One part of doing well in this module is a group presentation. It is worth 40% of your final grade and it is an in-class presentation.

Last week one of the groups presented on the term ‘Irish English’. If the term ‘Irish English’ is one you haven’t heard before, I’m sure you could guess what it means. It is the English that Irish people speak, sometimes incorporating words from the Irish language. If you’re Irish, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

The perfect example of this is the word, ‘Craic’.

Wikipedia definition: “Craic” or “crack” is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland”.

I found the term ‘Irish English’ a funny one because I didn’t realise we had invented our own variation of the English language. Once aware of this I began picking up on it almost immediately. Then, I was thinking back on a time I had difficulty explaining the meaning of the word ‘craic’ to my cousins from America. What they thought I meant was ‘Crack’, which has a completely different meaning in the U.S. Also, on Erasmus when I used the word ‘craic’, my Italian roommate would look at me as if I had 5 heads, and now I know why.

I can only imagine how confusing this word must be to non-native English speakers as it is a word that would rarely be used outside of Ireland.

The most important thing we have been taught about ‘Irish English’ is not to use it in the classroom, as our students would not understand. So, this is another thing I must be conscious of when teaching English.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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