Folklore: Story-telling, Heritage and Traditions

Folklore: Story-telling, Heritage and Traditions
€224.00 €249
From 24 September 2024
10 Weeks
20 Hours


If you’re interested in the uniqueness of Gaelic folklore and if you’d like to learn more about the wisdom to be gleaned from Gaelic customs, you’ll be interested in this remarkable course.

In this 10-week course we will focus on the customs and superstitions at the heart of the Irish-language community since olden times, some of which still pertain to the everyday life of Irish people. We will explore traditions relating to important aspects of community life – how people coped with death, the traditional remedies they used, their fear of the supernatural world which lurked about them, how they protected themselves from evil. These customs reveal the tremendous desire in people to survive in a world of uncertainty as well as some of the strategies they employed in their quest for certainty.

The course layout is based on the following themes: Fortune, Misfortune and Curses; Fairies (An Síofra/Changeling); Health and Remedies; Death; Holy Wells; Toponomy; Incantations, Riddles, Tongue-Twisters and Rhymes; Animals; Live Story-Telling; and Fóidíní Mearaí (spots of ground on which one is said to be led astray).

This course is suitable for those who already have advanced language skills. Concepts and language alike will be explored during the course. Participants will be given the chance to get to know each other through the facilitation of creative conversations. Idioms and aspects of grammar will be explored as they arise, thus giving participants the opportunity to enhance the richness of their Irish.

What does this course comprise?

  • 20 hours of live classes online
  • A digital handbook filled with high-quality learning materials

    Who is this course for?
    This course is targeted at people who are fluent in Irish (C1 or C2) or who have already completed an advanced-level course. It will be of great benefit to those who have an interest in the folklore of the country or who wish to learn more about Irish culture.

    Learning Outcomes
    Below are the learning outcomes for students who successfully complete the programme:

  • You will enhance your vocabulary and the richness of your Irish by listening to texts read by native speakers. Pearls of wisdom will emerge from the soundtracks and these will, in turn, be discussed in class.
  • You will heighten your understanding of the development of the Irish language and of its grammar by reading texts and transcripts from various folklore sources. For example, among the most significant grammatical points under discussion will be the dative case in its written form before 1958, vernacularism and the main differences in the texts as you move from one locality to another.

    Learning Approach
    The course will last ten weeks and will comprise a two-hour class each week. The entire course will be held online. You will receive a handbook of course materials and you will also be provided with a range of aids and resources to support and develop independent learning, thus enabling you to pursue your own interests on your own initiative. The various folklore sources encountered will include:


    While language sources will include:

    Course Authors
    This course was compiled and will be taught by Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair and Réaltán Ní Leannáin. Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair is a storyteller and writer from Donegal, who has received awards in both these fields. Réaltán Ní Leannain worked for many years as a lecturer in education but now teaches and practices creative writing, and she has received awards in both these fields.

    * This course and/or the course Folklore: Festivals, Customs and Superstitions may be undertaken in any order.

  • Book the course

    10 Weeks
    20 Hours

    Advanced 1 (C1) Aimed at those who have a reasonable fluency in Irish but who have little experience of discussing more challenging topics (current affairs and technology, for example). Participants have an opportunity to add to their vocabulary and range of idiomatic expressions and to improve their grammar. A wide range of topics is discussed in the classes.

    Levels Day Time Start Date

    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


    You will need a laptop or desktop computer, a reasonably good broadband connection and a headset with a microphone (a USB headset, if possible). Headsets can be purchased online on Amazon and other websites.
    You will be sent an invitation by email about 20 minutes before the class begins. This email message will come from Zoom, the video conferencing platform used to deliver the classes.
    You can, indeed. Every learner will be given the opportunity to do a technical test before the course commences and any technical issues that emerge during this test will be resolved. You don’t need to organise this – we will contact you to arrange a time after you have registered for the course.
    You can but you will not be able to participate in pair work and group work activities. It is better, therefore, to use a laptop or desktop computer, if possible.
    We recommend that learners switch on their camera during class as it makes the learning experience more immersive. If you do not wish to turn on your camera, however, that’s perfectly fine.
    There will be at least six other learners in the class and a maximum of eighteen people.
    Pair work and group work activities will be an integral part of each class, therefore you’ll have plenty of opportunities to speak Irish. You will also be able to raise a virtual hand and ask the teacher questions whenever you like.
    No. A digital booklet containing all the material you’ll need during the course will be emailed to you before the course commences and you will be able to use this booklet during the classes and for studying between the sessions. The cost of this booklet is included in the course fee. You will also be able to access all of the notes online. The beginners and lower intermediate classes are based on the books in the Gaeilge gan Stró! series but learners in those classes are not required to buy those publications. Note: Those attending Accuracy 1 and Accuracy 2 will be required to buy the grammar book Gramadach gan Stró! before the course commences. They will be able to buy this book at half price (€10), plus postage.
    In the case of the beginners and intermediate level classes, there will be written exercises from time to time but the emphasis will be on the spoken language for the most part. We will teach grammar in context, as it’s required, and we will always ensure that there isn’t too much focus on grammatical rules. There will be a greater emphasis on writing and grammar in the higher level classes, particularly in the accuracy in Irish classes.

    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.
    • Every student must abide by our code of behaviour when attending a course with us.
    • People under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend courses other than those specified as being suitable for those under 18 years of age. Our Child Protection Statement can be found here.