Telecollaboration – a catalyst for Internationalisation at home

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Digital Pathways into Learning Languages – National Forum Seminar 2

Úna Carthy welcomed second and third level teachers of language to the second seminar in the National Forum series Digital Pathways into Learning Languages.  She summarised the contributions of Brendan Colleran and Neil O Sullivan who were guest speakers at the first seminar in November 2018.  Both Brendan and Neil are E-Twinning ambassadors and are enthusiastic about the potential of digital platforms for language learning.  She encouraged teachers who had missed the first seminar to visit her Lingo Blog which has captured the highlights of November’s event.

Úna also welcomed her guest speakers for the second seminar on the 18 January 2019,  Minister for Education Joe McHugh and Professor Mairead Nic Giolla Mhichil from Dublin City University.

The minister highlighted the role which language education could play in Ireland’s future.  Both Ireland’s indigenous language Irish and other modern languages have been prioritised at national level, as Ireland faces the challenges ahead.  An appreciation of the value of language skills engenders respect and tolerance of other cultures and ethnic backgrounds, as the minister has experienced during his many international visits abroad.  Indeed, at home, the vastly changed demographics in Ireland suggest that English is no longer enough, as multiculturalism is a socioeconomic reality.  The Minister is fully supportive of any initiatives that might motivate and encourage language learning among all age groups, including the creation of digital pathways into languages.  The following interview captures some of the minister’s contribution: Interview with Minister Joe Mc Hugh.

As the director of the Ideas Lab in DCU, Professor Mairead Nic Giolla Mhichil is convinced of the potential of digital technologies for creating learning pathways for all kinds of subjects.  MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provide learning platforms that transcend time and space barriers.  The hugely successful Fáilte Online Irish 101 is a best practice example of how this might work for language learning.  Learners from 135 countries worldwide are now accessing this platform in order to learn Irish.  In this short video, Mairead discusses the general concept of MOOCs and shares her experience of the Fáilte Online project: Interview with Professor Mairead Nic Giolla Mhichil.


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Digital Pathways into Learning Languages- National Forum Seminar 1 – 23 November

Úna Carthy welcomed language teachers from both third and second level to the seminar.  She explained the role of the  National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the great work it does to highlight important issues and provide a platform to discuss them.

In the following short video, Úna gives an overview of this seminar series:  Welcome to Digital Pathways into Learning Languages – National Forum Seminar series

Úna gave some background as to why she is leading out this initiative. Linguistic skill are not only much sought after by employers, but also important for cognitive, interpersonal and intercultural development.  The government’s new Languages Connect strategy has prioritised language learning at both second and third level, creating a new momentum around this issue; however, the numbers pursuing languages remain alarmingly low.   With the global spread of English, learning other languages has become increasingly challenging.

She suggested that new digital platforms might provide a way forward for the teaching and learning of languages.  Technology enhanced learning can transcend time and space barriers, traditionally associated with the language classroom.  It has the potential to provide authentic input, creating real life scenarios, similar to immersion settings. Harnessing digital technologies could overcome geographical distances and enable learning partnerships in various schools and colleges across Europe to develop. Moreover, it could stimulate an appetite for international mobility.

Úna drew attention to the Lingo Club initiative at Letterkenny Institute of Technology which won the Léargas Language Label award in 2012. The website and blog created by LyIT students showcases all the club’s activities, providing a valuable source of linguistic and intercultural content.  Local second level pupils were also involved in many of the events.  All content is closely monitored and password protected, to ensure that content is educationally valuable and suitable.

The concept of Etwinning was also mentioned in this context, as Úna remarked that her two guest speakers, Brendan Colleran and Neil O’Sullivan, are both Etwinning ambassadors for Léargas.   E-Twinning is a free online platform, uniting a community of more than 500,000 teachers across Europe. It is available to primary and post primary schools.  The platform can be used to work on joint projects in any curricular area, using ICT.

The two guest speakers were welcomed to the seminar. Brendan Colleran is a second level teacher at Castletroy College in Limerick.  He has been a coordinator and partner on a number of Comenius and Erasmus Plus projects. An E-Twinning ambassador since 2010, he has won a number of quality awards.  One of these projects is showcased via the following link: In the following interview, Brendan describes his experience with E-Twinning and Erasmus Plus: Interview with Brendan Colleran at Digital Pathways into Languages

The second speaker, Neil O’Sullivan, is currently based in Dublin.  In addition to his role as ETwinning ambassador, he is a member of the steering committee and chief validator for Digital Schools of Distinction.   He has a keen interest in Life Long Learning and developing 21st century skills in schools, for which he has developed a Transition Year curriculum.  In the following interview, Neil outlines his concept of digital learning pathways: Interview with Neil O Sullivan at Digital Pathways into Languages

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Gaeil Goer na seachtaine

To mark Seachtain Na Gaeilge, the Lingo Club held a competition at Letterkenny Institute of Technology to encourage students to learn some Irish. Transition Year pupils from Coláiste Ailigh and Loretto convent volunteered to participate in the event.  Amy Nic Giolla Iontog created elementary and intermediate lesson plans for her fellow pupils.  These learning materials facilitated the mentors in their tutoring of one LyIT student and nine Erasmus students from six mainland European countries.  The intensive Irish classes lasted approximately two hours were followed by a short adjudication, carried out by Caitlin Conluain, Irish lecturer at LyIT and Áine McAteer, LyIT student of Irish.  Two winners were selected; Juliette Emery from the elementary group and Enimofe Elegbede, the only student in the intermediate group. The prizes were Shop LK vourchers, sponsored by the Students Union. Both mentors and learners were enthusiastic participants and found the experience both worthwhile and enjoyable.all-participants

Erasmus Students: Diana Gángó  – Hungary, Jakub Daněček – Czech Republic, Karl Matti and Oliver Tiks – Estonia, Arianna Treppete – Italy, Juliette Emery, Ombeline Faure Ines Nedjar – France, Carlos Tomás – Spain

LyIT student: Enimofe Elegbede  2nd year Law and German

Colaiste Ailigh pupils: Amy Nic Giolla Iontog, Cait Ní Gairbheith , Liam Kapawa,  Grace Ní Crochúir, Niamh Ni Chléirigh,

Loretto convent pupils:  Maeve Foley; Cora Flanagan.



Áine Mc Ateer (LyIT student), Caitlin Conluain (LyIT), lecturer in Irish, Amy Nic Giolla Iontóg (Colaiste Ailigh Transition Year), Úna Carthy (LyIT).

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German cooking demo

Sandra Niemeyer and Jennifer Prieske were active members of the Lingo Club during their Erasmus stay at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. 

In this recording they demonstrate how to prepare a German dish which is typical for their locality in Bremerhafen North Germany.

The recipe is explained in German below:

Frikadellen und Kartoffelgratin für 4 Personen



1 kg Hackfleisch (in Deutschland wird Schweinefleisch bevorzugt)

2 Eier

Eine Zwiebel

Gewürze, wie Pfeffer, Salz, Paprikagewürz

Öl zum Braten



  • Hackfleisch in eine Schüssel geben
  • Zwiebeln in kleine Würfel schneiden
  • Zwiebelwürfel zum Hackfleisch geben
  • 2 Eier aufschlagen und zum Hackfleisch geben
  • Den Hackfleischteig mit Pfeffer, Paprikagewürz, Salz und Knoblauch nach Geschmack würzen
  • Kneten des Hackfleischteiges mit Hand oder Rührgerät
  • Formen kleiner Hackbällchen -  dabei kann die Größe beliebig sein
  • Öl in die Pfanne geben und heiß werden lassen
  • Vorbereitete Frikadellen in die Pfanne geben und  von beiden Seiten gut anbraten





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Professor Feldmeier visits LyIT

Professor Feldmeier, vice Rector of the Hochschule Bremerhafen, gave an extremely interesting and highly entertaining lecture during his recent visit to Letterkenny Institute of Technology on 26 and 27 February 2014.

There were two main sections to the professor’s lecture; firstly, a brief overview of his college in Bremerhafen and secondly, intercultural aspects of doing business with the Germans.   The first section painted a most interesting picture for anyone considering doing an Erasmus semester in Germany, with emphasis on the cultural sights, as well as practical tips regarding accommodation, finances and student travel.  The second section highlighted the importance of intercultural communication in doing business in a global context and then went on to focus on specific aspects of conducting business with the Germans.  The professor illustrated his presentation with many interesting anecdotes, taken from his own experience of living abroad.

This was the professor’s second visit to LyIT and he is most anxious to foster the link with the institute. LyIT students are most welcome to study at Hochschule Bremerhafen, as part of the Erasmus mobility programme.

Please click on the link below for the transcript of the professor’s lecture.  His powerpoint is also available.

Letterkenny 2014 Interkulturelle Aspekte im Geschäftsbeziehungen mit Deutschland

Professor Feldmeier 27.02.14

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Lingolaf at LyIT



Lingolaf facilitators:(from left) Yuliya Svivyd, Maja Wisniewska, Marion Leloup, Alan Cunningham, Nurana Gousseinova, Marina Bethke  Yvonne nass Twerefore.

Lingolaf facilitators:(from left) Yuliya Svivyd, Maja Wisniewska, Marion Leloup, Alan Cunningham, Nurana Gousseinova, Marina Bethke Yvonne nass Twerefore.

On Friday 3 May, the Lingo Club hosted a unique event at the Institute of Technology.  Both Erasmus and LyIT students invited local second level students to engage in language learning activities.  The two hour long event was divided into two sessions: the first session introduced the visitors to tasters in lesser known languages such as Japanese, Russian and Polish; while the second session built on the students’ already existing competence in both French and German. All participants were rewarded for their efforts with cinema vouchers from Century Cinemas, while the Best Language Learners in each language were awarded vouchers for Curry’s.

lingolaf 2


Una Carthy presenting the Japanese award to Oisin O Clerigh. This taster was facilitated by 3rd year Business student, Alan Cunningham.



lingolaf 3

Caoimhin McLaughlin receives his award for the Best Learner in the taster for Russian, facilitated by Yuliya Svivyd and Nurana Gousseinova (Erasmus students). 

lingolaf 4 


Deirbhile Ni Chathail, receiving her award for the Best Polish Learner.   This taster was facilitated by Erasmus student, Maja Wisniewska.



linoglaf 5

Best Learner in the French session was Odhran Mc Ginley, pictured here with facilitators, Marion Leloup (Erasmus student) and Nickolas Obrien (1st year Law student).

lingolaf 6



Aaron O Doherty (centre)  was the Best Learner in the German session.  Also featured are Marina Bethke  Yvonne nass Twerefore (left) and Siobhan Göppert (Coláiste Ailigh).



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Estella Oncin on working in Spain

On 13 December the club welcomed guest speaker Estella Oncin, a Spanish PhD student from Queens University Belfast.

Estella Oncin holds a degree in Translation Studies from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) in Spain and a MA in European Studies from the Hannover Universität in Germany. She is a UAB PhD candidate holding a scholarship from CAIAC (Centre for Ambient Intelligence in Catalonia). She has worked as a freelance translator, subtitler, surtitler, respeaker for various Spanish TV programmes and conferences. Since 2011 she has been audio describing the operas at Barcelona Liceo Opera House and providing live subtitles for events at the UAB.

Estella gave a very interesting and enjoyable presentation on Spain with much helpful advice directed at year 2 language students who will be studying and working in Spain next year as part of their course.  Club members and lecturers had the opportunity after the presentation to chat to Estella over coffee and mince pies in the coffee dock, and so ended a very successful and enjoyable semester for the Lingo Club.

A short video clip of the highlights of her presentation is now available on the Club Blog.

Please find her Presentation and Interview below.

Estella Oncins presentation

Estella’s Interview

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Derry Trip – Take Two

After the great feedback we got from our previous Derry outing, we ran to tour again in November. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as good as last time, but the nice hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate at the end made up for it.

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Magda’s Polish Dumplings

Polskie ”Pierogi z kapusta i grzybami”


1 kg kapusty kwaszonej

szczypta soli

szczypta pieprzu ziołowego

20 g grzybów suszonych

1 paczka pieczarek

1 cebula


560 g mąki pszennej lub orkiszowej

1 jajo

0,5 szklanki ciepłej wody

szczypta soli

Polish dumplings with sauerkraut and mushrooms


1 kg sauerkraut

pinch of salt

pinch of herb pepper

20 g of dried mushrooms

1 package of mushrooms

1 onion
Pastry Base

560 g wheat or spelt flour

1 egg

0.5 cups of warm water

pinch of salt

Preparing the stuffing

1. Rinse the cabbage, chop finely.  Add a little water, herbs, mushrooms (previously        soaked). Boil until tender.  Drain off the cabbage with mushrooms in a colander.

2. Grind the cooked vegetables, season with herbs to taste. Fry in a pan along with         diced onion.

3. Sliced ​​mushrooms should be fried in a pan with a small amount of butter.

4. Mix cabbage with mushrooms, onions for stuffing. Season with pepper to taste.


1. Mix all the ingredients and make a smooth   elastic dough,(roll out the dough). Cut circles with a wine glass and then put the stuffing inside.

2. Boil water with salt and oil, then put the dumplings into the water and boil for 3-4 min.

3.   Melt the fat and cut bacon into cubes and fry in a pan.

4. Melt some butter on the pan and add the onion and then pour that over the dumplings.


Watch Magda’s Demonstration at Magdas Dumplings

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