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Third Level College
Gaelchultúr/Coláiste na hÉireann is the only third level Irish language institution.
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This level is aimed at those who have no knowledge of the Irish language or who know only a few words and phrases. The class is not suitable for anyone who has recently attended a beginners course or who has studied Irish at secondary school. The emphasis is on developing speaking and listening skills and grammar is taught in context for the most part. By the end of the course participants will have learnt how to engage in basic everyday interactions, talk about themselves and their background, the work they do, etc. and will have acquired a basic knowledge of grammar.
This level is suitable for those who have already attended a beginners class or who are able to communicate at a basic level in Irish (they can greet people, for example, and introduce themselves). The material covered in the beginners class is revised at the beginning of the course but the class then progresses to other topics not covered at the lower level. As with the beginners level, the emphasis is on developing speaking and listening skills and grammar is taught in context for the most part.
Lower Intermediate (B1)
This level is intended for those who have studied Irish at school, perhaps a good number of years ago, who understand a great deal of the language but have had few opportunities to use it in recent years. Some basic language is taught at the beginning of the course, but the class then progresses at a faster pace than a lower level class would. The emphasis is on developing speaking and listening skills but students are also given the opportunity to read and to write the language. Grammar is taught in context, as it is required.
Upper Intermediate (B2)
Suitable for people who are comfortable speaking Irish and who use the language from time to time – in a social context, for example. Participants have an opportunity to extend their vocabulary and to learn more about Irish grammar. The topics discussed in class are more challenging than those covered at the lower intermediate level and there is also a greater emphasis on reading.
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.
Advanced 2 (C2)
Advanced 2 is suitable for those who already have a good knowledge of Irish but who wish to discuss a wide range of topics, and to read and write the language on a regular basis. Participants have an opportunity to learn useful idiomatic and colloquial expressions and to add to their knowledge of grammar.
Accuracy in Irish 1
Aimed at those who have a very good standard of spoken Irish but whose knowledge of grammar is quite limited. There is a focus in class on basic grammatical concepts and on developing participants’ reading and writing skills. Authentic material (e.g. newspaper and magazine articles) is used and there is a wide range of activities in the class. Suitable for those who work through the medium of Irish, e.g. civil servants and teachers.
Accuracy in Irish 2
Builds on what is taught in Accuracy in Irish 1. There is a focus on more complex aspects of grammar in this higher level class and classroom activities are more challenging. Problems that regularly emerge during translation and in writing more complex texts are dealt with. Translators, journalists and native speakers, amongst others, will find these classes useful.
The Certificate in Professional Irish is available at Levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications. These align with levels A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
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.
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What our learners say...
I really enjoyed the course, and my Irish improved a lot throughout. The teacher was excellent - knowledgeable, talented and kind.
I really enjoyed every aspect of the course. While it consisted of some written and grammar activities, the emphasis was always on the spoken language. I think this is really important.
The teacher was patient, knowledgeable and friendly.
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