DCU and FutureLearn to offer first Irish language MOOC

Fáilte ar Líne is a new Irish language and culture online lifelong learning initiative developed by Dublin City University

Fáilte ar Líne (welcome online) provides a first step in learning the Irish language (ab initio) and learning about Irish culture from any location in the world. The initiative is aimed primarily at the diaspora, the ‘new Irish’ population and those who learned Irish in school but wish to begin again. It will “leverage Dublin City University’s recognised expertise in digital learning and in the Irish language to make learning the language accessible to everyone, anywhere in the world”. Participants will be able to progress from beginner to advanced courses and can, if they wish, complete a full degree in Irish language and culture – entirely online.

The Fáilte ar Líne initiative is being seen as an important step in: enhancing the global, online presence of the Irish language; connecting with the Irish diaspora; and promoting opportunities to study in and to visit Ireland. It will also complement the financial supports provided by Minister Joe McHugh’s department for the teaching of Irish in over 40 third level colleges worldwide, many of which send students to visit the Gaeltacht on an annual basis.

Minister McHugh said: “This exciting new endeavour demonstrates how we can utilise modern technology and innovation to bring our language and culture to new audiences around the globe. As Minister of State with responsibility for the Irish language, and in my previous role as Minister of State for the Diaspora, I have witnessed at first hand the incredible interest and passion that there is for our language and culture worldwide. I am sure that this will be reflected in the number and diversity of participants that ‘Failte Ar Líne’ will attract.

‘The initiative is aimed primarily at the diaspora, the ‘new Irish’ population and those who learned Irish in school but wish to begin again.’

“I believe that this course will not only be of great interest to the Irish community and diaspora abroad, but also to many Irish people here at home who would like to re-engage with the language, as well as new communities who may be connecting with the language for the first time. This is particularly timely as we celebrate Bliain na Gaeilge 2018, and as we are connecting with Irish speakers worldwide with the #TrasnaNadTonnta cyber-Gaeltacht.”

The first major milestone of the project was announced as the launch of Irish 101, a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), one of the first of its kind to offer Irish language learning globally. The MOOC, which started on the 29th of January, is being delivered in conjunction with FutureLearn, the social learning platform, which boasts over 7 million learners globally and partnerships with almost 100 universities worldwide. DCU will also deliver a MOOC on High Performance Computing starting on the same day on FutureLearn.

Mark Lester, Director of Partnerships Development at FutureLearn, commented: “Dublin City University is one of the ‘Top 50 Under 50’ universities shaping the future of higher education, and an innovator in online education in Europe, and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen to partner with us to deliver the Irish 101 online course. It’s fantastic to be working with such a driven team, focused on delivering the highest quality digital experience for learners across the world, and we’re excited to see what we can achieve together in the months and years to come.”


Anyone wishing to register for Irish 101 can do so here

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