Irish lessons for the diaspora

Irish language lessons diaspora Failte ar Line

A new on-line Irish language course, Fáilte ar Líne, has been launched by Dublin City University

It is intended to encourage Irish people overseas, the ‘new Irish’ and those who learned Irish in school, but not so well, to find gain confidence with the language and promises to make the most of DCU’s expertise in digital learning and in the Irish language to make learning the language accessible to everyone, anywhere in the world. Participants will be able to progress from beginner to advanced courses and can, if they wish, complete a full degree in Irish language and culture – entirely online.

It is co-funded by Ireland’s Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under its Twenty Year Strategy for the Irish Language with support from Ireland’s National Lottery. It was formally launched by the Irish Government’s Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Mr Joe McHugh TD.

Donegal North West TD Mr McHugh, who was before his promotion Diaspora Minister for a short while, famously learned Irish in a hurry in 2014 after he was appointed as Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs. His appointment was met at the time with much criticism as his knowledge of the Irish language was minimal yet he was expected to be able to deal with and handle matters to do with the Irish language and Gaeltacht areas.

Since then he has impressed with his proficiency in the language and was in London at the week-end to launch a University of Liverpool conference on how Irish is taught.

Mr McHugh said: “This exciting new endeavour demonstrates how we can utilise modern technology and innovation to bring our language and culture to new audiences around the globe.

“I believe that this course will not only be of great interest to the Irish community and diaspora abroad, but also to many Irish people here at home who would like to re-engage with the language, as well as new communities who may be connecting with the language for the first time.

This is particularly timely as we celebrate Bliain na Gaeilge 2018, and as we are connecting with Irish speakers worldwide with the #TrasnaNad- Tonnta cyber-Gaeltacht this week.

Irish 101, a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) started this week on 29 January and is being delivered in conjunction with FutureLearn, The project is led by Associate Professor Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl from DCU’s Irish language school, Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge and The Ideas Lab in DCU’s National Institute for Digital Learning.

Irish language lessons diaspora Failte ar Line
Prof Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl from DCU’s Irish language school

Professor Nic Giolla Mhichíl said: “We want to give first, second and third generations of the Irish diaspora an opportunity to learn more about Irish language and culture. We also want to ensure that learners can come to Ireland and experience the Irish language first hand in the Gaeltachtaí.

It is truly inspiring to see so many international universities with Irish language and cultural offerings. We hope to work with many of these to create synergies between their programmes and DCU’s Fáilte ar Líne project.”

Irish 101 will offer an introduction to the Irish language; Ogham and the first writing in Irish; greetings, blessings and curses; and Irish names and mythology amongst other subjects. Learners can register online for a number of flexible learning options. All that is required is a device and an internet connection.

Registrations for Irish 101 are already open and thousands of learners have already registered for the course.

Register for Irish 101 at

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