ICC Offers Fall Language Classes and Welcomes New Irish Fulbright Teacher

The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England and Elms College are pleased to offer a range of Irish language classes for the 2018/2019 academic year. Classes are geared for all learning levels, from beginner to advanced.

Jill McMahonThe ICC and Elms College are pleased to welcome the program’s ninth consecutive Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, Jill McMahon. A native of Co. Clare, McMahon is looking forward to acting as a cultural ambassador for Ireland. Her goal is to develop and enhance the Irish language-learning environment during her time this year, as she says, “The value of learning a language is directly related to the opportunities and initiatives to speak that language.”

McMahon has a first-class honours degree in Irish & Journalism from Dublin City University, and has worked solely in the Irish language sector for the past five years. Her work with organizations such as Conradh na Gaeilge and Gaeloideachas has seen her involved in Irish language education for the past few years, an area that is integral to the preservation, promotion and maintenance of the Irish language in Ireland.  She currently works as Education Officer with Conradh na Gaeilge, offering a range of Irish language classes to adults in Dublin. Her main language promotion and teaching is through Irish national sports, as a volunteer with the Gaelic Athletics Association.

Gerald Costello, ICC Language Committee Chair and one of this year’s instructors, values the work of the Fulbright Teaching Assistant. He says, “The FLTA contributes and fosters a sense of good will between Ireland and the U.S. This ambassador links the past with the present and enables our students of the language to learn through group work, presentations, and assorted activities. Minority languages face an uncertain future; the FLTA is helping us to remember our ancestors’ language by making it relevant and enjoyable.”

Classes begin late August/early September and take place at Elms College in Chicopee, MA. Experienced instructors from the ICC will teach non-credit course offerings. First Year Irish, a beginner course requiring no initial knowledge of the language, will be taught by Gerald Costello on Monday evenings. Kathleen Gilhooly will teach Second Year Irish on Tuesday evenings. Costello will teach Third Year Irish: Conversation on Tuesday evenings, and Gilhooly will teach Fourth Year Irish on Saturday mornings. Jill McMahon will teach the Intermediate: Advanced class on Wednesday evenings, which may be taken on a credit or non-credit basis.

For class times and more information, visit our website. The cost is $150 for the First, Second, Third and Fourth Year classes, and $175 for Intermediate. ICC Patrons receive a $50 discount. To enroll, please call the Elms College Registrar at 413-265-2314, or download a registration form.

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