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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

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...
Occupational Therapist - Tomas Flanagan
Tomas Flanagan, St. Michael's House

In school we had to choose our Leaving Cert subjects just before the Junior Cert. At this stage I had no idea what I wanted to do as a profession but I knew I wanted to go to College.

In order to keep my options open I chose a mix of subjects to include one language, one science subject and one business subject. In addition to the obligatory English, Irish & Maths I therefore studied French, Biology, Geography & Accounting. I chose these particular subjects as I had an interest in them at Junior Cert level.

I suppose Biology was the most relevant of my subjects when I started college as there was some overlap with Anatomy and Physiology. We also studied research and statistics in college which were Maths related.

 
  go to interview...
 
Insurance Administrator - Kevin Moran
Kevin Moran, InsuranceAs well as the mandatory Irish, English and Mathematics my leaving certificate subjects included French, Biology, Geography and Accounting.

This is a broad range of subjects covering everything from business to languages to science, this provided a broad base for me as it left a number of doors open for various university courses. 
  go to interview...
 
School Principal - Paul Meany
Paul Meany, Department of Education and SkillsIrish, English, Maths, French, Physics, Chemistry. For third level I had to chose between a degree in English and a degree in Science and I chose the B.Sc. 
  go to interview...
 
Guidance Counsellor - Brian Howard
Brian Howard, Department of Education and Skills

For my Leaving Certificate I studied the three compulsory subjects: English, Irish and Maths. I had a great interest in science so I chose to do two science subjects - Biology and Chemistry. I wanted to keep as many options open as possible as I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do on leaving school so I chose one business subject - Economics and I chose a language - French, in order to keep all the universities open also.

In hindsight I think this was a good selection of subjects as it kept a lot of doors open while also allowing me to chose subjects I liked and did well in. I eventually went on to do a science degree so my 2 Leaving Certificate science subjects came in handy. Once I had my degree this allowed me to teach and subsequently do my postgraduate in Guidance Counselling.

 
  go to interview...
 
Dancer - Megan McEvoy
Megan McEvoy, Languages ConnectAside from English, Irish and maths I did music, French, art and chemistry. I did business studies until the Junior Cert but dropped it then. Although I didn't enjoy business studies I really wish I had kept it on as had I known that I'd be self-employed in the future it would have helped me greatly in terms of tax, loans, self-marketing and starting a business.

Essentially I am now running a small business by being self-employed. While I didn't use French and ended up living in Spain for 4 years I do feel having had a second language in school made picking up Spanish easier for me and I was really willing to learn it. Music of course has helped greatly in my career as there is nothing worse than a dancer who has no sense of musicality. Music has always played a big part in my life and many teachers have commented on my strong sense of musicality through dance. 
  go to interview...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Garda Trainee - Mark Spain
Mark Spain , An Garda Sí­ochánaEngineering / Physics / Construction / French.

I'd like to think these gave me a good ability to solve problems as well as helping me to have a good hands on approach to things. 
  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...
 
Civil Engineer - Maria O'Neill
Maria O'Neill, Smart Futures

In hindsight, I am happy to say I wouldn't have done anything differently to date! In my Junior Cert I did 9 subjects ; Maths, Irish, English, History, Geography, Science, Business Studies, French and Tech Graphics. I liked Languages and history the least. I won't lie, Maths, Geography, and Tech Graphics were the ones I enjoyed the most.

When I was choosing for my leaving Cert I still hadn't decided what I would do when I was finished. I was thinking of Engineering, Teaching or Physiotherapy. I wanted to leave my options open. To do physio you need a language (to get in to UCD) and 2 science subjects. I decided to do Maths, Irish, English, French, Geography, Physics and Chemistry for my leaving. That left all the options open.

I was good at Business Studies, but after looking at courses in college, I discovered you don't usually need a business subject to get into a business course. This is not the case for Science based courses. In 6th year I took up Applied Maths. Since I was doing Physics and Maths I had a good background for the subject. Twenty classes and just homework, and I got an honour. If anyone was to ask me if they should do it, if you like maths, its a great subject!

 
  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