It is nice to have that free time in between Irish lessons. In fact, it is said that people with more free time are happier, healthier, and more productive than people who work all the time and make more money according to a study of 79 working adults. Between your Irish lesson, it is a good idea to take that time to have a break and just breathe, finding ways to have fun. However, practising a language in between lessons can be fun and can be used as a way to relax and this article will tell you how you can practise your Irish between lessons in your free time. Notably, not all of your free time has to be used up to practice Irish. You can do something that takes a few minutes as means to practice your Irish.
The Telegraph even notes that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process which should be some motivation for you to start slipping in time to practice your Irish between lessons. Your brain might not be reaping these bilingual benefits if you stop speaking a foreign tongue for a long period of time which is why even though most people learn Irish from primary school through secondary school, it is better than they do not just abandon it there, but that they carry it along with them and ensure that they practice it between lessons and in their free time.
Practising Irish between lessons improves your multitasking skills and you become better at doing more than one time at a time which means you can do something else along with practising your Irish at the same time. For example, you can cook and practice your Irish at the same time. If you have not started learning Irish and you are interested, you should have a read of the article serving as your guide to learning Irish.
What Ways are there to Practice Irish between Classes?
Notably, Irish lessons like those provided by Superprof are all good and give learners the ability to acquire a wider range of Irish grammar and vocabulary, with tutors explaining the rules for Irish. However, tutors will likely instruct students to practice their Irish as much as possible especially if they are learning it to be fluent in the language or for examination purposes. Therefore, this article will mention ways to do just that!
Undoubtedly, there are varying costs for Irish lessons with some of them being as expensive as hundreds of euros. However, listening to Irish music is a cheap way to practice your Irish in between your Irish lessons. There are many Irish songs you can listen to and learn. This will improve your pronunciation of the words in Irish. You can even translate the words from Irish into English which improves your range of vocabulary in Irish and enable you to learn a couple of new words.
If there is a word in the song that comes up repeatedly, but you do not know the meaning of it, you can look it up and if you know what the main words of the song mean, you will get the gist of what the song is about. It is a fun way to practice your Irish as you feel the beat of the music and dance around. Many free music streaming platforms provide Irish music like YouTube. TG Lurgan is a popular group on YouTube that sings Irish songs, some of them being famous English songs that they translate to Irish. Therefore, you would know the meaning of the words already.
If you want to take it a step further, you can even enter Irish music competitions. When I was in primary school, we were encouraged to join an Irish music competition where we would get the chance to sing a song in Irish.
There are many Irish shows you can watch to improve your Irish. Cáca Milis is a good suggestion because it comes up in the Leaving Cert curriculum so you would have to watch it anyway if you were doing Irish for the Leaving Cert. Even if you were not, it is still a good watch and it comes with subtitles so you can understand what they are saying. Some people have learned a new language like English simply by watching shows in that foreign language. Therefore, watching shows in a foreign language has been proven to improve your comprehension of a new language like Irish.
TG4 is an Irish language TV channel with most of its programmes being in Irish like Olly an Veain Bheag Bhán, Ros na Rún, Sicíní Spáis sa Spás and many other programmes. You can immerse yourself into Irish culture through the show. When learning a language, it is helpful to also learn about that culture because the culture and history of a language are what makes the language the way it is and how popular it is.
Watching an Irish show is an entertaining and relaxing way to practice your Irish between lessons because you can listen to the pronunciation and then repeat the sentence or phrase after the actor or actress. Subtitles are provided, so you can translate words into English and then check with the subtitles. You might even pick up a few Irish proverbs from the show. It is available on TG4 player. If your Irish tutor or teacher also watches some of the Irish series, then you can discuss it together and maybe you might even be able to discuss it in Irish if you are that advanced or at least attempt to.
If you need an Irish teacher, read the article written on where you can find an Irish teacher.
Stop the Bus Game
Stop the bus is a game where the participants are given a couple of topics which could be country, animal, food and drink and then one person says all the letters of the alphabet really fast and then a volunteer says stop and then the letter the person says when they are stopped it the target letter so it could be ‘b’ which means that the participants have to write the name of a country, animal, food and drink in Irish that begins with the letter ‘b.’
For example, it could be An Bheilg for country which means Belgium, bó for animal which means cow, bágún for food which means bacon, and bainne for drink meaning milk. You can play this game with friends and switch up the categories so instead of animal, you could have colour as the topic.
Also, the person who writes down the words the fastest is the winner and there can be many rounds. This game is so fun to play with a group of friends and after each round, you can all say the meaning of the words you wrote down. This way, you will learn new words in different topics and categories in a fun and engaging way. As someone who has played this game during Irish classes, everyone has enjoyed it and it is beneficial because new words can be picked up.
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings
There are many ways to practice your Irish between lessons by taking advantage of your surroundings. In Ireland, the road signs have English on them, but they also have the Irish translation underneath. It is literally all around you when travelling and serves as means to practice your Irish. You can write down the place name and the Irish translation and learn it. Keeping an Irish vocabulary notebook is very handy for this kind of purpose where you can write down new words learned. The more you keep seeing these words by constantly looking at the road signs, you will know them off by heart, thereby improving your range of vocabulary.
Also, the plate numbers on cars have the county where the car was registered in Irish, and it is a good way to learn the place names between lessons. It is a fun way too and it will help you learn the most important counties in Irish. For example, the plate number could write ‘D’ which stands for Dublin and on top, it would write Baile Átha Cliath which is an easy and effective way to learn the counties off by heart in Irish. You can even name a random object in your surroundings in Irish to practise between lessons.
Speak to Friends in Irish
Speaking to friends and family in Irish does help your oral Irish and your hearing of Irish. You can correct each other if either of you makes a mistake which helps to perfect your spoken Irish. If you and your friends speak Irish to each other, it will encourage you to keep speaking and practising your Irish between lessons. To further develop your Irish, you can go on holidays to a Gaeltacht area with friends or family. These are areas where Irish is predominantly spoken and this will enable you to communicate in Irish with a larger community while enjoying yourself as a good means of practising Irish between lessons.
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