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Naturalist?

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Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

Subject Choice

Leaving Certificate

French

Career Zone
QQI
NFQ Level
Duration
2 Years

Summary

Ciaran MacSamhrain - French
Ciaran MacSamhrain - French
Donal Kennedy - French and Spanish
Donal Kennedy - French and Spanish
Kate Walsh - French
Kate Walsh - French

French as a Leaving Certificate subject aims to bring students closer to fluency in the French language, as well as developing a good knowledge of literature, culture, geography and national history, in order to provide a context for communication. Senior Cycle French builds on the knowledge acquired for the Junior Certificate. 

Why Study French

  • This subject may be a requirement for entry to third level and can be used as a third language for entry to a number of courses. See entry requirements for individual colleges.
  • This subject is a useful foundation for students with an interest in studying French at third level, or considering a career in a French speaking environment or country.

What kind of student would French suit?

  • Anyone with an interest in French culture, history, and language.
  • Students who are considering working in France, Canada, the EU or in the area of international relations in the future.
  • Students who can already speak French and want easy points.

Recommendations/Tips:

  • It is highly advisable that students spend some time in a country where the target language is spoken.
  • Students who have shown an aptitude for French at Junior Certificate level are encouraged to continue with it in Senior Cycle.
  • A third language is an entry requirement of a number of third level colleges and may be a specific requiremnt for certain courses. Always check individual college and course details for current information.

This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:

Grades Awarded

Marks Distribution 2019:

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 15654 students who sat the Higher Level French exam in 2019.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 7707 students who sat the Ordinary Level French exam in 2019.

 

Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:

Course Overview

Leaving Certificate French aims to develop learners’ communicative skills in French, to develop their strategies for effective language learning and raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity.

Assessment is by means of a written examination, and an aural and oral examination at two levels, ordinary level and higher level.

Course Content

Course content for higher and ordinary levels is similar. However, oral and written skills are particularly important at higher level. A grade 'C' at higher level in the Junior Certificate is usually a minimum requirement for higher level French at Leaving Certificate.

Modern languages require students to be proficient in the following skills:

Oral/Speaking  
Written  
Aural/Listening  
Reading

A wide variety of themes are covered, for example:

Family
School
Hobbies
Sport
Current Affairs

Grammar and Cultural Awareness are essential elements of these courses.

Exam Structure

Mark Allocation for Leaving Certificate French:

Section    Higher Level Ordinary Level
Speaking 25%   20%
Listening Comprehension 20% 25% 
Reading Comprehension 30% 40% 
Writing 25%  15%

Leaving Certificate Exam Tips:

  • The key to doing well is practice and individuality. The more reaction essays you write, and comprehension you read, the easier it becomes.
  • Try to get your hands on as many past mock comprehensions as well as doing all the past papers, so you are well trained in the format and question types.
  • After each comprehension make sure it is correct using the marking scheme.
  • Any vocabulary you don't understand should be noted and learned as you will most likely see it again or you will be able to use it in your written work.
  • You should be able to express yourself and talk about different topics - a rich vocabulary is key.
  • Learn five new words every night going to bed and try to recall them in the morning.
  • an extensive knowledge of the different tenses will be needed for all aspects of the French exam.
  • Some people find downloading French CDs/recordings onto their iPod and listening to them regularly very helpful.
  • When preparing for the aural exam, write out answers to common questions, learn these answers and practise saying them aloud so it comes across as natural as possible.

The Oral Exam This takes place in March/April of 6th year. 

13 mins for French -  French Interview with examiner. Students may prepare a document.

Aural/Listening Exam (40 mins) This exam takes place after the written examination in June. It involves listening to a variety of dialogues and news items in the target language and then answering in English.

Written Exam (2½ hours) Reading Comprehension is worth 30% of total exam at higher level and 40% at ordinary level. There are literary and journalistic passages.

For higher level, the written section involves formal and informal letters, diary entry, message/fax/email, expressing an opinion, and personalised writing.

Career Possibilities

Specific careers in which French is of benefit include: Teaching; Translation; Interpreting; Linguistics; Localisation; Journalism and Media among others.

Career Guidance

Subject Group: Humanities

These subjects explore the ways in which humans live and communicate in the world. Human life is examined by looking at our past, our present and into our future. These subjects help people to express themselves clearly and develop their reasoning ability.

Required for 3rd Level?

A third language, besides English and Irish, is a requirement for entry into a number of third level courses.  For example: Law and French or Business and French in TCD (H3 in French required), International Commerce with French NUIG (H3), European Studies with French in UL (H4) or Business Sudies with French in UL (H4).

Click on the link below to view courses that require, or may require this subject for entry:

French

Interviews

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Ciaran MacSamhrain, Transport Infrastructure Ireland
Irish, English, French, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Latin (I failed Latin(!) but only concentrated on 6 subjects because, at least at that time, all colleges only counted up to 6 subjects when calculating entry points). I stayed in Honours Maths and choose Physics in order to not rule out opting for engineering. I would not have done anything differently in hindsight.

... View Full Interview

Padraig Parle, Teacher - Special Needs
History, Biology, French, Art, Maths, Irish and English.  Taking Art for my Leaving Cert. enabled me to go to Art College, but it was the Honours Irish which was essential to get into Primary Teaching

... View Full Interview

Des Lalor, Wind Engineer
Maths, English, Irish, Physics, Tech Drawing, Geography, French

... View Full Interview

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