Leaving Cert French helpful information:

General Information

Subject Overview

There is a common syllabus framework for the teaching and examining of modern languages in the Leaving Certificate. Syllabus content draws on and develops many aspects of the aims, objectives and content of languages at junior cycle. The aims are

  • To foster in learners such communicative skills in the target language as will enable them to:
    • take full part in classroom activities conducted in the target language
    • participate in everyday transactions and interactions
    • extract information and derive enjoyment from the mass media
    • consider as a realistic option the possibility of pursuing leisure activities, further study and/or career opportunities through the medium of the target language
  • To give learners a critical awareness of how meaning is organised and conveyed by the structures and vocabulary of the target language, and thus to contribute to their understanding of the workings of human language in general
  • To help learners develop strategies for effective language learning
  • To equip learners with a broad acquaintance with the cultural, social and political complexion of countries in which the target language is a normal medium of communication and thus to help raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity generally.

Content

The three broad components of the syllabus are:

  • Basic Communicative Proficiency
  • Language Awareness
  • Cultural Awareness

An integrated approach to these components is recommended.

  • Basic Communicative Proficiency builds on the repertory of communicative targets established by the Junior Certificate programme. The communicative skills acquired in the junior cycle will be maintained and continually reactivated during the senior cycle.

The objectives specified in this section relate to:

  • practical challenges that might be faced by the learner when operating in the target language community for example
  • meeting and getting to know people and maintaining social relations
  • coping with travel and transport
  • buying goods and services
  • dealing with emergencies
  • activities and discussion that are likely to take place through the target language in the classroom for example
  • understanding, seeking and giving information about climate and weather
  • understanding, expressing feelings and emotions
  • engaging in discussion
  • passing on messages

Language Awareness

Aspects of the junior cycle syllabus referring to the development of learners' language awareness are further developed in the Leaving Certificate syllabus

The objectives specified in this section relate to:

  • raising the learner's awareness about the workings of the target language
  • raising awareness abut the learner's own encounter with the language
  • fostering effective use of the language
  • developing awareness of relevant aspects of the mother tongue and other languages known to the learner.

Cultural Awareness

Aspects of the junior cycle syllabus referring to the development of learners' cultural awareness are further developed in the Leaving Certificate syllabus. The objectives in this section should contribute to cultural and intercultural education generally The focus is on

  • the target language community and
  • its relationship to Ireland and the Irish way of life.

Issues referred to go beyond cultural divisions.

The objectives specified in this section relate to

  • learning in the target language about the present-day culture associated with the target language
  • reading modern literary texts in the target language
  • describing and discussing everyday life in the target language community
  • understanding, describing and discussing aspects of the relations between the target language community and Ireland
  • understanding, describing and discussing in general terms issues that transcend cultural divisions.

Assessment

Assessment is by means of a written examination at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level. There is also an aural and an oral examination at both levels.

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Statistics

Did you Know?

 

French Leaving Cert Statistics

 A total of 13720 students took French at Leaving Cert in 2012. 25777 students did French for the LEaving Cert in 2012 with over 53% of these students doing higher level French.French is the most popular optional language at Leaving Cert.

13.6% of students got an A

28.1% of students got a B

33.7% of students got a C

21.5% of students got a D

3.2% of students failed

 

Exam Breakdown

Past Exam Breakdown Higher Level

Section 1 Reading Comprehension (120 marks-30%)
Includes a passage from a magazine or journal which usually deals with contemporary matters. For example, in 2001 the article was about rave music upsetting the inhabitants of a peaceful village. You are usually required to write about your personal experience of the issues raised.
Section 2 Written Assignments (100 marks-25%)
The following tasks have frequently occurred in Section 2:    *Diary entry   *Formal or informal letter  *Message          *E-mail
Section 2 Listening Comprehension (80 marks-20%)
The following tasks have frequently occurred in Section 2:    *Diary entry   *Formal or informal letter  *Message          *E-mail
Oral Exam (100 marks- 25%)
Your performance is assessed under four headings:
Pronunciation (20%)
Vocabulary (20%)
Structure (30%)
Communication (30%)
 
Topics
 
Family
Yourself
Friends
Leisure Activities
School and Careers
School
Careers
 
Abstract Topics
Addictions
 
Racism
The Environment and Pollution
Information Technology
Terrorism

 

Past Exam Breakdown Ordinary Level

French Ordinary Level
Section 1 Reading Comprehension(160 marks-40%)
The texts used are usually taken from magazines and generally cover contemporary matters.
Section 2 Written Assignments (60 marks-15%)
* Postcard or message *Diary or letter          *E-mail
Section 2 Listening Comprehension (100 marks-25%)
The following tasks have frequently occurred in Section 2: *Diary entry *Formal or informal letter *Message *E-mail
Oral Exam (80 marks- 20%)
Your performance is assessed under four headings:
 
Pronunciation (20%)
Vocabulary (20%)
Structure (30%)
Communication (30%)
 
Topics
 
Family
Yourself
Friends
Leisure Activities
School and Careers
School
Careers
 
Abstract Topics
Addictions
Racism
The Environment and Pollution
Information Technology
Terrorism

 

Paper Layout

French Leaving Cert Higher Level

Marks: 220
Time Allocated: 2 hours 30 minutes

Section 1 - Reading comprehension (120 marks):

There are two pieces of text and questions from both must be answered.
 
Q.1. Literary passage: this text is generally taken from a novel and it takes a narrative form. There maybe a long piece of dialogue.
 
Q.2. Journalistic passage: a text dealing with contemporary matters.
 

Note the following points:

  • The sections of the texts will be numbered, and the questions may relate directly to these sections and make sure your answers address the sections specified.
  • Answer the question asked and don’t try to impress the examiners by providing more than  what you have been asked.
  • Be careful with grammar. For example if you are asked about the author of the text where he or she uses“Je”, rephrase the comment using the appropriate pronoun, “Il / Elle” etc.

Section 2: Written assignments (100 marks):

There are four questions in this section, you must answer Question 1 and any two other questions
 
Q.1. carries (40m) and relates directly to the comprehension text of Section I, and you are required to write 90 words. (Approx. 10 sentences)
 
Q.2. (30m) can be one of the following  diary entry(2010), a formal or informal letter, a message, or an e-mail (2010),you are required to write 75 words. (Approx. 8 sentences)
 
Q.3. (30m) Personal reply to a magazine article. (75 words, approx. 8 sentences)
 
Q.4. (30m) Personal reply to a magazine article or cartoon. (75 words, approx. 8 sentences)
 

French Listening Comprehension

Marks: 80
Time Allocated: 40 Minutes
Practise - Listen to as many aural pieces as possible. This will familiarise you with the language.
Listen carefully to the instructions that you are given at the start of the exam.
Read all the questions - this will give you an idea what you are to look out for in the piece.
 
Each section is played at least twice –
  • The first time the piece is played – listen out for the answer. Don't panic if you don’t understand everything, just be careful to listen out for keywords.
  • The second time the piece is played – write down your answer.
  • The third time the piece is played – check over what you have written down to make sure it is right.
Attempt each question - don't leave blanks
 
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Leaving Cert Oral packages

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