This summer, many students will be undertaking their Irish exams in the leaving cert. it is growing as a subject, with more and more students looking to study it after they go on to graduate from school. It is a language that opens so many doors when it comes to living and working abroad, and this comes as a surprise to many!

Irish is a working language, and is an official EU language, so, it provides young people with the opportunity to travel to the mainland to work in roles such as translation, transcribing and administration work. The embassy in Brussels are routinely on the hunt for graduates to fill these positions!

More surprisingly, there is also an increase of a need for fluent Irish speakers outside of Ireland and Europe. America for example, and in cities like New York, there is a wish for people over there to learn Irish. There is a very large Irish community over there, so it can really be a home away from home.

Of course, the challenge here is that to be able to work in a language you need to be fluent, or close enough. This article is not just for students, anyone who wants to improve their Irish will find some helpful tips!

If you want some more tips on the jump between beginner to intermediate Irish, check out our other Superprof guide!

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Shane
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Shane
€15
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Roisin
€30
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Aidan
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Pierce
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Pierce
€25
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Lauren
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€20
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How Can I Keep Improving? Consume More Irish Media!

irish speaking fluency
Watching Irish TV can aid your learning. Source:Unsplash.com

It sounds obvious, but one way to keep improving your Irish is to keep consuming that language. If you have the chance to spend some time in the Gaeltacht (the Irish speaking regions) in Ireland, this is as good a way as any to try and reach fluency.

However, this won’t work for everyone given the restrictions, so, the next best thing is to consume media through Irish. This means: watch Irish shows/movies, and listen to Irish music and podcasts. By spending some time every day being surrounded by the language, you will start to learn and expand your vocab and knowledge subconsciously.

As we mentioned, vocab retention is such an important skill, which is why we also have an article full of tips and tricks for you to check out!

There are plenty of ways to find these online, a quick google search will bring results, and the TV station TG4 has an online player with some fantastic content, as well as RnaG, the national radio station!

So, that’s the subconscious learning, now for the conscious learning!

Where Can I Find Native Speakers? Speak Irish with Verbal Planet

irish language exchange
Having someone to speak Irish to is priceless. Source: Unsplash.com

As I mentioned above, living and spending some time in a place where Irish is the main language is one of the best ways to learn, but this is not realistic for many. So, VerbalPlanet offer you an alternative. This is essentially a service that connects you with a “language buddy” with whom you can communicate in Irish!

Here you will be speaking with locals, so you will be introduced to different versions and dialects of Irish. Though Ireland is a small country, the dialects can vary greatly, so it helps to have some experience speaking with people for the four corners! This will stand to your benefit if you wish to live and work through Irish.

Once you arrange a call with a speaker on VerbalPlanet, you can talk about whatever you are comfortable with. They will correct you and help you along if you need it. They also have no problem in communicating in your mother language, if they speak it, so if you are starting to struggle, they will make sure you are understood!

Also, this is a great stepping stone to speaking with locals in real life, because it removes some of the anxieties of speaking in person, while also giving you the chance to improve your fluency!

Classes last around 45 mins, around 22 dollars per hour, with the first lesson free!

The best Irish tutors available
Niamh
5
5 (7 reviews)
Niamh
€25
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1st lesson free!
Shane
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Shane
€15
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Roisin
5
5 (3 reviews)
Roisin
€30
/h
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1st lesson free!
Aidan
Aidan
€25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Pierce
5
5 (6 reviews)
Pierce
€25
/h
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1st lesson free!
Lauren
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Lauren
€20
/h
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1st lesson free!
Caitríona
5
5 (1 reviews)
Caitríona
€15
/h
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1st lesson free!
Eric
Eric
€60
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Niamh
5
5 (7 reviews)
Niamh
€25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Shane
5
5 (1 reviews)
Shane
€15
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Roisin
5
5 (3 reviews)
Roisin
€30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Aidan
Aidan
€25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Pierce
5
5 (6 reviews)
Pierce
€25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lauren
5
5 (1 reviews)
Lauren
€20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Caitríona
5
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Caitríona
€15
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Eric
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BONUS TIP-Record Yourself

If you are not yet quite ready for the above step, I have a little tip for you that I have used personally. As we know, fluency comes from your command of the language, and your ability to be understood by native speakers. Accent is very important here.

It is something that sometimes gets overlooked, but it is equally as important as some other steps. You might have perfect knowledge in theory, but if you don’t learn how to pronounce your words correctly, you won’t be understood!

Record yourself speaking, then listen back, checking all of your pronunciation. After this you can show to some of your Irish speaking friends to double check and correct you where needed. This will quickly correct problems you didn’t know were there, and help you on your way to fluency.

BONUS TIP: Try and write down what you said! For more help with this, read our Superprof guide to Irish writing practice!

Where Can I practice Irish Online? Develop Consistency with Duolingo

To achieve language fluency, you need to practice every day, and you need to cover all bases, meaning writing, listening, speaking and conjugation of verbs. All of these core skills are covered with Duolingo.

Reading is also a core skill, which is why we also give you some helpful resources over on our guide to boosting reading comprehension article!

Duolingo is an online learning tool I’m sure you have heard of, of not, I’ll explain! It is a mobile phone app that is also available in your browser. You start by creating your profile, and then it maps out a progress plan for you, starting at complete beginner and working all the way up to an advanced level!

This is a great way to track your progress because you can’t progress to the next level until you have done the lower ones, so you are learning at a level that can suit you. They also set daily challenges and bonuses, so you can build a healthy Irish language routine that builds the consistency I spoke about before!

The mobile phone app is attractive and easy to use, looking more like a game than a language learning tool, but it gets results, and is used by millions of people around the world. Aside from tests that cover grammar vocab etc., they also have a story feature where you can listen to little anecdotes and you have to fill some gaps, so you need to pay attention.

This is helpful, but not quite at the level of speed a fluent native would speak in a real world setting. However, if you balance some Duolingo with daily speaking with a local Irish speaker, you are getting a really well rounded learning experience and you will be on your way to fluency!

Join the Millions of Users at Superprof

irish teachers online
Irish tutors are now wildly available! Source: Unsplash.com

Superprof is another online language learning tool that combines all of the above elements, allowing the student to really push themselves to reach fluency in Irish. Here is where you can find your very own personal Irish tutor, who can speak the language fluently.

The process is simple, and free to set up. Once you make your account you can search for an Irish tutor based on location, and then scroll through all the available tutors to pick one that suits your level. The majority of these tutors are flexible meaning that they can teach their lessons face to face, or via video chat. You are not tied down to any contracts so this can change day to day, as long as you keep constant contact with your tutor!

Once you explain your needs, they can tailor a lesson to suit you, focusing on the kind of things that will help you reach fluency. They will help you increase your vocab, conjugate verbs, practice your pronunciation and then, when you feel comfortable, they can help you put all of this into real world practice, by testing your fluency with conversations. You will be working with a native Irish speaker, so it really is the next best thing to going to the Gaeltacht!

Having a native speaker talk to you, requires you to focus, and for tips on how to do this, we have a useful Superprof piece on building daily listening habits in Irish!

Superprof is used all over the world, covering so many languages, and because of this the prices are very competitive. The high number of tutors available means you can find some really experienced, fluent Irish speakers for as low as 15 euro per hour.

To entice you even more, you can also get the first lesson free, just to taste the waters and to see if you feel comfortable.

Achieving fluency in any language is extremely difficult, and there is no quick fix or cheat code. However, with all of the services mentioned above, you are given every chance. By following a daily routine that includes all the different aspects of language learning, you will see great strides in your language learning ability, and you will reach that fluent Irish level far quicker than you thought!

Consistency is key, remember that. It helps to make a schedule and to stick to it every day, but it shouldn’t all be tough work. You can also listen to Irish music and watch great Irish shows to relax! Even if you have a comfort show that isn’t available in Irish, try to see if you can find Irish subtitles, or try to pick up some new vocab by describing what you see. Language learning is difficult, but it can also be fun!

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