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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan 2013 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon 29 Aug 2011 4:54 pm
Posts: 3425
Location: Cill Dara
Read here for some information about this resource.


If anyone has used this resource, feel free to comment here. When someone is trying to decide which resource would best suit his/her needs, it can be useful to hear what others think.

Is foghlaimeoir mé. I am a learner. DEFINITELY wait for others to confirm and/or improve.
Beatha teanga í a labhairt.

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb 2014 11:46 pm 

Joined: Sat 08 Feb 2014 2:57 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Liospóin, An Phortaingéil
I received it yesterday, extremely prompt delivery (about three days). I am a beginner and as such I can't really make an informed review, but in any event I will share my initial thoughts. I am talking about the Beginners Level book.

- The book is attractive: for people who like visually attractive books, with photos, colours, bold pagination, this book will deliver. Personally I don't mind at all to have something that is a "wall of text", or even in two colours. Buntús Cainte, for example, is light reading, but "Gaeilge gan Stró!" is a good representative of the more modern graphical approaches.

- Lots of guidance: the book is divided in Units, and there are recommendations about how to tackle each one, what are the objectives, how to listen and take notes, etc. Each unit contains a mix of listening, writing, pronunciation, etc. A lot of conversations to hear, many of them with tasks associated. Many exercises, clear and with clear feedback (using the solutions sheet). "Learning advice" boxes also provide additional suggestions (different learning strategies, etc).

- Interesting support information: there is more than just Irish in there, general information is also scattered throughout inside "Insight" boxes, like what is a Gaeltacht, what are the common ways to give a toast in Irish, what's the CO, etc, etc).

- Some grammar. Not at all a grammar-driven course, but some grammar is introduced as one goes along.

- Lots of audio. It comes with 4 CDs, containing exercises, conversations, real-world captures, etc.

The course is also aligned with the TEG ( which can be an advantage for some, not so much for others.

In terms of dialects... it seems to be to be based on the Standard (but what do I know), although presenting in the beginning different forms for all 3 dialects (and using Connacht as the default in the examples after mentioning the alternatives). As far as I can tell all dialects (the book explicitly says that it will show the differences in the beginning and use all the dialects) are used in the examples and "Talking Heads" conversations. The author, Eamonn O'Donaill, is from Donegal and is the author of IOYO and other courses.

Unit 1 is available online (, this is actually a free unit of the online course based on the book, but the content and audio is the same (give or take additions). Actually, there is a "Talking Heads" in there that briefly shows a speaker using Ulster/Connacht/Munster dialects, perhaps some of you can give it a try (and the rest of the conversations and examples) and share your thoughts.

For me, with the initial goal of being minimally fluent in Irish and be able to build on that it seems to be a good resource. I am only concerned about pronunciation, but that is something that I can tackle at a latter stage as well (if it becomes an issue at all).

PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb 2014 4:50 pm 

Joined: Wed 07 Sep 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Texas
We've used this for 2-3 years now to teach basic Irish. As a whole I think it's a great resource.

If I had to pick a few areas to be aware

1) Would be nice if : A lot of students in our basic Irish classes want something they can just pop in the car and listen to while they're stuck in Dallas area traffic. You can somewhat get around this by compiling a playlist of just the Unit Conversation and Unit Exercises tracks, but it's not quite the same.

In many ways, the old "Irish On Your Own"/"Now You're Talking" Irish audio tapes from the 90s (converted to MP3) are still best for this.

2) Minor point : Sometimes the examples, sample conversations, etc. use words that haven't yet appeared in the chapter(s). So a new student will run into words that they're expected to know or be able to translate... but aren't in the chapter at all, or haven't shown up yet. While this is a natural way to learn, we've found it is actually off-putting for some students. Not a deal breaker by any means, just an annoyance.

3) Wishlist : If they put all the unit exercises up as worksheets on the site. :) Maybe they have, but if so... they've locked them away where I've yet to find them. Most folks I know don't want to write in their book and photocopies are just not the same.

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