The service learning programme in Literacy and Learning in the Community is currently in its fourth cycle. The programme has been designed to facilitate visiting US students to National University of Ireland, Galway and has been approved by the School of English, the Faculty of Arts, CELT (the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) and the International Affairs Office of the university.
The course attracts a diverse selection of students from across the US and is a popular and successful programme which offers 5 ECTs because of its challenging and stringent academic content as well as its requirement that students complete 20 hours of service in a local homework club.
Students are required to complete an essay in examination conditions at the end of the course. This essay counts for 30% of the overall grade awarded to the students. It is assessed in accordance with the mark scheme of the School of English, NUIG.
In addition to the essay, students are required to submit a detailed portfolio of reflective learning which counts for 50% of the overall grade. Students are given regular journal assignments which are informed by their reading of specific academic texts relating to the subject of service learning and literacy acquisition as well as by their first-hand experiences at their service placements.
Furthermore, the students can gain 20% of their overall marks through attendance and participation in both the formal classes which take place each week of the semester and at their chosen homework clubs.
Breakdown of Assessment
Academic Essay 30%
Reflective Journal Portfolio 50%
Attendance and Participation 20%
Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Students will have an improved understanding of important theories and perspectives relating to literacy acquisition and how Irish society responds to the challenges associated with this important educational and social issue.
2. Students will have experiential learning of how local homework clubs in the Galway area provide support and structure for children to develop their learning and literacy skills; furthermore, they will develop an appreciation of the relationship between the university and these voluntary organisations in respect of the concepts of civic engagement and service learning.
3. Students will develop an ability to reflect on the academic content of the course and relate it to their personal experience in community homework clubs.
Academic Aspect of the Course
The course requires students to attend one lecture per week plus one seminar, as well as one two-hour session with a homework club. In the lectures, the students are introduced to a variety of theories relating to the concepts of service learning and literacy acquisition. Seminars take the form of reflective discussions based on students? reading of prescribed academic texts as well as on their personal experiences as part of the programme. The course runs for an entire semester, thus there is a requirement to attend 12 lectures and 12 seminars, as well as amassing 20 hours of community service.
Service learning Programme in Literacy and Learning in the Community
University of Galway
Area of Study
Celtic Studies, Education, English, Service-Learning, Social Work, Sociology
Taught In English
Students may only take one English Seminar course per semester. Spaces are limited.
US Visiting Students wishing to enroll on the Service Learning Module will require police clearance from the United States. Students should plan to bring police clearance documentation with them to Ireland.
This course is capped at 30 international students.
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits2
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units3