Newsletter #12: September 2011

Gaelchultúr launches exciting new beginners course for adult learners

Are you looking for a beginners Irish course which focuses primarily on the spoken word? Would you like to learn authentic everyday language? Do you want to find out how the language works without having to grapple with complicated grammatical explanations?

Then, Gaelchultúr’s Gaeilge gan Stró! (Irish without Stress) – Beginners Level, published this month, is just the course for you!

This new multimedia course for adult learners of Irish, written by Éamonn Ó Dónaill, consists of a book and four audio CDs which are closely linked to the book and come free with it. The package costs €34.95 and is available for purchase on

An online version of the course will be available on Gaelchultúr’s e-learning website,, from mid-September (to try a sample unit, please click here). The book and audio CDs can be used independently of the online version of the course.

Gaeilge gan Stró! – Beginners Level is aimed at those who have not previously studied Irish or who only know a few words of the language. The course is intended for learners working by themselves and seeks to give them the confidence and language skills necessary to communicate in Irish in everyday situations. The emphasis is on developing speaking and listening skills but learners are also given some opportunities to read and write the language. Grammar is taught in context, as it’s required.

There are fifteen units in the course, focusing on core topics such as Work, Pastimes and Travel. There is a range of fun-to-do interactive activities, most of which require the learner to engage with the spoken language. Answers to these activities are given at the back of the book or on the accompanying CDs.

The “Insight” section in each unit contains information about the history of Irish and about the language in contemporary society, while the “Useful tips for learners” section seeks to help those studying Irish to do so more efficiently.

Gaeilge gan Stró! aims to help learners start speaking Irish immediately,” says Éamonn Ó Dónaill. “I’m confident that anyone who studies the course will be able to interact with speakers of Irish in a simple way in social settings and will understand a fair amount of spoken Irish.

“We’re anticipating a high level of interest in the course, not only within Ireland but internationally, and particularly in America. Individuals throughout the US, as well as colleges such as Harvard, are already using some of Gaelchultúr’s publications and I’m sure this new course will also prove popular there. The fact that we’re having a launch in Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon, on 3 October (which I’ll be attending) shows how important the US is to us. The enthusiasm of learners in that country, as well as in other countries such as England, Canada and Australia, is a source of great encouragement for us.”

The table of contents of Gaeilge gan Stró! – Beginners Level and a sample unit can be viewed by clicking here.

Éamonn Ó Dónaill is originally from the Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltacht in Donegal and has been teaching Irish to adults since 1981. He has written various books for learners and teachers, including Essential Irish Grammar (2008), Gramadach gan Stró! (2008) and Gaeilge gan Stró! – Lower Intermediate Level (2010). Éamonn has been working as Director of Education in Gaelchultúr since 2005.