French as a Leaving Certificate 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, in order to provide a context for communication. Senior Cycle French builds on the knowledge acquired for the Junior Certificate.
Why Study French
- This subject may be a requirement for entry to third level and can be used as a third language for entry to a number of courses. See entry requirements for individual colleges.
- This subject is a useful foundation for students with an interest in studying French at third level, or considering a career in a French speaking environment or country.
What kind of student would French suit?
- Anyone with an interest in French culture, history, and language.
- Students who are considering working in France, Canada, the EU or in the area of international relations in the future.
- Students who can already speak French and want easy points.
- It is highly advisable that students spend some time in a country where the target language is spoken.
- Students who have shown an aptitude for French at Junior Certificate level are encouraged to continue with it in Senior Cycle.
A third language is an entry requirement of a number of third level colleges and may be a specific requiremnt for certain courses. Always check individual college and course details for current information.
This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 7707 students who sat the Ordinary Level French exam in 2019.
Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:
Leaving Certificate French aims to develop learners’ communicative skills in French, to develop their strategies for effective language learning and raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity.
Assessment is by means of a written examination, and an aural and oral examination at two levels, ordinary level and higher level.
Course content for higher and ordinary levels is similar. However, oral and written skills are particularly important at higher level. A grade 'C' at higher level in the Junior Certificate is usually a minimum requirement for higher level French at Leaving Certificate.
Modern languages require students to be proficient in the following skills:
A wide variety of themes are covered, for example:
Grammar and Cultural Awareness are essential elements of these courses.
|Mark Allocation for Leaving Certificate French:
|Section||Higher Level||Ordinary Level|
Leaving Certificate Exam Tips:
- The key to doing well is practice and individuality. The more reaction essays you write, and comprehension you read, the easier it becomes.
- Try to get your hands on as many past mock comprehensions as well as doing all the past papers, so you are well trained in the format and question types.
- After each comprehension make sure it is correct using the marking scheme.
- Any vocabulary you don't understand should be noted and learned as you will most likely see it again or you will be able to use it in your written work.
- You should be able to express yourself and talk about different topics - a rich vocabulary is key.
- Learn five new words every night going to bed and try to recall them in the morning.
- an extensive knowledge of the different tenses will be needed for all aspects of the French exam.
- Some people find downloading French CDs/recordings onto their iPod and listening to them regularly very helpful.
- When preparing for the aural exam, write out answers to common questions, learn these answers and practise saying them aloud so it comes across as natural as possible.
The Oral Exam This takes place in March/April of 6th year.
13 mins for French - French Interview with examiner. Students may prepare a document.
Aural/Listening Exam (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 then answering in English.
Written Exam (2½ 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 involves formal and informal letters, diary entry, message/fax/email, expressing an opinion, and personalised writing.
Specific careers in which French is of benefit include: Teaching; Translation; Interpreting; Linguistics; Localisation; Journalism and Media among others.
Subject Group: Humanities
These subjects explore the ways in which humans live and communicate in the world. Human life is examined by looking at our past, our present and into our future. These subjects help people to express themselves clearly and develop their reasoning ability.
Required for 3rd Level?
A third language, besides English and Irish, is a requirement for entry into a number of third level courses. For example: Law and French or Business and French in TCD (H3 in French required), International Commerce with French NUIG (H3), European Studies with French in UL (H4) or Business Sudies with French in UL (H4).
Click on the link below to view courses that require, or may require this subject for entry: