French as a Leaving Cert subject aims to bring students closer to fluency in the French language, as well as developing a good knowledge of literature, culture, geography, and national history to provide a context for communication. It builds on the knowledge acquired for the Junior Certificate.
Acquiring another language is a worthwhile skill for life and provides an insight into another culture. In these days of international transport and modern communications, knowledge of a foreign language is always useful.
What kind of student might French suit?
* Anyone with an interest in French culture, history, and language.
* Students who are considering working in France, Canada, or in international relations in the future.
* Students who have shown an aptitude in French at Junior Certificate level are encouraged to continue with it in Leaving Cert.
Specific careers in which French would be of benefit include teaching, translation, interpreting, journalism and media.
Industry and employers rate language skills highly, especially if combined with computers, electronics, business or law.
French is also useful for careers in:
* Travel and Tourism
* International Marketing
* Transport and Communications
* Department of Foreign Affairs
* Hotel Management
Third Level Entry Requirements
A foreign language is a necessary requirement for entry to many faculties in the National University of Ireland (UCC, UCD, UCG, and NUI Maynooth). There are some course exceptions e.g. Nursing, Engineering, Science.
The other Universities and IT colleges accept Irish as “a language other than English” for entry.
Many colleges require a foreign language for courses that involve the study of language, such as European Studies, Languages, Tourism and International Business/Law.
Modern languages require students to be proficient in the following skills
A wide variety of themes are covered, for example
* Current affairs
Grammar and cultural awareness are essential elements of these courses.
Mark Allocation for Leaving Cert French:
Speaking / Oral
This takes place in March/April of 6th Year. French interview with examiner; students may prepare a document
Listening / Aural (40 mins)
This exam takes place after the written examination, in June. It involves listening to a variety of dialogues and news items in the target language and answering questions in English.
Reading & Writing (2 ½ hours)
Reading Comprehension is worth 30% of total exam at higher level and 40% at Ordinary Level. There are literary and journalistic passages.
For higher level the written section includes formal and informal letters, diary entry, message/fax/email, expressing an opinion, and personalised writing.
For ordinary level the written section includes an informal letter, diary entry, message, postcard, cloze test and an application form.