It is very important that you make every effort to learn and practice English. Doing so will make living in Ireland a less stressful experience and will make iteasier to meet and befriend Irish people.
A higher standard of English will also mean that you can have greater range of employment and training possibilities open to you.
Where to learn?
Private Language SchoolsPrivate language schools in Ireland offer courses which range from basic tuition to courses leading to an internationally- recognised qualification.
The Advisory Council for English Language Schools (ACELS) by the Irish Department of Education. Their goal is to control standards in EFL schools and organisations through an inspection/recognition scheme. ACELS also recognzes teacher training (TEFL) courses and the development of materials and examinations for overseas students. For a list of ACELS member schools visit this link.
Education and Training BoardsThe Department of Education and Skills provide annual funding to Education and Training Boards (ETBs) from which English Language tuition may be provided to adult migrants. Some English classes are free, some charge a small fee. To find and ETB near you offering English language classes, click on the following link.
Voluntary and other Non-Governmental OrganisationsIn addition to the above, there are a number of non-governmental organisations (NGO's) and voluntary organisations in Ireland who offer English languages classes. Many of these classes are free of charge: For example, classes are provided by:
- Fáilte Isteach Project, run by Third Age Foundation. The Fáilte Isteach project involves older people volunteering their time to teach conversational English to new migrants from all over the world. Fáilte Isteach now (September 2015) has a team of three full-time staff and one part-time, all of whom support a group of more than 750 volunteers who are offering a service to 2,200 migrant students from 75 countries every week. There are now 52 branches based in 21 counties.
A Primary Health Care Centre has opened in Summerhill, with Third Age (Fáilte Isteach's parent body) on the premises. This is the first time a community and voluntary organisation has been included in a Primary Care Centre in Ireland.
To learn more about the Fáilte isteach programme and locations where conversation classes take place follow this link.
- SPIRASI – a non-governmental organisation that works with asylum seekers, refugees and other migrant groups.
- Doras Luimni is a support organisation for migrants in the midwest, particularly Limerick and the surrounding counties which also provides English and cultural orientation classes. To learn more about enrolling in classes, please follow this link
- The Intercultural Drop-in Centre (which is part of the Dodder Valley Partnership) offers voluntary English language classes. Intercultural volunteer tutors assist students to speak, read and write English using conversation and easy to understand text-books at a pace to suit the individual.
- The Clondalkin Intercultural Centre is a social place for an intercultural dialogue which acknowledges and celebrates diversity but also promotes common values. The centre is committed to be a guide and source of support to the immigrant population in their efforts to integrate into Irish society. There is an English language group class with professional teachers, Russian, Spanish and Italian classes with native speaking volunteers, leaflets translation, one to one English classes with volunteers. Lyuba Moore, Intercultural Centre Co-ordinator, Intercultural Centre, 15 Tower Road, 01-4577213, email: email@example.com
Local library serviceYour local library may have English language resources, such as books, DVDs, videos or cassette packs, which you can borrow and practice your English with. In addition, many libraries have internet access or open learning centres where you can practise English. For a list of libraries in you area visit the following link.
Many library services also offer conversation exchanges, where you may be able to learn English in exchange for conversing with someone in your own language. For a list of libraries in the Dublin City Council area participating in these exchanges, please visit this link to the Dublin City Libraries website. Dun Laoghiare-Rathdown also offers also offer language exchanges - you can see a list of possibilities here.
You can find a list of evening classes where you can learn English at this page of the nightcourses.com website -
Additional possibilitiesIn addition to attending English language classes, there are a number of things you can do yourself to help improve your English:
- Read English language magazines and newspapers. Even if you do not understand everything, it will help you to familiarise yourself with the language
- Many websites, including the BBC website, offer free English language resources.
- Another website offering free online language classes (not only in English) is www.linguasnet.com, an EU- sponsored language initiative.
- Watch English language television. If you watch television programmes in your first language, use English subtitles whenever possible.
- Buy an English dictionary so you can look up the meaning of new words you come across on a daily basis.
- Practise your English at home. Get the whole family involved in helping each other to improve.
- Listen to the radio in English. It is helpful to have it on in the background while you are busy at home with housework etc.
- When you are at the shops or visiting a service provider, try to communicate with the person serving you in English.
- Join a local sports or community group so that you get an opportunity to speak English while you are enjoying yourself.
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