Innovation That Matters

Irish language pop ups bring speakers together worldwide

Publishing & Media

Informally organized, Pop Up Gaeltachts began in Dublin and have since spread to cities around the country and into North America.

The founders of the informal Pop Up Gaeltacht nights were reacting to reports that the Irish language was dying. They wanted to show that learning and using the language was worthwhile and actively in use. Expecting fewer than 50 people at the first event, the venue was so crowded that the more than 250 strong crowd spilled out onto the sidewalks and streets.

As well as encouraging regular public use of the language, the events add a festive, social aspect to an activity that many people already take part in at home and amongst friends. So far, events have also been held in Toronto, Washington, DC, and New York City. The founders are encouraging people to spread the idea by hosting their own events and have no current plans to expand the organization beyond the informal Facebook announcements currently in place.

Connectivity and personal and professional mobility continue to make mastery of multiple languages a particularly useful achievement. For learners, this social robot teaches one word of a foreign language per day. For those needing a faster fix, these real-time translating earphones are now available for use in more than 15 languages. How might educators adapt some of these new technologies for classroom use?



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