IRFL40140 Interpreting the Oral Text

Academic Year 2022/2023

Students will need a computer and internet connection to participate in this module as the module will be delivered online.
Oral texts are represented in the National Folklore Collection in a variety of forms and media, including manuscript, audio and visual. Paper-based texts vary from handwritten or typed verbatim transcripts, to summaries and observational notes. There is also considerable variation in the quality of contextual information contained in texts. This module looks at the relative value of texts as primary sources of data for folkloristic research. Study texts will include English- and Irish-language examples of oral tradition recorded in the field both by trained and amateur collectors. Selected texts from around Ireland will be examined, analysed and interpreted in terms of their validity as expressions of social and cultural norms, belief concepts, and personal and collective world view. Chosen texts will vary from the point of view of region, language, dialect and folklore content. As a consequence, time will be devoted in the initial part of the module to the history and character of languages in Ireland. Students will be introduced to the different methods of fieldwork and transcription as practised by past and present collectors of folklore.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will acquire a familiarity with the principal manuscript and spoken word collections of the National Folklore Collection. They will develop an ability to critically evaluate and nterpret selected manuscript and audio texts of folklore material. Students will also acquire an understanding of the role of fieldwork in folklore studies, and the methods of organising and making field materials accessible in the National Folklore Collection. Students will gain the ability to edit selected manuscript texts.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students should note that in the academic year 2020-2021 that teaching and assessment will be carried out primarily online. Teaching is carried out in small-group classes and in seminars followed by group discussion. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1800 word assignment Week 6 n/a Graded No


Assignment: 3000 words Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback is provided to students throughout the semester through regular consultation with teaching staff members.