Lehman College is the proud CUNY home to the Minor in Irish Language and Literature which was approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees in Fall 2008. Lehman College also boasts a full-time professor of Irish Language and Literature and for the forth year in a row, a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Ireland.
Irish Language Learning
Irish language courses have been scheduled at Lehman College for over a decade. Students study Irish as part of their undergraduate study or audit courses as part of their adult education. All elementary and intermediate level courses are offered 50% face-to-face and 50% on-line. Face-to-face sessions are scheduled at convenient locations for our students throughout the city. Advanced courses are offered on-line. Many of the courses can also be taken during the summer in An Cheathrú Rua, Connemara, Co. Galway at NUI-Galway's Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.
Why study Irish? Our students who represent many ethnicities report varied reasons. Many students want to try something different after studying Spanish or French for many years. Others are interested in Irish culture and traditional Irish music. Some students are married to Irish immigrants or are children of Irish immigrants. Others work in Irish communities here in NYC and want to learn more of the culture of their colleagues. In terms of instrumental motivation, some students complete their foreign language requirement at Lehman and neighboring colleges by taking Elementary Irish I, II, and III. Others who have already completed a bachellor's degree that had no foreign language requirement, return to complete NY State's required two semesters of a language for all school teachers. Some graduate students take Irish as one of their two foreign languages to complete a Ph.D. program. CUNY Graduate Center permits Irish to be used to complete this requirement for three of their Ph.D. programs. Lastly, many Queens College students take Elementary Irish I with us to complete their 3 credit requirement for the Irish Studies Minor.
Now students who are majoring in fields such as English, Comparative Literature, or history can both fulfill their foreign language requirement and opt to minor in Irish Language and Literature. Elementary Irish I, II, and III fulfill the foreign language requirement and also are the prerequisites for the Minor in Irish Language and Literature. The minor is made up of two courses at the intermediate level and two courses at the advanced level. The program at Lehman College also gives adults returning to school an opportunity to obtain a certificate for their achievement. The Irish Government renewed that grant in 2009 for another three years and we are currently working to design a B.A. in Irish Language and Literature. Funding for the development of the minor and major were provided from the Ciste na Gaeilge fund through the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Irish Government) of which Minister James Deenihan currently heads and which Donnchadh Mac Fhionnghaile (Dinny McGinley), Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, presently oversees.
Whatever your reasons or goals, you are most welcome to Irish @ Lehman! Enjoy your studies with the Department of Languages and Literatures.