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Teacher - Languages

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Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

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Occupational Category

Secondary Teachers

Also included in this category:

Secondary school teachers; deputy head teachers (secondary school).

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 15%
Aged over 55: 14%
Male / Female: 29 / 71%
Non-Nationals: 3%
With Third Level: 99%
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At a Glance... header image

Prepares lessons and teaches foreign languages to students in a variety of settings.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Elaine Ni Bhraonáin
Irish Instructor

Elaine has a Degree in Modern Irish from UCD and teaches Irish in New York as well as writing a weekly bilingual column in the Irish Echo.

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Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Search YouTube for Teacher - Languages videos

The Work header image

Teaching languages is about sharing your passion and enthusiasm for the subject and making the learning relevant and exciting for your students.

A wide range of opportunities exist for teaching languages, whether its our native 'Gaeilge', or Modern Foreign Language (MFL) Teaching. The increased focus on languages in both the primary and the secondary level school system means that, as well as Irish and the main European languages traditionally taught in schools in Ireland (French, German and Spanish), a wide range of other foreign languages are now being taught in secondary schools around the country including Italian, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, and Mandarin.

Opportunities also exist in private sector language schools for teaching adult education and leisure classes in Modern Foreign Languages to both groups and individuals. For example, the Alliance Francaise offers a wide range of summer courses, short courses, introductory and refresher courses for all age groups interested in learning French, as does the Goethe Institute for those learning German.

Interesting career and cultural opportunities also present themselves, such as teaching Irish to Irish people who are living or working abroad [see our video with Irish Instructor Elaine Ní Bhraonáin].

Alternative career opportunities for those intersted in Languages include Interpretor and Translator. The EU career opporunities in these ares are extensive.



Personal Qualitiesheader image

Teachers have the power to inspire their students and to motivate them - a wide range of skills are required to meet the challenges that present in this role.

In addition to having a solid understanding of their subject area and a mastery of core teaching skills, teachers need to be resourceful, flexible, patient, and fair. They should be effective communicators, be able to explain concepts thoroughly, and answer students' questions accurately. 



Entry Routesheader image

In the formal school system, teachers are required to deliver the curriculum that is agreed at national level by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Those planning to teach in a formal school setting must meet certain requiremnts.

For example:

The following are the requirements set-out by the Teaching Council for recgnition to teach French in a Secondary School in Ireland:

1. (a) Applicants must hold a degree-level qualification, with French studied up to and including third-year level or higher (or modular equivalent).

(b) The qualifying degree must be equivalent to at least Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and with a minimum pass1 result in all examinations pertinent to the subject of French.

(c) The qualifying degree must carry at least 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits (or equivalent) with the specific study of French comprising at least 60 ECTS credits (or equivalent) and with not less than 10 ECTS credits (or equivalent) studied at third-year level or higher (or modular equivalent).

2. The study of French during the degree must show that the holder has acquired sufficient knowledge, skills and understanding to teach the French syllabus2 to the highest level in post-primary education (see To meet this requirement the degree must include:

(a) French Language Studies and

(b) French Literature The degree must incorporate the study of Literature through the medium of French, comprising at least 15 ECTS credits and should incorporate the study of at least two of the following areas:

i. Drama

ii. Poetry

iii. Fiction

iv. Media/Film Studies or Communications

v. History of Ideas (Philosophical works in French).

3. Applicants must have verifiable residential experience of at least two months in France or a country where French is the vernacular (spoken language).

4. Applicants must provide evidence of linguistic competence in the language. This can be demonstrated by:

(a) Applicants for whom the language is their mother tongue Or

(b) Providing evidence of achieving a minimum level of B2.2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (or equivalent) from the higher education institution where the qualification was completed. Alternatively applicants can provide certification of successful completion of an independent language competency test.

5. Applicants must also have completed a programme of post-primary initial teacher education (age range 12-18 years) carrying a minimum of 120 ECTS credits (or equivalent)

Note: These requirements apply to persons applying for registration on and after 1 January 2017.

Click here for qualification details for the teaching other languages and  subject areas.

Last Updated: November, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Teacher, Second Level - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: The Teaching Council
Address: Block A, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth Co. Kildare
Tel: (01) 651 7900
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Department of Education and Skills
Address: Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 889 6400
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland
Address: ASTI House, Winetavern Street, Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 604 0160
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Classic Arts, Languages & Culture

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