- 01. What Irish Can I Listen to? Consume More Irish Media
- 02. How can I Test My Irish Listening Ability! See Past Exam Papers from the State Examination Committee
- 03. Looking for your Own Irish Tutor ? Join us at Superprof
- 04. Do you want to Listen to Native Irish Speakers? Find a Language Partner with Tandem
Sometimes when we start learning a language, we can get very focused on grammar and vocabulary, and we tend to leave some core skills behind. One of these skills that is often overlooked is listening, and it is one of the most important.
If you are just starting your journey, and want to know what is ahead of you, read our guide on how to go from beginner to intermediate Irish!
The more you listen to Irish, the more comfortable you get with the language and the more you learn. This is why many people, including us, recommend that you try to build healthy daily habits where you listen to at least a bit of Irish every day, to familiarize yourself with the language!
These days, Irish learners are very lucky. There are more services than ever before, many of which that are online, but some that are face to face. So no matter what kind of a language learner you are, you will find a service that suits you.
If you are studying Irish independently, it can be hard to source things that help you get daily listening practice as you will see so many options and it becomes overwhelming. Keep reading our Superprof guide to see a list of helpful and efficient ways you can start getting listening practice daily.
What Irish Can I Listen to? Consume More Irish Media
This tip might be one you are already doing, and even if you are, I’m sure you could even listen to more! What I mean by Irish media is quite broad. This includes podcasts, TV or movies, and the good news is there are a plethora of really good and varied Irish media online.
There is a healthy Irish language media industry in Ireland. We have our own nation TV and radio station, called TG4 and RnaG respectively! You also have many many Irish language shows and podcasts available on Youtube! TG4 also have an online player where you an find great shows to stream here!
A quick google search will bring up lots of options, and you will be spoiled for choice, if you manage to find a podcast or show about a topic you like, it wont feel like learning! Perhaps your next favorite show will be in Irish.
If you feel as though this is too much of a step for you, don’t worry! Many of these shows contain English subtitles, so you will be able to follow along, but crucially, you will also be exposing yourself to the language and getting some practice in!
The more exposure you get, the quicker you will reach fluency. For some other useful tips regarding this, feel free to read our article that gives suggestions on how to improve your Irish fluency.
Another top tip is to listen to Irish music! You might not think it, but all of this is subconscious learning, the learning you do without trying as much. If you really want to take it to the next level, try to write down what you hear, and find out what all of the words mean!
How can I Test My Irish Listening Ability! See Past Exam Papers from the State Examination Committee
If you are a learner who prefers a more academic and exam oriented resource, than this next one is for you. As you may know, part of the leaving certificate examination includes an aural test, the dreaded aural test! There is a reason this is such an important part of the exam though, your listening skills are one of the most important Irish skills you will learn.
Well, you may or may not know that the State examinations committee makes all of these aural exams freely available! You are given access to all of the years, as well as both levels, so this method is suitable for all levels!
You simply search for the year and subject and there they are! You will then be given access to the audio file, as well as the questions, so you can put yourself to the test, at your own pace, and you can rewind as often as you like.
Much like above, to test yourself and really boost your listening comprehension, you should try and transcribe what you hear, and then use your dictionary to find out what all of the words mean.
Transcribing also helps boost your vocabulary retention, and you can read our guide to boosting your vocabulary here on Superprof too
When you listen to a few of these, you will notice many words and phrases appear over and over, and hopefully by the end you will have commited these to memory, expanding your vocabulary!
Looking for your Own Irish Tutor ? Join us at Superprof
Superprof is an online education service where we provide learners a chance to connect with tutors across a number of subjects. There are a number of native speakers who work as tutors for Superprof, and are happy to work with you!
Superprof is used by millions of users across the world, with over 15 million people learning and teaching through the easy to use website. You start by making a free account, and then you are free to look for your perfect Irish tutor by searching by location and subject!
The tutors are also flexible, meaning most of them are free to teach online, or face to face, whatever suits you both. The prices also stand out, with some experienced Irish tutors charging just 10 euro per hour. Just to sweeten the deal, the first lesson is free!
In terms of advantages, having your own tutor is very beneficial! Especially when it comes to getting listening practice. Firstly, you will have your own fluent Irish speaker having conversations with you, and this is priceless! It will be in a relaxed atmosphere, and they will correct you as you go. After every session you will expand you skillset even more!
Also, even when you're not around, they will be able to set you some tasks, to keep you sharp, and then they will be able to correct it the next time you meet! They will be able to spot your mistakes, and what you need to work on and this will help them make a lesson plan that suits you personally!
Some of the tasks they can set you will be writing tasks. To see some potential writing tasks, read our list of daily Irish writing tasks to help you improve!
They can also set you reading tasks, and we have covered this on another article, where we offer you a list of resources where you can do some Irish reading comprehension tasks!
Do you want to Listen to Native Irish Speakers? Find a Language Partner with Tandem
I mentioned above that speaking with someone, especially a native speaker, is the best way to get listening practice and improving your spoken Irish, which can be daunting for many. Tandem is essentially an app that connects you with language learners all over the world, via text, call or video chat!
The app is built on cooperation, meaning people try to help people learn, and they look to be helped in return! If you can learn Irish or get help wit your Irish off someone, perhaps you will be able to help them with another language!
Tandem is a great app to meet people, and puts you in direct contact with native Irish speakers, which is priceless! Also, you are able to speak to a few people at the same time, from different parts of Ireland, and this is another useful feature.
Despite Ireland being a pretty small country, it has lots of different dialects, with the accents in the north, west, east and south being very different! This can be a shock for some Irish learners, meaning if you get the chance to speak to Irish speakers that have all kinds of accents, you should do it!
This makes you a better Irish speaker, and gives you really useful Irish listening practice. As you are also able to text your language partner, you can ask them to break down what they are saying, and speak slowly. This will really help you on your language learning journey!
With Tandem, you will have a native Irish speaker that can give you tips to help you with your spoken Irish, but also, crucially, you will be exposing yourself to an Irish speaker with a native accent daily, and this feeds into the ethos of creating healthy daily Irish learning habits!
As we keep saying in all of these Irish learning articles, it is key to build daily habits. You need to keep your mind sharp, making sure you get daily exposure to the Irish language, through writing, listening and speaking!
It is also important that even when you are not studying you try to get some exposure to the Irish language! This can be stuff like listening to Irish music, listening to the radio or watching Irish movies and TV. This is the kind of learning that doesn’t feel like learning, but it will help you go up a few notches, taking you from a beginner to an advanced learner!
If you are someone who prefers to study ‘Irish the more traditional academic way, following a routine, this article was hopefully beneficial to you too! You now have plenty of options when it comes to doing mock exams, looking at past exams and having your very own personal Irish teacher!
If you follow all of these steps, and mix and match between the conscious and subconscious learning, it wont be long before Irish is like second nature to you!
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