Irish Scholar

Who is the “Irish Scholar” at Memorial University?

Each year, the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) supports and coordinates the appointment of an Irish Scholar who is based at Memorial University for the Fall and Winter semesters. The ICUF was established in 1993 by Newfoundlander Craig Dobbin and by the former President of Ireland, Patrick Hillery. The program provides Irish citizens with the opportunity to refine their teaching skills and extend their knowledge of Canadian society and culture, while enriching their teaching work upon their return to Ireland. While in St. John’s the Irish Scholar shares knowledge within and around MUN about the Irish language and culture.

What department is the Irish Scholar based in?

The Irish Scholar is a per-course instructor in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The appointment begins in September and concludes the following April.

What courses does the Irish Scholar teach?

The Irish Scholar normally teaches Language 1200 “Introduction to Irish Culture and Speaking” in the Fall semester (September to December) and Language 1201 “Introduction to Irish Writing and Cultural Connections” in the Winter semester (January to April). Upon request, it is possible that the Head of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures will schedule these courses for delivery in the evenings in order to increase the engagement of lifelong learners.

The course descriptions are as follows; there are no course prerequisites meaning that students need not have any awareness of the Irish language to enroll. They also can take the courses in any sequence (i.e., there are no prerequisites). As part of these courses, the Irish Scholar is generally expected to increase students’ awareness of the cultural aspects of Ireland.

LANG 1200 Introduction to Irish Culture and Speaking is an introduction to Irish culture, and to speaking and listening to Irish Gaelic. Students develop familiarity with spoken and aural Irish through practice conversations. Discussion and pronunciation exercises are balanced with exposure to Irish culture, including songs, music, plays, films, television, radio, video and oral storytelling. Links between Ireland, Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador are investigated. Prior familiarity with Ireland or Irish Gaelic is not required. Credit restriction: The former Linguistics 2700 and 2701 Usage limitation: Not eligible towards the Bachelor of Arts Language Study Requirement

LANG 1201 Introduction to Irish Writing and Cultural Connections is an introduction to Irish literature and to the Irish Gaelic written word. Students will examine the nature of writing in modern sources such as Irish-language newspapers, magazines and websites, balanced with works by popular Irish authors. Word formation, sentence structure, basic grammar, reading, spelling, and structures are discussed. The course also explores Irish connections with Newfoundland and Labrador, such as places, personal names and cultural practices. Prior completion of LANG 1200 is not required.

  • Credit restriction: The former Linguistics 2700 and 2701
  • Usage limitation: Not eligible towards the Bachelor of Arts Language Study Requirement

Why don’t these courses count as designated “Language Study” courses?

Students may use these courses to fulfill regular elective options. Bachelor of Arts students are responsible for being aware that the course description of LANG 1200 and 1201 state that these courses are “Not eligible towards the Bachelor of Arts Language Study Requirement”. This is because the courses feature a considerable focus on the Irish culture, and do not feature the same level of intense language study that is found in an approved designated “LS” course to meet BA degree program requirements.

How does the Irish Scholar help promote Irish culture and language off campus?

The Irish Scholar is encouraged to engage with the wider community outside of Memorial University. This may include sharing expertise with regards the language or cultural activities. Past scholars have chosen to organize Irish Language classes, music classes, Gaelic Athletic Association coaching and/or Irish dance classes throughout St. John’s and the Avalon Peninsula.

Where can I find more information about this year’s Irish Scholar, course slots, the course outline, and so on?

For more information, please contact the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.