Bealach na Gaeltachta promotes awareness of the place of Irish in Ireland and abroad and encourages students to envisage Irish language learning and leisure activities outside the classroom. The project combines the development of knowledge of Irish with the development of transferable skills in an active learning context. Students work in groups in a simulation of a service provided by information officers. They receive messages from a number of clients interested in spending time in a Gaeltacht area. The clients wish to know about leisure activities and about the opportunities for learning Irish during their stay in the Gaeltacht. The clients have specific requirements and/or request information on aspects of the Irish language. The students carry out the necessary research in order to provide adequate responses to the clients who have contacted their office. Students are also required to research a course of their choice in detail and do a group presentation in class.
The target language of the project is Irish and the students’ activities include a range of authentic and classroom-based tasks to develop their analytical, research and communicative skills. The tasks include: – planning group work and research activities,- researching selected websites, and other written and audio texts,- contacting organisations offering Irish language courses, – drafting responses and responding to emails from the “clients”, – presenting Irish language courses to classmates,- evaluating progress (both in terms of task completion and language development). Student output will also include the creation of a portfolio of work as evidence of research and other activities carried out during the project and as the means by which their progress/learning can be evaluated by the students themselves and by the teacher.
- November 27, 2010