When I was first considering studying in Dublin (at the beginning of freshman year) I decided that if I was going to come to Ireland, I would take advantage of the opportunity to learn Irish in person and with a group. In other words, I was going to take an Irish language course.
By the time I arrived in Dublin, I had been learning Irish on my own (mainly through Duolingo and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta) for a few years and was excited about the possibility of learning from an actual teacher. I discussed my options with The Adults™ and was advised to look into Conradh na Gaeilge on Harcourt Street (Liz’s particular favorite venue as the building is historically relevant) and Gael Linn on Dame Street (Tony’s recommendation because he took a class there).
I took an online fluency assessment through Gael Linn which determined that the class I should be taking is Intermediate 1 (in the grand scheme of things this is level 5 of 7) so the next step was finding a course that would work with my schedule. In the end, Conradh na Gaeilge was the winner (to the delight of Liz).
The ten-week class met Monday nights from 19:00-21:00 in the Conradh na Gaeilge headquarters in number 6 Harcourt Street (which is on the way from Highlight to the Academic Building) with a ten-minute break in the middle for tea, coffee, and assorted treats. To get to the classrooms you have to walk through An Siopa Leabhar (The Book Store) which was an excellent business decision because there is never a shortage of interesting-looking books as Gaeilge. Underneath the bookstore is Club Conradh na Gaeilge, an Irish language pub where you can go to practice the skills you learn in class, or just enjoy the immersion.
The atmosphere in class was always fun and welcoming and my class was taught in Irish with a mix of small group conversations and PowerPoint lecturey parts. Some of the most fun activities were the Kahoot review just before Halloween, and identifying movies and Christmas songs from lines that were translated into Irish.