There are over 7 billion people in the world, and approximately 15% of them are learning a second language. People strive to acquire new languages not simply for work, cultural or historical reasons, but also because the benefits of bilingualism have long been recognized (see Jim Cummins, Colin Baker, Noam Chomsky, etc.).
For a minority language such as Irish (often called ‘Gaelic’ or ‘Gaeilge’), survival and strength relies on enthusiastic learners throughout the world connecting and conversing as they seek to progress their learning. As well as helping to secure the future of the language, Irish-learners also experience the added bonus of discovering new aspects of their own personality and culture. For students in Washington DC, learning Irish has proven to be a wonderful gateway into new friendships, experiences and interests related to Irish culture and beyond.