Irish Grinds

irish-grindsLessons and grinds for Leaving Certificate, Junior Certificate and Third Level students.
All aspects of conversation, listening and grammar structure comprehensively covered.
Classes also available for other age groups and those who wish to improve their overall standard of Irish.

Individual weekly feedback is given to each student PLUS weekly testing to measure progress, identify where the student is going wrong and correct it.

You will NOT just pay money to be given piles of notes…you will be TAUGHT as an individual by someone who is in your corner and you will LEARN as an individual.A systematic thought process is vital to avoid error and that is a priority with us.

The Irish Leaving Cert oral comprises 40% of the overall mark. This is a major change and will involve far more interactive speaking practice than is commonly available in a classroom situation or industrial grinds environment. This is where Shankill Languages can help. On average 20 minutes of each lesson is taken up with oral practice. This does not happen elsewhere.

The topics and subject areas will be systematically explored with the student ensuring a better level of spontaneity and fluency.. areas which carry the highest marks in the oral exam.

There are also 20 picture sequences to be examined, any one of which may turn up on the day. We will work through this sequence, continually developing the confidence to describe the scenes in a manner which avoids the impression of rote learning. You put your ideas into words and will master speaking in a way NOT possible in a larger anonymous class structure.

The listening section of the exam is crucial to overall success and a part of each lesson will be dedicated to it. It is vitally important to ensure that the student’s ear is sufficiently attuned to Irish spoken at a regular speaking pace. This gradual build-up of first time understanding is a product of continual practice for which there is no substitute. We will work though past paper sound files taking note of the recurring vocabulary and teaching the student how to address the questions, what to specifically look out for, thereby honing the ear to identify the correct response. We will also use recordings from TG4, Raidio na Gaelteachta and the VIFAX system from NUI Maynooth.

Unless a student clearly understands the structure of the language he or she will never succeed at the highest level. The basic grammar concepts are often not taught in sufficient depth in a classroom environment, resulting in errors that cost marks going unchecked and unexplained. At Shankill Languages we systematically deal with all grammar areas by logic from verb conjugation, through noun declensions and adjective agreement as well as all areas of correct lenition and eclipsing, areas often considered too complicated to teach to large numbers. Each piece of grammar is clearly explained and practice work given to the student to ascertain understanding to the tutor’s satisfaction. These pieces then go together to create correctly constituted sentences. Our approach is thorough, creating a confidence in the student’s understanding of what he or she is doing and resulting in less errors and consequently a higher score.

The student will work on previous past paper texts and questions as well as contemporary journalistic articles with a view to..

a) understand the grammar structure of the piece and see how the concepts learnt have been used by journalists and writers, thereby reinforcing the student’s own knowledge

b) improve the student’s written expression in Irish by picking up phrases and syntax styles from professionals thereby lifting his or her level above that of their peers

and ..

c) developing the tools to address a comprehension piece, what to look for and how to isolate the required information whilst avoiding the common pitfalls of jumping too quickly to rash conclusions without due thought.


All areas of the poetry and prose texts will be examined and analysed in depths that go way beyond the standard notes churned out in schools to be learned by rote. New ways of looking at the texts will be explored, allowing the student to use references and angles that will make them stand out from the run of the mill responses of their peers. The texts will be examined first and foremost as texts in their own right, as they would were they English texts or texts in any other language and THEN how we relate our arguments ideas in coherent and academically written Irish. The tutor has a literature degree and a knowledge of how to approach literary texts in whatever language at the highest level. The fact that the texts are in Irish is no excuse for reducing the standards of analysis…and good analysis, coupled with quality Irish means grades.