to defer registration, he/she must notify Gaelchultúr’s staff of this by week three of the course. No refund will be made to the student if he/she does not accept a place on the next course he/she is due to attend.
- Gaelchultúr will accept no responsibility in the event that a student registers at the wrong level. We advise our students to do our online Irish test or to seek our advice to ensure that they are undertaking the correct level.
- If a student wants to move to another level, we cannot guarantee that a space will be available for him/her at that level. Should a space be available, Gaelchultúr will charge a €10 administration fee for making the change. A change may only be made to another level following the first class.
- Course fees must be paid in full prior to commencement of the course. Attendance on a course is subject to full payment of fees.