UW-Madison classes in the Irish Gaelic language (Gaeilge) are offered by Becky Shields within the Language Sciences unit. Classes meet in person for one hour per week in Fall and Spring semesters, and include access to online audio and practice activities at our interactive Canvas website. Key details:
- Basic introduction to modern conversational Irish for students with no previous background
- Open to students, faculty, and staff at UW-Madison
- Students may optionally register for 1 credit of Linguistics 699: Independent Reading
- Or, students, faculty, and staff may audit (attend informally for no credit) if space permits
- For-credit option requires regular attendance and participation at weekly meetings, as well as approximately 2 hours/week of online work on the Canvas website
- These classes do not count towards the L&S Language Requirement
Irish Gaelic 1
Introduction to contemporary spoken Irish. Emphasis on sound system, fundamentals of sentence structure, and useful conversational phrases. Appreciation of the role of the Irish language in Irish history and culture.
Next offered Fall 2023
Irish Gaelic 2
Continued introduction to elementary spoken Irish. Emphasis on expanding useful vocabulary and learning common verb forms. By the end of the semester, students will be able to participate in basic conversations and read simple narratives in Irish.
Last offered Spring 2023
Summer Study and Scholarship Opportunities
Once students have completed the basic level, there are several opportunities to continue their studies with summer programs in Ireland:
- Fulbright Ireland offers Summer Gaeltacht Awards for summer immersion study in Ireland. The awards provide free tuition, room, and board (participants need to cover their own travel costs) for 2-6 weeks of study at an Irish language course in the Gaeltacht. Students who have completed a semester at UW-Madison are eligible to apply.
- Foreign Language Area Studies fellowships are available for 6 week intensive Irish summer programs in Ireland. Applicants generally need to be at least intermediate level, so some additional study beyond our courses may be required for eligibility. Contact the Center for European Studies FLAS coordinator Eleanor Conrad for more information.
- UW-Milwaukee’s Center for Celtic Studies offers a 3 week, 6 credit summer study abroad program at Oideas Gael, in Donegal, Ireland. Contact UWM to inquire about enrollment for UW-Madison students.
Local Community Resources
A variety of additional resources are available locally for students and community members interested in Irish Gaelic:
- The local Madison organization Ciorcal Comhrá na Cuinge (The Isthmus Conversation Circle) offers free weekly online conversation practice sessions for Advanced Beginner or Intermediate students.
- UW-Milwaukee’s Celtic Studies Center hosts an annual Irish language immersion weekend (Tionól Gaeilge – Irish Language Gathering) every March. The event features language classes, lectures, and a variety of cultural activities.