‘Is Féidir Liom- I can ’ (IFL) is a course in foundational Irish for adults who have never learned Irish before or who have little or no understanding of the language. It is very difficult to break Irish down to its nuts and bolts and into manageable portions except perhaps, by focusing on patterns in the language. When Navan Education Centre first offered a course in foundational Irish for Parents over ten years ago, the parents would often ask, ‘How easy can you make it? Teachers can’t change the language but we think IFL answers the question.
BACKGROUND to IFL: ‘Is Féidir Liom’ was developed and produced by Seamus O’Neill an experienced teacher of children and tutor of parents in Irish. To enliven the classes for parents, Seamus produced a range of games and materials including a course booklet. Later, when online multimedia and interactive content were added, the course became an even more enjoyable and satisfying experience. IFL is now a course in foundational Irish which gives parents the confidence to support their children learning the language. It is possibly the easiest course in Irish that is available for free to all learners. It is a prerequisite, that learners should have their own DICTIONARY – see the dictionaries pictured above. During the summer of 2013, the website and all the content was updated and simplified so that families can use it at home or it could be used in a class. Navan Education Centre wishes to acknowledge the grant assistance provided by the Teacher Education Section of the Department of Education and Skills (Ireland) to make possible these updates and improvements. Some of the worksheets were designed to be used in a classroom setting. Teachers are free to print, laminate and cut out the cards on these worksheets.
DEVICE REQUIREMENTS: All of the interactive resources were designed to function in Adobe Flash Player which, like Adobe Reader, is standard on most older laptops and PCs but not so on iPads, iPods or iPhones. IFL works best in Google Chrome, which has integrated Flash Player. If you want to use Adobe Flash Player in other browsers, you’ll need to separately download the Adobe Flash Player for those browsers. (Note: Mozilla Firefox does not correctly display the IFL Homepage.) To eliminate the need to use scroll bars reduce the size of your screen in your browser. If you have broadband you should be able to enjoy the full functionality of the resources. They all work equally well on interactive white boards or projected onto screens. The interactivity is coded into the software. If possible use a mouse rather than a laptop touch pad. A wireless mouse is most effective because it can be used from anywhere within the classroom to click on audio buttons or to drag images, words, sentences etc. to their on-screen targets. The resources will also respond well to touch-sensitive white boards but children would need to leave their desks to touch the white board.
IFL TUTOR TRAINING: Training courses for ‘Is Féidir Liom’ tutors were held in Navan Education Centre in 2011 – 2012. Approximately eighty tutors were accredited to teach IFL. Subsequently, with the availability of tutors, schools, Education Centres and Vocational Educational Committees (VECs) were soon offering courses for adults in IFL. Another important outcome of the training courses was the feedback which was very positive. The views and suggestions of all the participants were welcomed, appreciated and many ideas were taken on board.
AN MUGA CAINTE – The Talk Mug: Many of the adults who over the years, have attended the IFL Course For Parents have come along with friends and neighbours. They would meet socially in each others homes and do ‘homework’ together for the duration of the course– especially where one parent did not have a computer or access to the internet. Some spoke of the enjoyment, support and encouragement they got from studying IFL together at these home sessions. The tea break was often mentioned as part of the session. With this in mind, Seamus devised the concept of AN MUGA CAINTE (the talk mug) and designed and produced prototypes as pictured. The mug and certificate will reward attendance, effort and determination – which is underpinned by the motto ‘Is Féidir Liom – I can’ and is typified in the little train which has achieved the climb and has succeeded – ‘d’Éirigh Liom’. The little train is also a feature of the course from Lesson 5b onward. Hopefully, instead of a silver cup, a much more prized and practical trophy would be the ceramic IFL mug – AN MUGA CAINTE. IFL is keen to attract a suitable sponsor for the MUGA CAINTE. It is hoped that all parents who complete an IFL Course will receive a special mug as well as a certificate at a presentation ceremony to round off the achievement.