What is the subject about?
Leaving Certificate French builds on the knowledge acquired at Junior Cycle. The curriculum focuses on all four skills of language learning : Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. There will also be an emphasis on the sociocultural knowledge of French speaking nations (La Francophonie).
– Undertake the specified grammar and vocabulary topics assigned
– Develop speaking skills through oral practice in class
– Develop listening skills by undertaking different listening activities in the target language
– Encourage reading of real-life texts to improve reading skills and general vocabulary
– Improve free writing skills by practicing writing exercises
How is the subject assessed?
The French course comprises of two components at Higher Level and Ordinary Level:
I. Written Examination
The written examination takes place in June and lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes at both Higher and Ordinary Level.
Breakdown of Leaving Cert French Honours Paper (400 marks)
Aural 80 marks 20%
Comprehensions 120 marks 30%
Written Expressions 100 marks 25%
Oral 100 marks 25%
Breakdown of Leaving Cert French Ordinary Paper (400 marks)
Aural 100 marks 25%
Comprehensions 160 marks 40%
Written Expression 60 marks 15%
Oral 80 marks 20%
II. Oral Examination
Higher Level and Ordinary Level French require students to undertake an Oral Examination. This is a 12 minute conversation with an external examiner on topics relative to the age and interests of students. The themes include: hobbies, daily routine, my house, school as well as more abstract topics such as: social problems, the media and the advantages of language learning.
– It is recommended that a student taking Leaving Certificate French has a general interest in language learning, culture and the arts
– Each student should have an aptitude and interest language acquisition
– The learning of a language can be achieved by steady work and is much helped by a period spent in France, if that is possible. A motivated, hard-working student can acquire a high standard of spoken and written French in the 2 years of Senior Cycle
– Reading French magazines, newspaper articles, listening to audio clips, watching video clips and looking at French websites will expose students to a wide variety of authentic content.
– In general, a D3 grade in the Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) in a foreign language is necessary for entry to the colleges in the National University of Ireland (NUI) – UCD, UCC, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, Pontifical University Maynooth and the Royal College of Surgeons. Though increasingly there are exceptions to this rule, particularly for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths degrees.
– Junior Certificate French is compulsory.
– Translator/ Interpreter
– International Law
– Embassy staff
– European and Irish Public Service
– International business
In all career areas employment prospects are much enhanced for graduates who have a good working knowledge of a European language especially in the post-Brexit era.