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Subject Information 

Students at Our Ladys have the option to choose either French or German as their modern foreign language choice of study for Junior Cycle. The study of modern foreign languages enables students to build on their language learning in English and Irish in primary school and further develops their skills in and enjoyment of using languages. Language learning is accessible to all students and contributes to their cognitive, personal and social growth by enhancing their communicative and thinking skills, as well as their participation in a global society. Being able to communicate in the mother tongue and in foreign languages are also among the eight key competences for lifelong learning identified by the European Union and European Council in 2006. Language learning develops students’ general language awareness. It enhances their ability to analyse how language works, to compare languages, and to reflect on how they learn languages. This has a positive effect on their first language skills and on future language learning.

Department Members

  • Ms Mc Nicholas

  • Ms Christie

  • Ms Thornton

  • Ms E Brady

  • Ms Carson

Junior Cycle French

Over the three years of junior cycle, students will have many opportunities to enjoy and learn the target language across the strands. They will engage in language activities and tasks such as

  • communicating in the target language

  • listening, reading, speaking and writing for a range of meaningful purposes

  • gaining insights into the target language culture/s

  • learning how the target language works.

Through these activities they will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in language, culture and literacy, thereby achieving the learning outcomes across the strands.

Junior cycle MFL will have two Classroom-Based Assessments. Classroom-Based Assessments will relate to the students’ work during second and third year of junior-cycle education. 

  • Classroom based assessment 1: Oral Communication 

  • Classroom based assessment 2: The Student Language Portfolio

Students will also complete a formal written Assessment Task to be submitted to the State Examinations Commission for marking along with the final examination for modern foreign languages. It is allocated 10% of the marks used to determine the grade awarded by the State Examinations Commission. As the key purpose of the Assessment Task is to encourage student reflection on the process of language learning, the questions and answers will be in the language of schooling.

Leaving Certificate French

Working within the framework provided for by the syllabus for the teaching and examining of French at Leaving Certificate level the aims of the French Department at Our Ladys can best be outlined as follows:


  1. To introduce the students to the target language as a living and vibrant method of communication thus helping them to appreciate a culture other than their own.

  2. To enable the students to acquire the necessary communicative skills that will allow them to take full part in classroom activities in the target language, participate in everyday transactions and interactions, extract information from and to interpret the various mass media organisations, make further study and or possible career paths through the medium of their chosen target language a realistic option.


Students will build on the Junior Cycle French Programme and continue to develop skills in the following four areas leading to proficiency in all areas of the target language:


  • Oral Proficiency in a range of personal, social, cultural and topical areas.

  • Aural Proficiency.  The ability to listen to and answer questions on a wide variety of auditory stimuli. 

  • Comprehension Proficiency.  The students must be able to read, interpret, extract and manipulate texts ranging from literary to contemporary journalism and answer the questions in the target language.

  • Written Production Proficiency.  The student must be able to react to a given stimulus in grammatically correct everyday French. These stimuli cover the whole range of written production from formal to informal letters, to notes, messages, e-mail, diary entries, dialogues and personal opinions.


 Assessment at Leaving Certificate consists of an oral examination. This is followed by an aural examination and a written paper. The written examination is at two levels and includes reading comprehension and written production. The primary difference between levels is the marking structure used in the oral and aural sections.

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Students who study French at Senior Cycle in Our Lady’s are given the opportunity to go on a trip abroad to visit France and immerse themselves in the native language.

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