In Coláiste Chamuis we introduce our students to the living Irish language where it is a daily reality, in the Gaeltacht – a very different language situation and context from the classroom. Students stay in local Irish-speaking houses during courses where they are looked upon as members of the family. Through immersion in the everyday life of the Gaeltacht students become active members of this thriving and very special language community.
Benefits of Coláiste Chamuis
- 45 years experience
- First class facilities
- Team of dedicated, professional, energetic and fully qualified staff
- Great host families
- High return rate of students and staff; tradition continues into the next generation as children of former students now attend
- Comprehensive and varied programme of fun sctivities – you learn without even realising it!
- Modern comprehensive curriculum
- Special activities
- Excellent Gaeltacht course where the language is a living reality
- 50% of Leaving Cert marks for language (oral and aural)
- Language immersion rule – proven to be the best way to learn
- Significant progress in spoken and written Irish
- Best modern interactive teaching methods
- Irish as a living language
- Significant fluency at the end of your course
- Leadership skills
- Personal development
- Social skills
- Living with others – working with others
- Emphasis on each student’s active participation
- Low staff/student ratio
- Digital Detox
- Our motto on courses is sona, sásta, slán sábháilte le sár-Ghaeilge: be happy out, be safe and well, and learn lots of Irish
- Carefree holiday in the pure Connemara air
- Love for and commitment to the language
- The beauty of Connemara
- The living tradition of Irish in the Gaeltacht
- A new understanding of the culture of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht
- Pride in your own heritage
- Meeting new people from many different backgrounds
- Understanding of and pride in your Irish heritage
In Coláiste Chamuis we introduce our students to the living Irish language where it is a daily reality, in the Gaeltacht – a very different language situation and context from the classroom. Students stay in local Irish-speaking houses during courses where they are looked upon as members of the family. Through immersion in the everyday life of the Gaeltacht students become active members of this language community.
Experience over many years has taught us that immersion in Irish is the best way to learn any language, and international research proves this correct. We expect our students to speak Irish at all times and during all activities during courses. In order to ensure that students experience language immersion during courses, and thus that they have the best possible learning experience and benefit from courses, we implement a language rule that requires students to speak Irish all the time.
The total immersion approach to learning Gaeilge is of immense help to our students when approaching Leaving Cert. Now that 50% of Leaving Certifcate marks are for the living language (Oral and Aural), with a further c.30% for language-based skills in the written papers, students are benefiting more than ever from participation in excellent Gaeltacht based language courses such as those provided by Coláiste Chamuis. Therefore, with 80% of overall marks in the Leaving Cert being awarded for fluency it is more important than ever that your child is confident in their Irish Language skills. We also want your child to thrive and fall in love with Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht.
Students achieve significant fluency in spoken Irish on our courses and feel a great sense of achievement and pride in doing so. The most important thing concerning the immersion approach to language learning is that, in addition to it being best practice, we have seen over 45 years that it consistently works and that our students have a very positive and rewarding experience learning Irish.
Coláiste Chamuis was founded by Gearóid Denvir in 1973, with 52 students, 2 teachers and 10 host families willing to take the chance with a new venture. Those students are still fondly remembered cycling the roads of Camus in all weathers in August 1973. 37 of that group returned the following year and the success story of Coláiste Chamuis was born. Numbers increased every year and a July course was added in 1978. A second centre was opened in An Tulach in 1985 due to demand. Máire, Gearóid’s wife, came on board full time in 1987 as manager. A third centre was opened at Ros a’ Mhíl in 1992.
The ever increasing popularity of Coláiste Chamuis with students and parents created the need to expand again – this time in the form of our own purpose built state of the art facilities at Ros a’ Mhíl. Phase 1 of Teálta na hÓige, was opened in 2000. Phase 2 of Teálta na hÓige opened in the summer of 2009. These facilities (as with our other locations in Tulach, Camus and Ros a’ Mhíl) include a large hall, extra state of the art classrooms with the most modern teaching facilities, playing fields and hard courts.
Coláiste Chamuis caters annually for some 1,700 students from all over Ireland on our 10 courses. Over 70,000 students have received “Fáilte Chroíúil na Gaeltachta” from us since 1973. It has been, and continues to be a privilege, to introduce An Ghaeilge to our students as a living, vibrant language. As our motto says “Is fiú agus is féidir”.
The Denvir tradition continues as the second generation of the family are now involved in all aspects of the Coláiste Chamuis.
Meet our Team
Gearóid Denvir, Máire Denvir
Siobhán Bairéad, Seán Denvir
Gearóid Denvir, Máire Denvir, Seán Denvir, Siobhán Bairéad, Stiofán Ó Móráin, Áine Ní Chonaola
Our talented and motivated staff subscribe to the Coláiste Chamuis philosophy of sharing the Irish Language and Culture with as many people as possible in an impactful and positive way. Over the years we have cultivated a teaching community that shares mutual history and its passion for the Irish Language while welcoming new teachers who continue to contribute to the Coláiste Chamuis experience.
Sarah and the office are the administrative backbone of Coláiste Chamuis.
Our local host families open their hearts and their doors to some 1,700 students annually. The students are treated as their own and get to experience Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht as a vibrant living breathing community.
Another important aspect of Coláiste Chamuis is its economic influence on the Gaeltacht in a very language-friendly way. Coláiste Chamuis is proud to be associated with positive community and language development. We are delighted that so many Irish-speaking host families work with us, and that many of our staff are from Gaeltacht areas. We believe that this is a positive indication that Irish will continue to be the spoken language of our area and that young people from all over Ireland will continue to come to Coláiste Chamuis to learn the living language.
We are fortunate to be a part of a local vibrant community where we receive much help from many local people in our work in welcoming visitors to the Gaeltacht.
I sent all my kids to Coláiste Chamuis over the years and they all came home with a genuine love for Irish, learned a lot, and wanted to return.
Cairde,cuimhní agus craic – na laethanta is fearr riamh. Bealach iontach le Gaeilge a fhoghlaim.
My husband, Joe and I would like to express our sincerest 'Go raibh míle maith agaibh' for the wonderful first experience our son L had at Coláiste Chamuis, Halla A2 and your prompt communication with us when L was sick. We really appreciate it. May I also say that L's bean agus fear an tí were also spoken very highly of by L. He is already ag caint about returning next summer! Go raibh míle maith agaibh arís!
I would like to thank you all most sincerely for the wonderful experience E had this year. Her confidence in speaking as Gaeilge as well as her general knowledge of the language came on in leaps and bounds during the three weeks. Her bean an tí was exceptional and we are very grateful to her for looking after E so well while she was there. The craic and camaraderie that E experienced while there is unique to the Gaeltacht and she made so many wonderful memories that, I'm sure, she will treasure for life. Go raibh mile maith agaibh go léir.
I would like to express my thanks to all of the tutors and helpers, and particularly the Bean an Ti, for the care and attention shown to my daughter A. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and her Irish has come on so well. It is a core memory that will live with her forever. And these are the memories that count. Thank you all.