Summer schools

A number of language schools, colleges and other organisations run summer schools where you can learn more of a particular language, and often take part in a variety of activities. If you don’t know the language at all, summer schools can give you a short, enjoyable introduction to it. If you already have some or a lot of the language, summer schools are a great way to boast your confidence using it. They also give you opportunities to experience some aspects of the culture associated with the language, and to meet other learners and native speakers.

At the moment, for example, I am doing a summer school in Irish language and culture at Oideas Gael in Donegal in the northwest of Ireland. There are Irish language classes in the mornings with an emphasis on everyday spoken Irish. In the afternoons you can choose between singing, dancing, playing various instruments, cooking, drama, hilll walking and so on. There are concerts, recitals and other performances in the evenings, and these are followed by music sessions in the local pubs.

This is a stunningly beautiful place which attracts students from all other the world who share a passion for the Irish language, music and culture. There is a wonderful atmosphere here and everybody is very friendly, so even if you come on your own not knowing another soul, by the end of the week you will have many new friends. This is my third time at this particular summer school and my fifth to this language and cultural centre – I enjoy it so much that I keep coming back, and many other people do the same, so there are always plenty of familiar faces.