The current Irish course I’m using is Pimsleur’s Irish I audio CD set. It contains 4 audio CDs and no textbook at all. This method also discourages the student from writing down notes as you learn. I’m up to lesson 4 (there are 8 lessons on the 4 CDs). It’s convenient as you can listen and learn while driving, as I tend to do each morning and afternoon. There is a narrator that provides introduction and instructions, you listen to a native speaker, mimic their pronuciation, and later participate in mock conversations with them.
So far so good. The first four lessons have covered some basic exchanges and introduced a lot of different sentence structures that would probably be more daunting if they were discussed from a grammatical approach. It doesn’t cover any spelling – you simply memorize and repeat what you hear over and over.
One of the criticisms I’ve heard of this course is that by the end you’ve learned very little usable Irish and limited vocabulary, but I can already see that it is setting an excellent foundation, and I’ve referred a bit to ‘Learning Irish’ as I go, and it helps a lot. Its a shame that there is only this one set. It seems they could develop this into a wonderful series. I guess that would depend on the success of sales.
I should also note that this Pimsleur’s Irish I uses a Munster dialect of Irish, which is different from what I learned at Oideas Gael and the Connacht dialect used in ‘Learning Irish.’ I’ll post again on the Pimsleur program once I’ve completed it.