Gaelchultúr has been running the Intensive Preparatory Course in Written Irish (Dianchúrsa Ullmhúcháin i gCruinneas na Gaeilge) now since the summer of 2010 and around 350 people have undertaken the course so far. Those students have come from all corners of Ireland as well as from the United States, England, Switzerland and Australia.
The next Intensive Preparatory Course will begin on 6 February and continue until early May. The course fee is €450.
This part-time programme is aimed at those who work through Irish on a daily basis – teachers, journalists, civil servants and translators, for example – who wish to improve their written skills and add to their knowledge of Irish language grammar. It is also suitable for those who wish to apply for a postgraduate course in Irish – an MA in translation, for example – but who feel that they don’t have the required standard in the language.
“We began the Intensive Preparatory Course in the middle of the economic crisis but, even so, it proved very popular from the beginning,” says Éamonn Ó Dónaill, Gaelchultúr's Director of Education. “The participants seem to like the mixture of classroom-based and online learning and have told us that they find the comprehensive feedback given on the homework to be extremely useful.
“There was a shortage of Irish language jobs for a few years but things are gradually improving. In the past year or two, quite a few positions have become available in the Irish language organisations and there will be excellent job opportunities in the European institutions in the coming years as well – up to 200 jobs, apparently. Those who only have an average level of competency in Irish will find it difficult to secure good positions but those with high-level language skills will not have that difficulty – there will always be good opportunities available to them.
“The Intensive Preparatory Course is very practical – the aim is to help participants understand complex rules that many people find difficult, and to help them write more accurate and native-like Irish. Those skills are definitely a big advantage to anyone wishing to work in a high-level Irish language job.”
The participants do most of the course on Gaelchultúr’s e-learning website, ranganna.com, but classroom-based sessions are also offered on four Saturdays. Those sessions are held in Gaelchultúr’s headquarters at 11 Clare Street, Dublin 2. Students who miss one of the sessions need not worry: all the course participants have access to online videos which focus on the material covered in the classroom.
As regards level, the course is suitable for those who achieve a score of at least 80% in Gaelchultúr’s Online Irish Test. To take this test now, please click here.
There is an optional two-hour grammar and translation examination at the end of the course. This test also serves as an entrance examination to the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation (Dioplóma Iarchéime san Aistriúchán), which has been offered by Gaelchultúr since 2013.
For more information about the Intensive Preparatory Course in Irish or to register online, please go to www.gaelchultur.com. Those interested in the course can also call (01) 484 5220 or email email@example.com.