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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Subject Choice for Leaving Cert...

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French

Ed Zone

These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.

Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.

Employment Opportunities
The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.

Level on the National Framework of Qualifications
2 Years
Duration of course
Grades Awarded

Marks Distribution 2018:
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 15934 students who sat the Higher Level French exam in 2018.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 9449 students who sat the Ordinary Level French exam in 2018.

In brief... header image

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 this?header image

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.


Videos & Interviews header image

Ciaran MacSamhrain - French

Donal Kennedy - French and Spanish

Kate Walsh - French


Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Rugby Player - Ian McKinley
Ian McKinley, Languages ConnectI studied Biology, French, Classical Studies, Geography, Irish, Maths, English. If I am to be honest none of them have influenced my career path. 
  go to interview...
 
Planetary Scientist - Caitriona Jackman
Caitriona Jackman, Smart Futures

For Leaving Certificate I did the usual English, Irish, Maths, then Physics which I loved, Chemistry which I wasn’t great at (kept breaking stuff in the practicals), French, Geography and Music as an extra. I really enjoyed English actually, and even though a lot of my job involves computer programming and some hard maths and physics, I still rely heavily on my writing skills.

As important as it is to have technical ability in my job, it is still crucial to be able to communicate any results I find. One of the main tasks for me is to write papers for scientific journals, and occasionally to write articles for a more general audience.

My French is also useful because I collaborate with several people from a lab in Paris and they like if I make an effort to speak a bit of French, even though my accent is very embarrassing!

 
  go to interview...
 
Care Assistant - Lydia Peppard
Lydia Peppard, Health Service ExecutiveEnglish, Maths, Irish, French, History, Geography, Home Economics, Commerce (now called Business Studies) - these were subjects that I did for my Inter Cert, (now the Junior Cert), I left school after this. The courses that I took that had career implications were English, Maths, Commerce and Home Economics.

The implications of these were that English is needed for communication, Home Economics prepares one for life experiences and Commerce gives one an understanding of budgets and financial constraints. The subjects are practical ones and have helped me in my career. In hindsight I would have gone on to do my Leaving Cert and would have done Biology as this would have given me a basis to go further with my career, such as studying for nursing. 
  go to interview...
 
Psychologist - Clinical - Elaine MacDonald
Elaine MacDonald, St. Michael's House

I like the way that the Irish school system allows students to study a variety of subjects to get a broad base.

I chose a range of subjects including languages (French and Spanish) which allowed me to make friends and really immerse myself in different cultures during my summers abroad.

I feel that Maths helped me to develop my logical mind, and prepared me well for learning to use statistics which are widely used in Clinical Psychology.

Biology was certainly useful to take in school and is relevant to Clinical Psychology because of its focus on how the human body works and how the brain functions.

English was also useful to the role of Clinical Psychologist as report writing skills are used across the board, and good ability to express yourself both verbally and in writing is very important.

I also feel that my involvement in school sports (hockey and swimming) was important in helping me develop into a person who enjoys being part of a team.

 
  go to interview...
 
Department of Foreign Affairs - Shane Sargeant
Shane Sargeant, Languages ConnectI am very glad I studied French and Spanish at Leaving Certificate level. I think it is very important to develop language skills as early as possible. 
  go to interview...
 
Chef - David Kehoe
David Kehoe, Careers PortalMaths, English, French, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Home Economics. All of them influenced my career as I need all of them eg. without maths I couldn't deal with the financial part of the job. 
  go to interview...
 
Resource Teacher - Paul Galvan
Paul Galvan, Department of Education and SkillsFor my Leaving Certificate I studied English, Irish, Maths, Physics, French, Geography and History. My favourite subjects were Geography, Physics, French and English. I knew that I would like to study a combination of these subjects in further education. I think as regards a career path it’s a good idea to study subjects you like and are good at. 
  go to interview...
 
Science Entrepreneur - Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly, BioPharmachem Ireland

I did the following subjects for my Leaving Cert: Irish, English, Maths, French, Physics, Chemistry, Accounting and Applied Maths.

When choosing my subjects in 5th year in School I deliberately ensured that I did at least one business and one science subject because this gave me more flexibility in my choice of courses. I would recommend this strategy - particularly for those who aren't sure what they wish to study in college.

 
  go to interview...
 
Primary School Teacher - Brian Cadigan
Brian Cadigan, Department of Education and SkillsI needed to chose a second language besides Gaeilge in order to get into St. Patrick's College in Drumcondra. I decided to study French. 
  go to interview...
 
Manufacturing Engineer - Lynsey Gargan
Lynsey Gargan, Smart FuturesIn school I was limited by the amount of subjects offered. I went to an all girl's convent school and they had pretty much the stereotypical girl's school subjects then.

For my optional subjects I did Geography, H&E Social and Scientific and Biology. I had all the regular subjects too. English, Irish, Maths and French. I think it's fairly obvious from the above list that my subjects didn't have much of a influence over my third level education choices.

If subjects like physics, engineering etc., had been on offer, I think I would have taken them instead but they were not available to me. I don't believe choices made in school about subjects always have to dictate what you do in college. In my case it just meant I had to work a little harder in the first year of college to catch up.

My school subjects never stopped me. If you know what you like and what you want do, you will always find a way. To be honest it's the knowing what you like that's harder, there are lots of paths to achieve what you want in education today. 
  go to interview...
 
 

Course Overview header image

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 Contentheader image

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 header image

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 header image

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



Career Guidance