Course Description Changes for Fall 2012
The New England branch of Conradh na Gaeilge has made some minor changes to its course descriptions for classes starting with the Fall 2012 semester. We decided to drop terms like "beginner", "intermediate", etc., and simply give each course a level number, similar to those used on the site ranganna.com (there's a fabulous test offered there which can help you decide what your level of Irish proficiency is).
For learners of Irish outside a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) region, there is often an unavoidable discrepancy between reading/writing skills and proficiency with the spoken language. That's because we can read & write as much as we like, but our access to fluent Irish speakers outside the Gaeltacht with whom we might practise our Irish is often limited. So, one who has "intermediate" knowledge of written Irish might well be more of a "beginner" in conversation skills. This can lead to confusion when choosing courses.
If you've never taken Irish classes before, our Irish/Gaeilge 1 course is the obvious choice for you. For those with some previous Irish studies under their belts, we encourage prospective learners to spend 15 minutes or so & take the ranganna.com proficiency test to determine which of our courses might be the best match for their reading/writing skills. Understanding that conversation skills may not match that same level, our instructors do their best to encourage conversation in Irish in class, and to help students find avenues outside of class where they can further practise those conversation skills.