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Academic Gaelic Course
on 27 May 2013
This is the first volume in a projected set of five. The author states openly that this is not a self-help book; it requires the input of a teacher. That said, I am using it to aid my own learning of Gaelic.
I'm impressed: the course progresses logically (as the title suggests), and with excellent explanations of how the language works. It offers an abundance of examples and well-constructed exercises that have already cleared up a couple of long-standing issues for me that had been holding me back. The books have a dedicated website from which you can download answer keys to the exercises and reading passages.
Anyone who is coming to the learning of Gaelic late in life - I'm over sixty - will appreciate the attention given to logical explanations of Gaelic grammar, as well as to current colloquial usage. Most courses these days are based on conversational approaches - and rightly so, but these courses often fall down on explaining grammar and usage: this book would form an excellent extra level of support to those who want to 'understand' how Gaelic works as well as being able to converse in it.
Of course, the reader will still need to put much effort into committing vocabulary lists to memory, but that is made easier by being made aware of the 'how and why' of the language constructions used.
I congratulate the author and the publishers of this book - together, they have produced an immensely accessible learning resource. I will definitely be buying the second volume in a few weeks time. If that turns out to be as well written and helpful as the first volume, I shall also be buying volumes 3 - 5.
It makes me wish I was already good enough to be a Gaelic tutor - I'd enjoy using this textbook in the classroom. I'm sure it will make an excellent addition to any tutor's library. If you are teaching yourself, don't be put off by the author's insistence that the book is for class-based learning only. In my opinion, it is a thoroughly useful resource to any learner of Gaelic.