The essential aim of teaching French at both Junior and Senior cycle is to foster in learners communicative skills in the target language. These skills will allow the student to take full part in classroom activities conducted in the target language. French is spoken as much as possible in the classroom. Heavy emphasis is placed on student participation in class with lots of question and answering sessions conducted inFrench. Students who opt for French in First Year undertake the three- year Junior Certificate course. This syllabus aims at developing the student’s ability to understand both oral and written French while developing her appreciation of cultural differences between France and Ireland as well as other Francophone countries. The foundations of grammar are laid down in these first few years too, so that by the end of the course, students should be able to express themselves in simple conversational French. We use a class text book and supplement our teaching with language games, CDs, films and computer-based activities, songs and magazines. The exam is comprised of three components: Listening (worth 44%) The student is required to extract specific information from a range of recorded material. Responses are to be given in English. Reading (31%) The student is asked to identify and extract specific information from timetables, menus, magazine articles, advertisements and interviews. They are required to demonstrate their understanding by answering in English. Writing (25%). The student must complete written tasks of varying length. She is required to demonstrate the use of an appropriate range of vocabulary, grammatical structures and tenses.
The Leaving Certificate Examination.
The Leaving Cert French curriculum builds upon the foundations of what has been taught at Junior cycle. Students at this stage should develop a critical awareness of how meaning is organized and how it is conveyed through the structures and vocabulary of the target language. Compréhension Auditive (20%) Students have to extract specific information, identify points of view and emotions and draw conclusions from a range of recorded material. Answers are to be given in English. Compréhension Ecrite (30%) Students are asked to identify and extract specific information from written material, to recognize points of view, draw conclusions and interpret attitudes. They are required to demonstrate their understanding by answering largely through French
Writing (25%) Students are asked to complete written tasks of varying length and function. They must demonstrate the use of an appropriate range of vocabulary, grammatical structures and tenses through writing a diary entry, a formal letter, a fax or e-mail and an opinion passage in French.
Speaking (25%) Students are required to sustain a conversation with an oral examiner for approximately 12 minutes on a range of topics such as family, daily life, school, hobbies and plans for the future. On completion of the Senior cycle French programme, students should be able to consider as a realistic option the possibility of pursuing leisure activities, further study and/or career opportunities through the medium of the French language.
Further details of the Syllabi can be obtained from the Department of Education and Science at www.education.ie