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Anyone tried Ulpan courses to learn Gàidhlig?

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:55 pm
by Polygot2017
I've seen a course called Ulpan, which looks to be an interesting way of learning Gàidhlig. However it appears to be quite expensive (£200 per level, and there are 5 levels it seems). It also seems to take quite a while to complete all 5 levels (2 years), but claims to take you to near native speaker level of fluency.

I don't know why they don't make this into a home study course, and make it cheaper, but if it really is any good then they could be on to something.

I just wondered if anyone here has tried the Ulpan course and what it's like?

http://www.ulpan.co.uk

Anyone tried Ulpan courses to learn Gàidhlig?

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:00 pm
by akerbeltz
I don't know why they don't make this into a home study course, and make it cheaper, but if it really is any good then they could be on to something.


It relies on techniques that require a tutor and a group. You just can't run an Ùlpan type course as a self study course. It's like trying to fly an airplane under water 8-)

I've seen a course called Ulpan, which looks to be an interesting way of learning Gàidhlig. However it appears to be quite expensive (£200 per level, and there are 5 levels it seems). It also seems to take quite a while to complete all 5 levels (2 years), but claims to take you to near native speaker level of fluency.

Haven't taught one in a long time but I did do the tutor training course. First off, there's no such thing as a single course that will make you fluent in Gaelic. Or probably in any other language. Most language learners rely on a mix of courses and materials and study techniques. If you ONLY do Ùlpan, you won't come out fluent, at least not if you do it in a non-Gaelic speaking environment. Might be different on Uist or some place like that. But it makes a good adjunct to more conventional talk & chalk courses because Ùlpan gets the students talking and listening a lot more than many others which tend to rely a bit too much on reading and writing. I think the only course at the moment that will get you to fluency in a hurry would be to take a whole year out and go to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. It seems like a lot of time but if you think about how many folk chip away at Gaelic for decades without getting far, it's actually a pretty efficient method.

And as always, the amount of self-study in an under-resourced minority language like Gaelic is key.

Anyone tried Ulpan courses to learn Gàidhlig?

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:56 pm
by Polygot2017
akerbeltz wrote:Source of the post
I don't know why they don't make this into a home study course, and make it cheaper, but if it really is any good then they could be on to something.


It relies on techniques that require a tutor and a group. You just can't run an Ùlpan type course as a self study course. It's like trying to fly an airplane under water 8-)

I've seen a course called Ulpan, which looks to be an interesting way of learning Gàidhlig. However it appears to be quite expensive (£200 per level, and there are 5 levels it seems). It also seems to take quite a while to complete all 5 levels (2 years), but claims to take you to near native speaker level of fluency.

Haven't taught one in a long time but I did do the tutor training course. First off, there's no such thing as a single course that will make you fluent in Gaelic. Or probably in any other language. Most language learners rely on a mix of courses and materials and study techniques. If you ONLY do Ùlpan, you won't come out fluent, at least not if you do it in a non-Gaelic speaking environment. Might be different on Uist or some place like that. But it makes a good adjunct to more conventional talk & chalk courses because Ùlpan gets the students talking and listening a lot more than many others which tend to rely a bit too much on reading and writing. I think the only course at the moment that will get you to fluency in a hurry would be to take a whole year out and go to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. It seems like a lot of time but if you think about how many folk chip away at Gaelic for decades without getting far, it's actually a pretty efficient method.

And as always, the amount of self-study in an under-resourced minority language like Gaelic is key.


Ok thanks for that info. Does the Ùlpan course teach all the grammar and different tenses then, and is it one tense at a time etc with drills, or within the context of dialogues etc?

Anyone tried Ulpan courses to learn Gàidhlig?

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:26 pm
by GunChleoc
Ùlpan is teaching by example and repetition, no grammar explanations - it has blocks of similar sentences where 1 element has been substituted, or question/answer bloks that will take you through the verb forms by example. You do come away with a pretty decent accent though, which is very important for learning Gaelic. I did nothing but pronunciation the first 2 months when I first started out, and I practiced every night.

Anyone tried Ulpan courses to learn Gàidhlig?

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:09 pm
by Níall Beag
Polygot2017 wrote:Ok thanks for that info. Does the Ùlpan course teach all the grammar and different tenses then, and is it one tense at a time etc with drills, or within the context of dialogues etc?

It relies extremely heavily on decontextualised drills. Personally, I can't think of a single person I know who got particularly far with it, and lots of people loathe it with a passion.