About our online courses

When do the courses start and for how long will they run?

Our next series of Oideas Gael Online courses begin on Monday, October 3rd 2022, and will run until Thursday, December 1st. Most courses include eight 90-minute sessions of live online tuition. All class and event times listed on our website are local to Ireland—please take this into account when viewing our course calendar if you live outside of Ireland. Daylight savings time in Ireland ends on October 30th: clocks will go back one hour on this day.

Currently, most classes are scheduled in the evening time so that they are accessible to people living in other time zones as well as Irish people who may be occupied during typical working hours.

For how long does each course last and what's involved?

Each course takes place over eight weeks with one class per week. Please note that each course takes place on a specific day or specific days during the week. Most courses take place between October 3rd–December 1st with a mid-term break from October 31st–November 4th (with the exception of the Sean-nós Singing course, which begins and ends one week later than the other classes). In addition, there will also be at least one online social event each week to allow people to meet outside of class.

And I can choose my own course?

Regular attendees at Oideas Gael are familiar with a system where learners are placed in a suitable class in consultation with one of our staff. For the purposes of the online classes, however, we are asking you choose your own class based on the descriptions available. That said, feel free to get in touch with us if you are unsure and would like our help!

Should I consider taking a course more than once?

It is definitely worth considering. While certain important features of the language may appear more than once in each course, we introduce new learning material from season to season. This means you can deepen your knowledge and build your self-confidence at a particular level before progressing to the next challenge.

Usually, we recommend that those who complete three seasons at a particular level move to the next course. This depends on the individual but please note that the learning material may repeat after your third course at a particular level. The only exceptions to this are our Irish Language 1 and Irish Language 1+ courses—where you always start with the fundamentals. In Irish Language 5, the highest level, new course material is introduced every time the course runs.

How do the classes work?

We use a system called Zoom, which is similar to Skype, to host the classes. Don’t worry if you haven’t used Zoom before. It’s easy and we will be available to help you. You will receive more information before your course begins.

How many people will there be in each class?

There will typically be between 10–12 people in each class group. Our booking system limits the number of participants. We try to have slightly less participants in the beginner levels, so the teacher has more time with each learner, and slightly more participants in the higher levels where participants benefit from a greater range of conversation opportunities.

Is there an emphasis on a particular dialect of Irish?

We always advise that learners not be unnecessarily worried about questions of dialect, particularly in the earlier stages of learning. While some of our learning materials, such as the Enjoy Irish! course used in the beginner levels, do emphasise the Ulster dialect we employ teachers from all regions and with many different dialects. As a learner, you will benefit from coming into contact with a dialect you are less familiar with. If you are interested in a particular dialect, your teacher can take that into account and will be able to help you.

Are the course materials provided? Do I need any books?

You do not require any specific book in advance of any of the current language courses. Course materials will be provided to you in PDF format; sound and video files may also be provided. That said, many people like to make use of a dictionary or one of the many learning resources available at siopagaeilge.ie.

I booked a course but my credit card hasn't been debited yet?

Once you have received your booking confirmation e-mail your place is secured. We review all applications before debiting the course fee. Typically, your course fee will be debited by the end of the next working day.

What happens if I need to cancel a booking?

In the event you need to cancel your booking your course fee will be refunded provided you contact us in writing (e.g. via e-mail) no later than five days before the course start date.

What happens if classes fill up? Will there be more in the future?

If there is sufficient demand for our spring courses we may be in a position to offer some extra places. We intend to continue online courses into the future but please note that we are considering taking a break or scaling back our online programme for the spring 2023 season. We would like to take this time to evaluate and improve our online offering, something that is difficult to do while offering online and in-person courses simultaneously. On that note, see the main Oideas Gael website for details of our in-person Gaeltacht courses.

I have more questions! What do I do?

No problem! Feel free to get in touch with us any time: our contact details are at the bottom of the page.

Oideas Gael

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