About Rang for Learners
Rang for Learners (rang.ie)
Rang for Learners (rang.ie) provides stimulating resources to support the teaching and learning of Irish. While these resources have been successfully used in the classroom situation, the Covid 19 pandemic has served to highlight the value of online learning and independent study at home.
Rang for Learners’ usage of colour photographs of Irish-language signage will underpin the teaching of literacy, vocabulary and grammar in a novel way and will inspire and motivate the learner. The photographs will also afford learners an insight into cultural and linguistic aspects of the Gaeltacht regions and other Irish speaking communities. Teachers, for their part, will be keen to exploit these photographs further by creating new opportunities for their students to practice speaking skills.
The bite-sized lessons with text, audio and visual stimuli will reinforce language skills and provide a memorable experience for the learner. Prior learning or revision is signposted for many of the units and for this purpose, an electronic copy of Jim’s vocabulary book, An Focal Gafa, is provided for the learner. The learner may occasionally need to use a dictionary as well as An Focal Gafa.
Rang for Learners is tentatively divided into three levels of learning, a kind of Bunrang, Meánrang and Ardrang approach, with some inevitable overlap. The units progress from single items of vocabulary in Level 1, through dialogues and quizzes, to the grammar and enrichment topics in Level 3. As the units are self-contained, however, learners have the flexibility to choose the topics that meet their immediate needs and preferences.
Much of the visual material in the units is accompanied by sound files, which will be of particular benefit to independent remote learners who may have limited contact with other Irish speakers.
Finally, for the more advanced learners who wish to enhance their spoken repertoire with the rich language of the proverb, an electronic copy of Jim’s book An Grianghraf Gafa - Pictures and Proverbs (2014) has been made available, with the kind permission of Forbairt Feirste and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).
Jim Herron brings a wealth of teaching and learning experiences to this new online platform for students of Irish. A First Class Honours graduate from Queen’s University, Belfast and with a MA from the University of Ulster, Jim has taught Irish, French and Spanish to all levels.
After a successful teaching career in Armagh, Jim now works as a tutor to A-Level students in Scoil Ghramadaí Naomh Iósaef, Donaghmore. Previously, Jim spent 10 years as a part-time teacher of Irish in Long Kesh Prison and taught on Easter and Summer courses in Coláiste Mhuire, Loch an Iúir. He is currently engaged in delivering QUB extra-mural modules to adult learners in Ionad Uíbh Eachach in Belfast where his interactive classes are in high demand. Jim is also a presenter of music programmes on Raidió Fáilte.
Always innovative as a teacher, Jim’s output of books and courses for Irish learners includes Pangur Bán (1983), Foinn agus Fógraí (1991), in association with Raidió na Gaeltachta, An Focal Gafa (1996, extensively revised in 2016) and An Grianghraf Gafa (2014), in partnership with Forbairt Feirste. Learners of Irish across Ulster will be familiar with Jim’s publications.
A central feature of Jim’s methodology is the use of colour photographs of Irish signage to inspire and motivate the learner. He travels throughout the country in search of Irish language realia and has a catalogued archive of around 2,500 photographs which he uses to enhance teaching and learning. These photographs afford Jim’s students an insight into cultural and linguistic aspects of the Gaeltacht regions and other Irish speaking communities.
While these resources have been successfully used in the classroom situation, the Covid 19 pandemic has served to highlight the value of online learning and independent study at home. The bite-sized lessons with text, audio and visual stimuli will reinforce language skills and provide a memorable experience for the learner. In Rang for Learners, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
Apart from a passion for languages, Jim is centrally involved in the life of his GAA club, Cumann Lámh Dhearg in Hannahstown, Co. Antrim. He is married to Joan, they have five sons and they live in the Gaeltacht Quarter. As a member of an extended family steeped in the love and promotion of Irish language and culture, Jim is pleased to provide these additional resources for those who are striving to learn Irish. This online platform, Rang for Learners, will hopefully provide encouragement and even inspiration in that regard.
Bail ó Dhia ar an obair.
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