Oideas Gael Irish Language Courses – Why would over 2,000 people, from 22 different countries, spend a week or more annually, in a beautiful but remote valley in Southwest Donegal? Increasing international interest in the Irish language makes Gleann Cholm Cille the spectacular location for Oideas Gael’s Irish language courses & cultural programmes.
Oideas Gael Irish Language Courses
Oideas Gael in Glencolmcille (Gleanncholmcille), Co Donegal, offers beautiful scenery, an immersion in An Gaeltacht way of life and a series of cultural courses for anyone interested in their Irish heritage.
Weekly and Weekend Irish Language Courses for Adults
Since its foundation in 1984, Oideas Gael has attracted large numbers of participants annually to its highly acclaimed language courses for adults and also to its varied cultural activity programmes.
Irish people from all backgrounds make up to half of those attending, while the remainder travel from many different parts of the world to attend. The unique blend of expertly prepared language courses and an attractive mix of cultural sessions, all located within a Gaeltacht community, enables adult learners to improve their fluency in Irish, while at the same time enjoying a living gaeltacht culture.
Oideas Gael language courses are specially designed to cater for the needs of adults at all learning stages, including those who are more advanced but in need of practice. Each course contains three or more levels — beginner, intermediate and advanced — and is usually of one week’s duration.
Class Tuition is provided by specialist teachers who use graded courses, supported by modern audiovisual resources, as well as other proven methods of language teaching.
Cultural Activity Programmes
As an alternative to the graded language courses, a broad range of cultural activity programmes is offered to participants interested in experiencing a unique style of learning in an Irish activity holiday.
The cultural activity courses are bilingual, making them equally attractive to people with little or no Irish and those with fluent Irish. They offer an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy an activity holiday within a rich cultural setting.
The programmes available include:-
- Celtic Pottery
- Hill Walking
- Environment & Culture
- Flute & Whistle Playing
- Marine Painting
- Tapestry Weaving
- Donegal Dances
- Flute and Whistle Playing
- Playing the Irish Harp
- Bodhrán playing
Celtic Pottery (Potadóireacht Cheilteach)
The native skills of pottery making are taught by a professional art teacher and potter. Participants will, through ”hands on” tuition, be able to design, model and fire selected pieces of their work created during the course.
Hill Walking (Siúl Sléibhe)
The rugged Sliabh Liag Peninsula offers some of the most breathtaking settings in Ireland for walking. Experienced instructors lead a programme that is physically and culturally rewarding for novice and experienced walkers alike.
Environment & Culture (An Timpeallacht)
This course offers an exploration of both the natural and man-made heritage of the Glencolmcille region, with morning presentations and afternoon field trips. Topics will include: the landscape before the arrival of man;the impact of the first inhabitants;the bogs and their flora and fauna; patterns of land useand other environmental themes.
Marine Painting (Péintéireacht Fharraige)
The spectacular coastal landscape of the Sliabh Liag Peninsula is the setting for the classes, which are aimed at both beginners and improvers. This course is under the direction of professional Irish artists.
5,000 Years in Stone is the theme of this particular programme. It includes field trips to the many pre- and early-Christian monuments of the region, as well as evening lectures by scholars in early Irish literature, history, art, archaeology and folklore.
Tapestry Weaving (Tápéis Gael)
Donegal is renowned for its craft of handweaving. Local weavers offer tuition in the traditional skills of natural dyeing, carding, spinning, designing and weaving.
Donegal Dances (Damhsaí Dhún na nGall)
Tuition is by a leading instructor in traditional two-hand dances such as the Mazurka, the Highland, Shoe the Donkey, and the Peeler & the Goat. Beginner steps in Set Dancing are also taught as part of the lively weeklong programme.
Flute and Whistle Playing
An ‘Exploration of Irish Music’ through the flute and whistle, presented by a leading traditional musician, offers tuition to both the learner and the improver. Workshops will also explain the development and progress of Irish music to the modern day.
Playing the Irish Harp (Cláirseach Éireannach)
Instruction is by an expert harper with particular focus on beginners and improvers. The course content includes classes on the history of the Irish harp, workshops on playing techniques, the learining of new melodies and performing in the company of others.
Bodhrán Playing (An Bodhrán)
A weekend course provide the learner an opportunity of studying the various techniques of Bodhrán playing. Learn how to accompany solo and group musicians in a seisiún. Learn how to play the various beats required for hornpipes, jigs, reels, mazurkas and polkas. A guaranteed craic weekend!
The Glen :: A Lively Centre of Cultural Activity
The cosmopolitan nature of Oideas Gael’s Irish language courses and bi-lingual holidays ensures that ‘The Glen’ is a lively centre of cultural activity all through the summer, with the best of traditional music & craic. All creeds, professions and nationalities come together to learn and enjoy the richness of Irish culture. Many return year after year to renew friendships, to brush up on their ‘Gaeilge’ and to experience the living-culture of the Gaeltacht