Notre Dame to Host Conference for Irish Language Teachers

Author: Kate Garry

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The University of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies together with the Fulbright Commission of Ireland are sponsoring a conference for teachers of the Irish language in the U.S. on May 9 and 10 (Monday and Tuesday).

Inter-changes Irish Language Learning and Teaching will bring together teachers to explore the current practice and future possibilities of teaching, testing, resources, and collaborations of Irish language learning in the U.S. Participants also will receive a report from the Language Center of National University of Ireland Maynooth on the current state of Irish Language teaching in the U.S.

There currently are 90 institutions in the U.S. that teach the Irish language. Since 2006, the Fulbright Commission has been actively promoting the Irish language in the U.S. through their programs and by sending qualified teachers and fluent Irish speakers to the U.S. as teaching assistants in American universities.

Once viewed as a language of the poor and uneducated, and moribund for the last half of the 19th century, the Irish language has experienced a return to prominence–both internationally and at Notre Dame.

Irish was first taught at Notre Dame in 1868, considerably earlier than other universities in this country, and Notre Dame now is home to the only Department of Irish Language and Literature in North America.

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