This review is by a junior infant teacher, teaching in an urban primary school who wishes to remain anonymous.

Spraoi Ville is a fantastic new interactive website for teaching Gaeilge in primary schools that is built in line with the national curriculum. The website has been live for about two months and there are apparently already over 150 primary schools using it for teaching Irish. I find it absolutely brilliant and it is making a huge difference already in my infant classroom.

Part of the site is accessible for free but a lot of additional activities are on a subscription basis. It costs €4.95 per month, €24.95 for six months or €49.95 for a year. (I think this cost is per classroom) I used it to teach my junior infants things in the kitchen like pláta, gloine, spúnóg and sentences where the avatars spoke saying things like “Tá forc, scian agus pláta ag Sinéad” and then they had to do líon na bearnaí exercises. I honestly didn’t think my kids would be able for it because they don’t learn about things in the kitchen until 1st class but I have to say they got it straight away! The principal was extremely impressed. There were probably 8 or 10 gaps which they had to fill in on the sentences and they got them all right!

I’ll be honest, up to now my kids were basically just using their Irish books as colouring books as that’s basically what they are for in junior and senior infants but they learned more Irish in 10 minutes on that website than they did all year and I even had a parent saying to me that the child was pointing out things at the kitchen table and then saying “Tá pláta, forc agus gloine ag Daidí.” She was very impressed as was I. I know parents love it because their kids are really speaking Irish and it looks really good for the school when you have 4 and 5 year olds even going home and saying things in Irish.

I know how hard it is to find any resources for teaching Irish, so this is a welcome addition for the teacher’s digital resource chest. Kids can also use this website at home for €4.95 a month and I know the majority of children in my school use it. This website is making a huge difference to how Irish is taught. Visit the site at Spraoi Ville.