English is an international language spoken or being learned by people in almost every part of the world.In Junior Certificate English you will learn how to communicate more effectively with others and to express your point of view in many different ways.You will also have many opportunitiesto use your imagination and to find out about great writers.By the end of the Junior Certificate course, you should be better able to understand your world and to say what you think about it.

What will I learn in English?

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • how to communicate clearly
  • how to speak and write in interesting ways about things that happen in your daily life
  • how to explore different ways of using English e.g. interviewing,story telling, describing, newspaper reporting,writing advertisements or jokes etc.
  • how to find out about the great writers of Ireland and the world, and enjoy reading some of their work.

How will I learn English in school?

Some of the things you may do to learn more and to improve your English in the classroom are:

  • work with a group to create a document e.g. a class newspaper
  • listen to poems and stories
  • read and think about a novel, a poem or a play
  • compose poems or songs or longer pieces of writing
  • ask and answer questions about what you read and hear
  • re-write your work to make it better
  • try your best at homework and assignments.

How can I learn more about English outside of school?

Some of the things you may do on your own or with others are:

  • watch the news or a TV programme and talk about it afterwards
  • go to a play or film and do a review of it
  • go to the library and ask the librarian about the books
  • read a newspaper or a favourite magazine
  • write and receive e-mails.

How will English be usefultome?

You can continue to improve your English all your life.The better you are at English the more you are likely to enjoy speaking,reading and writing. Any third level course in English provides you with skills for a variety of positions in business, government,research, education, publishing, as well as in the cultural, entertainment, and communications industries.

How will I know how I am getting on?

Your teacher will let you know:

  • what you did well
  • where you need to improve
  • what you could do to improve.

Other things you may do are:

  • ask a friend to look at your work
  • look back over your work and decide whether you have improved or not
  • do a class test
  • enter a competition.

What is the English Junior Certificate exam like?

You may be asked to:

  • write about your experiences and your opinions
  • write a letter or a report or a speech
  • respond to a poem
  • write about a novel and a play that you have studied
  • talk about TV programmes or newspaper articles or advertisements.

You may also be shown some short reading passages and you will answer questions on them. You can take the exam at Foundation,Ordinary or Higher level.When the time comes to decide, your teacher will help you choose the level that suits you best.

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

Most of the time, it will be.You will do similar work and you will continue to gain confidence in speaking,reading and writing in English.As in primary school, learning English will help you to develop as a person. You will continue to learn about the wonderful power of words and to develop your imagination.

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

Yes it will. As you get better at English you will get better at learning other languages. Having good English skills will also help you in presenting work for a range of other subjects e.g.History,Geography, Science and Home Economics.

Will English be very different after the Junior Certificate?

In Leaving Certificate English you will continue to discuss important ideas and have a whole new course to enjoy. You can look forward to exploring the works of new writers and reading books from Ireland and other countries.

[Information sourced from ncca.ie]

ENGLISH Exam Paper

There are two papers for English Junior Certificate Higher level and one for Ordinary level.

Paper 1

English Higher level is worth 180 marks and comprises four sections.

Section 1 – Reading, in this section you are required to read a text and answer the questions, you should make sure to always answer the question asked, in order to secure good marks you should support answer with references to the text, displaying that you have understood the text.

Section 2 - Personal writing, You are required to write a piece based on a number of titles offered, this will give the you an opportunity to display your writing skills.

Section 3 - Functional writing, the task set in this section normally requires you to write a report, letter, etc. You should make sure you are clear about what you are writing, give a well structured answer, and be careful with grammar and punctuation.

Section 4 - Media Studies, you are required to write about aspects of communication in the media. In your analysis of the communication, you should be able to discuss your target audience and use imagery to convey your message, you should also make sure to have an opinion on your favourite advertisement, magazine and newspaper so you can write about it.

Paper 2

Drama, Fiction and Poetry come up every year on English Paper 2.

Section 1 - Question 1, the unseen Drama question, you will have a choice between A) Shakespearean Drama and B) Other Drama.  In the unseen drama, students are required to read the extract and answer the questions asked, which may be about relationships between characters, or about characters themselves. You should always support answers with references or quotes from the extract.    The studied drama is about a play studied in school, you may be asked about setting of the play, themes, stagecraft, it is important to make your point and develop the point and support your points.

Section 2 - of Paper 2 is poetry and there are two questions, one on an unseen poem and one that you have studied in school. Again, you may be asked about the theme or tone, imagery or atmosphere in the poem, answers should always be backed up with references / quotations from the poem. 

Section 3 - of Paper 2 is Fiction, you will be asked about an extract from an unseen novel and a novel studied, you may be asked about the theme, characters, style, or plot. All points made should be supported with quotations or references.