Ireland is one of the greatest countries to learn English as the people are very friendly which gives you the opportunity to practice with native speakers. However, Ireland, Dublin in particular can be expensive. The article below will give you some advice on how to learn English when in Ireland and not attending an English course.
Foreign Language Schools
There are a number of foreign language schools teaching languages to English speaking students. There would be no harm speaking to the school to try to organise an exchange in a pub. It would be great for the students to get out of the classroom and speak with native speakers like yourself.
Newspapers can be a useful way to find more interesting content to study to improve your English. Also, on a lot of newspapers there is a comment section which will give you examples of how people speak which can be different to what is in your text book or even in some cases taught at your school. Some newspapers to note:
In Dublin, there are a number of conversation exchanges for people learning languages which are free. For example, in the library in the Ilac Shopping Centre there are exchanges on most days of the week. See list below. There are also a number of groups on meetup.com. Often native English speakers learning a foreign language will attended these events to practice their new language. However, there are usually a lot more non-English speakers
than native speakers so don’t be shy in saying hello or you won’t get the change to improve your English.
6pm – 7.45pm
Mon – Italian/English
Tues – Spanish/English
Wed – French/English
Thurs – German/English
Start-ups Dublin has a thriving start-up scene. However with companies like google and facebook here start-ups find it difficult to attract certain people into their company. Two of the biggest skills shortages in Ireland are people with language skills and IT skills. Having one or both of these skills may give you an opportunity to organise an exchange with start-ups within Ireland.
Instead of paying a school a fee you could spend a few hours each week with a start-up improving your English in exchange for your native language or IT skills. You will also have the added benefit of adding the experience to your cv and getting a reference for future job applications.
Ireland is a great place to learn English as Irish people are very friendly, but we do speak very fast. When out in the pubs don’t be afraid to say hello. But make it clear you are learning English so ask them to speak slowly. If you want to meet Irish people, stay away from Temple Bar if you’re in Dublin, mostly tourists go there and it’s very expensive compared to the rest of Dublin.
Also, Irish people may think it is rude to correct your mistakes so you will need to tell them to let you know if you make any mistakes when speaking. Some bars you could try are Hogans – Georges Street, No Name Bar – Fade Street, Dakota – William Street, Cafe en Seine – Dawson Street, The Pav – Trinity College