FAQs

Below is a list of commonly asked questions regarding our courses and Irish langauge in General.

1. Am I too old to start learning a new language?
No. Participants of our courses range from 18 to 80 years old. Never too late to start.

2. I studied Irish in school years ago and didn’t enjoy it, will it be similar?
Learning Irish as an adult is completely different from an Irish lesson in primary or secondary school if you went through the Irish education system. As an adult you will be learning useful conversational Irish that you can actually use and will want to use as well. Our courses are interactive and informal so hopefully not only will you learn and improve your Irish but you’ll enjoy the course as well.

3. Which level/course should I take?  I am unsure about my level of Irish. How do I know which class to sign up for?
This depends on what level of Irish you have currently and your experience with the language. We recommend to try the TEG Triail Ar Líne which should give you a good idea of what level to start with. Sometimes it’s good to start slightly lower than where you want to be as a way of refreshing your memory. Be honest with yourself too and aim to be comfortable but challenged with the level of the course you choose.

4. When should I move up a level?
Many people take the same level twice to make sure they feel confident enough for the next level up. Depending on the person and amount of self-study coupled with the course, you could move up a level after taking a 10-week course. Make sure you are ready to make the move because moving back down a level can be a kick in confidence which is the last thing you want when learning any language. 

5. I can understand most things in Irish, but I find it hard to reply when speaking – will an Irish language course be helpful for me?
Definitely. Our instructors focus on conversational Irish and try to create as many speaking opportunities as possible throughout the courses online and in our offices. We also run extra conversational groups during the week as an extra opportunity to get some conversational practice in. If you would like to take part in our conversation groups please contact Ian – ian@gael-linn.ie. 

6. Will I get a certificate after completing a course? Will I receive a diploma upon completion of the course?
We can offer a letter of completion to anyone who needs a cert for professional or academic reasons. We highly recommend that any participants of our courses go on to sit a TEG exam which gives you a European Recognised Certificate in Irish language. Many people take our courses in preparation for the TEG exams. You can find more info regarding TEG HERE on their website. 

7. How can I learn Irish at home on my own?
There are many ways to learn Irish at home. Duolingo is a free App that you can download on your phone or use on a web browser. You can set daily goals and if you have a friend who is also learning it can be good fun to challenge each other to reach a certain amount of points per week. Mango is another website that has a free Irish language course. Listening to Raidió na Gaeltachta, podcasts in Irish, or TG4 are other ways to get you ear attuned to the language. 


8. What books are good for learning Irish? Can you recommend some resources for me to get started?
Do I need to purchase any grammar books or course materials before starting my classes with Gael Linn?
We have our self-study book ‘Gaeilge agus Fáilte’ for beginners goes through 10 different topics with CDs for listening which is available to buy on our website HERE. Gaeilge Gan Stró is a great series of books too with a beginner’s level and lower-intermediate level. For the more advanced there is Gramadach Gan Stró which delves in all things grammar related. Also the QuickGuide Irish Grammar is a great precise resource to have. All this can be found on Siopa.ie or AnSiopaLeabhar.ie

9. Can I study from anywhere in the world? I am not Irish, can I still take classes with Gael Linn? Can I take classes from abroad, or do I have to live in Dublin/Ireland?
Yes. Most course providers have online courses meaning you can study Irish from anywhere around the world. For example we have had learners take part in our online courses from South Korea, Bermuda, Malaysia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Canada, and the US. Just remember that if the course provider is based in Ireland then the time of the course is most likely in Ireland’s time zone.

10. Should I focus on one dialect?
If you would like to focus on one dialect due to being from a certain area or to reconnect with family roots then Teanglann is a great resource if you’re learning on your own as it offers the pronunciation for various words in the 3 dialects. A week’s stay in a Gaeltacht area is the best way to immerse yourself in your preferred dialect. You can search for Gaeltacht courses HERE on our Course Directory.

11. What’s the difference between the online classes and the physical classes on location in Dublin?
There’s no big difference between our online classes and our physical classes in our offices in Dublin. Our courses still follow TEG levels and class material is based off the TEG syllabus, our instructors own material, and any extra topics that class participants would like to cover all with a focus on conversational Irish. All learners are different so some people prefer the face-to-face classes and others the online classes.

12. I want to speak Irish, but I am not great with grammar. What class would be suitable for me?
Our courses focus on conversational Irish but still cover relevant grammar topics and the difficulty level all depends on what level of Irish you have at the moment and what course you choose. If you are taking our New to Gaeilge course then you can expect that you will be delving into grammar pieces at an introductory level and will never be too difficult. 

13. I am a massive grammar nerd. Do Gael Linn’s classes address grammar as well as speaking?
Yes. Grammar is an important part of understanding spoken Irish. Our instructors will introduce you to relevant grammar aspects depending on the topic of the class over the duration of the course.

14. I completed the Duolingo Irish tree/I completed a course with another organisation. How does Gael Linn’s teaching approach fit in with what I learned?
Duolingo is great place to start learning Irish and expanding your vocab – however our courses will focus on conversational Irish and introduce you to various phrases that may not be included in the Duolingo course.

15. Do I need to install any special programs in order to take the live online classes?
To participate in our online courses it is necessary that you have a Zoom account and either have the Zoom application downloaded on a desktop/laptop or on your phone or tablet. It is free to create a Zoom account and you can do so HERE.

16. How many hours a week will I need to spent on my classes with Gael Linn? Will I have much homework?
Our evening courses run for an hour and a half each week, but we recommend that you revise class material and couple your study with other apps, books, and useful websites. TEG provide a guide to how many hours of study needed to achieve the various levels of proficiency from A1 to C1.

17. I am not a native English speaker but I still want to take classes with Gael Linn. How good does my level of English need to be?
It is neccessary that you have a decent proficiency in English to take our courses especially if you are just starting off. Our New to Gaeilge and Bonnleibhéal courses are primarily taught through English, where as our Meánleibhéal and Ardleibhéal courses are mainly taught through Irish. 

18. Can I take a taster class?
If you are interested in taking a taster class to figure out level or if our online and in-house courses are what you are looking for please get in contact with Ian – ian@gael-linn.ie. 

19. Does Gael Linn offer summer courses?
Our online and in-house conversational courses run throughout the summer and we also have Gaeltacht courses in Gaoth Dobhair which you can read about here.

20. Can I spend time in the Gaeltacht with Gael Linn?
Yes. We run Gaeltacht courses every year in Gaoth Dobhair. You can find all that info here on our website.

21. I can’t afford the course fee. What can I do?
We offer a 10% discount on all of our courses for anyone who is unemployed, a full time student or retired. If you would like to take one of our courses but still cannot afford the fee please get in touch with Ian – ian@gael-linn.ie to see if we can make an arrangement.

22. Who do I contact if I have any more questions?
If you have anymore questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Ian – ian@gael-linn.ie / eolas@gael-linn.ie or you can ring us on 01 675 1200.

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