The aim of Junior Certificate Irish isto improve your ability to communicate through Irish.You will focus on improving your language skills through concentrating on four areas; your spoken language through speaking; your listening skillsthrough listening to others,CDs and tapes; your written skillsthrough writing in Irish, and your reading skillsthrough reading passages,poems and stories written in Irish.

What will I learn in Irish?

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • how to develop your skills of communication through Irish
  • how to use the Irish that you already have and add to it!
  • how to develop your skills in listening,reading, and speaking in Irish
  • how to write letters, postcards, essays, and stories in Irish.

How will I learn Irish in school?

Some of the things you may do with your teacher and your classmates are:

  • go on Irish language tours
  • participate in cultural activities such as singing, dancing and drama
  • make use of the Irish language you already have
  • participate in "Seachtain na Gaeilge" events
  • use Irish textbooks and dictionaries, as well as other resources
  • use ICT software and the internet to develop your language skills
  • work in pairs and/or in groups.

How can I learn more about Irish outside of school?

Some of the things you may do are:

  • speak Irish in class, in school and outside of school too!
  • watch programmes through Irish on TG4
  • listen to some radio programmes presented in Irish
  • use the internet to look up websites written in Irish
  • attend an Irish language summer college
  • get to know Irish words and phrases by looking at street signs.

How will I know how I am getting on?

Your teacher will let you know:

  • what you have done well
  • how you can improve your work
  • the areas that need attention.

Other things you may do are:

  • ask your friend to have a look at your work
  • discuss the class-work with your friend
  • look back over your work and see how you can improve it yourself.

What is the Junior Certificate Irish exam like?

The Junior Certificate Irish exam is examined in two (or three ways):

  • an aural exam - you will listen to a tape/CD and answer questions based on what you hear
  • a written exam - you will answer questions about what you have studied
  • an oral exam (optional) - this consists of a conversation between you and your examiner.

You can take the exam at Higher, Ordinary or Foundation level.When the time comes to decide, your teacher will help you choose the level that suits you best.

Is learning Irish anything like what I did in primary school?

Of course learning Irish is similar to what you have already learned. You will build on the many activities you have carried out in primary school such as creative writing,talking 'as Gaeilge' in pairs and in groups, listening to radio clips,watching TV clips and reading from a range of Irish poems and stories.All of the Irish you have learned so far will be of great help to you in Junior Certificate Irish.

Will Irish have anything to do with other subjects I will be studying?

Without a doubt! You will notice links between Irish and subjects such as History, Music, Geography, CSPE, English, and Modern Languages.

How will Irish be useful to me?

You will have the advantage of being bilingual. Irish is one of our official languages as well as being an official language of the European Union.

Careers in which you may develop and use your Irish language skills include;teaching, working as civil servants, careers in business, law, and communication, and translation services.

Will Irish be very different afterthe Junior Certificate?

You will continue to develop the language skills and add to the Irish that you have learned in the junior cycle. You will study more literature (stories and poems).

[Information sourced from]

Irish Junior Cert

The main aim of Irish at Junior Cert level is to help students with their skills in speaking, writing and listening to the Irish Language.

Students should have learned the basics of the Irish language in primary school and the Junior Cert syllabus helps students to build an awareness of the Irish language and Irish literature. Students at higher level will also study various pieces of prose and poetry on the syllabus.
The Irish exam is a combination of written and aural exams, an oral exam has been introduced as a optional pilot scheme with some schools.


Irish higher level has two papers while ordinary level only has one.

Paper 1 – Higher level.  

  • Roinn I – Cluaistuiscint,
  • Roinn II Léamhthuiscint,
  • Roinn III – Trialacha Teanga comhthéacsúla and
  • Roinn IV – Ceapadóireacht.

Roinn I is the listening comprehension, to prepare for this students should practise listening to previous listening comprehensions or listen to Radio na Gaeltachta or TG4 or our aurals.

Roinn II – Léamhthuiscint, these are unseen reading comprehensions you will be required to answer questions on the text.

Roinn III – This section requires you to rewrite a piece in a particular tense and is a test on grammar and verbs.

Roinn IV Ceapadóireacht, this section requires students to write an essay, story, debate or an article, students should continue to practise to get better marks.

Paper 2 - Higher level

Paper 2 is made up of three Sections.

  • Roinn I – Prós,
  • Roinn 2 – Filíocht and
  • Roinn 3 An litir.

Roinn I – Prós – this will involve you answering questions on an extract from the story and answering the questions.  You will also be asked about a story you have studied. You may be asked about themes, and characters in this section, you should if possible support your answer with references.  It is important to answer the questions asked and use grammar correctly.

Roinn II  - Filíocht -  this section requires you to answer questions on an unseen poem and on a poem you have studied. Again, you may be asked about themes, characters, feelings, you should use quotes to support your answer. 

Roinn III - An litir – this question requires students to write a letter, which could be on one of the following, letter to a friend about your holidays, letter about a summer job, your past – times, concerns of young people, it is very important to get the structure of the letter correct, date, address, greeting, the body, and the sign off of the letter right, this section will test the ability to write, grammar and vocabulary so students should practise writing letters to get full marks.

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