Teaching and Learning the Irish Language in the United States: Practice, Prospects, Perspectives
The annual Barra Ó Donnabháin Symposium Lecture was established by Glucksman Ireland House at New York University in 2006 to commemorate the life Barra Ó Donnabháin, a beloved and influential teacher and advocate of the language. Ó Donnabháin, from Leap, Co. Cork, took a degree in Irish and in Latin at University College Cork and immigrated to the US in 1963. One of the leading Irish linguists in New York’s tri-state area, Barra wrote an Irish language column in the Irish Echo for many years, as well as contributing essays and articles to a variety of other publications. In 2008, Daltaí na Gaeilge published a bilingual collection of thirty-two of his essays, Súil Siar: Cnuasach Aistí le Barra Ó Donnabháin, edited and translated by Hilary Mhic Suibhne, Irish Language Lecturer at NYU, and Eileen Zurrell.
The 2007 Barra Ó Donnabháin Symposium addressed several themes regarding the Irish language, including methods of instruction, the role and potential of technology, attitudes and responses to the language among varied student communities and regions in the United States, the relationship between Ireland and the United States in terms of Irish language organizations, public policy, and diverse media, and projection about potential future trends in Irish language learning.
Glucksman Ireland House is proud to share these contributions to the promotion of the Irish language, just as it is honored to commemorate Barra Ó Donnabháin’s own work.