Dublin decided to welcome us all on a lovely mild Sunday where we met and greeted each other for registration and our first contact with our future new friends. Through the seminars on Sunday we could see that this week wasn’t just any training course. It was to be a week full of content, context and culture. We learned how the common aim for all English Matters’ courses is to promote intercultural learning, and how, as with many learning experiences, the content is an excuse to bring people together and a great opportunity to be immersed in a culture different than our own and soak in all that Dublin, our classmates and ourselves have to offer. Although we were doing different courses, all the participants of the ICT for Teaching, English for Teachers and CLIL courses would have these objectives in common were looking forward to the week while keeping these aims in mind; applying the content to our own teaching reality, relating it to the context we find ourselves in while surrounded by an enriching European Dimension.
As everyone knows, part of the being in Ireland and something that clearly influences Irish culture is…the weather. And Monday decided to rain down on us all to show us just how tolerant the Irish are when it comes to the weather and how disagreeable it can be. It is the Emerald Isle after all, and on Friday as we drove through the Wicklow Mountains and admired the lush landscape, Monday may have seemed less unpleasant as we saw the effects of this humid climate. Breath-taking.
The week went by quickly, it ‘flew’ as they say in Ireland. But we had time to enjoy our classes, our field project and lots of socialising with our new friends accompanied by good food, a nice open fire and maybe a Guinness or two.
We say goodbye to Ireland and to our new friends but we hope it won’t be forever as many new projects were born and plenty of inspiration was gathered to be unpacked back in our own countries among our students, colleagues and education communities.
Until we meet again ‘a chairde’
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.