The modern languages you can learn for Junior Certificate are French,German, Italian and Spanish. Depending on your school, you can choose one or more of these subjects. In learning a modern language, you will begin to understand what you read and hear, and to talk and write in the language.

What will I learn in a modern language?

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • how to speak in the language about yourself, your family and friends, your hobbies, your school, etc. This will help you to talk to people who speak the language
  • the skills of listening to,reading and writing in the language
  • the grammar of the language
  • information about the countries where people speak the language, and their way of life.

How can I learn more about a modern language outside of school?

Some of the things you may do are:

  • find out information about the language you are learning and the countries where they speak it
  • carry out research on the Internet.Ask your teacher for a list of websites
  • find speakers of the language as email pen-pals to communicate with over the internet
  • use a library for books,DVDs,magazines, dictionaries, etc.
  • download free language learning podcasts.

How will I learn a modern language in school?

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

  • work on your own, in pairs and in groups
  • learn through activities and games
  • use a textbook, but other materials as well
  • watch films, listen to songs and look at pictures and posters.

Some other things that will help you learn in class are:

  • asking questions
  • taking notes and keeping your work in a folder
  • speaking the language as much as you can, in and out of class.

You will learn the language in small blocks which you will build upon as you go along. But remember, learning a language is like making a jigsaw: you need all the pieces!

How will I know how I amgetting on?

Your teacher will let you know:

  • what you have done well
  • how you can improve your work.

Other things you may do are:

  • ask a friend to look at your work
  • look back over your work to see how you have improved
  • keep a diary of what you can do in the language.

Is learning a modern language anything like what I did in primary school?

You may have been learning English, Irish, or even a modern language already, so you already know a lot about learning how languages work.This will be of great help to you as you make comparisons between the languages. It may also help you to guess the meanings of words and phrases in the new language you are learning.

Will a modern language have anything to do with other subjects I will be studying?

Yes, it will.You will find links with History, Geography, other modern languages, English, and Irish.

How will a modern language be useful to me?

You will find modern languages useful in your personal life for travelling and in many careers including tourism, catering, education, business and translation services.

What are the modern languages Junior Certificate exams like?

In each of the four modern languages:

  • you will listen to and answer questions on conversations,newsitems,etc. in the language
  • you will read and answer questions on texts like advertisements, articles,recipes and celebrity profiles in the language
  • you will write texts like notes, cards and postcards in the language.

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

Will the modern languages be very different after the Junior Certificate?

By studying a modern language in Leaving Certificate, you will continue to build up your knowledge of your chosen language,the way of life of the people who speak it, and you will continue to use the language for a whole variety of purposes. It is important to study a modern language for Junior Certificate if you wish to continue studying it for the Leaving Certificate.Having a Leaving Certificate modern language is an entry requirement for many Irish universities.

[Information sourced from]