Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Patricia Cleary from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:
Be open to new possibilities – I never dreamed in secondary school that I would like Biochemistry so you never know what you might like until you try!
What are your interests?
The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
Subject Choice for Leaving Cert...
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.
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 9449 students who sat the Ordinary Level French exam in 2018.
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?
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.
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
Ciaran MacSamhrain - French
Donal Kennedy - French and Spanish
Kate Walsh - French
Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
QA Manager - Michael Bohane
My Leaving Cert subjects were Irish, English, Maths, French, Chemistry, Biology and Business Organisation. My main interest was science so I chose two science subjects and one business related subject to keep things interesting.
My subjects were appropriate for my University course except I was required to take Physics in the first year. This was quite challenging not having taken Physics to Leaving Cert but not impossible. I don't think I would do anything differently if I had to repeat the process.
Studying French was useful for me to study Japanese in college. However I didn't like French in school as I don't believe it is taught in a fun way for students. It's mostly based around learning things off with no enjoyment around the language itself or the culture.
In addition to the three core subjects, I studied French, Business Studies, Home Economics and Accounting for my Leaving Cert. In fourth year in school we completed semesters on a variety of Leaving Cert. subjects. I chose to study business and accounting as I found these subjects interesting and had an aptitude for them.
For 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.
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 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.
Mark Allocation for Leaving Certificate French:
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.
Specific careers in which French is of benefit include: Teaching; Translation; Interpreting; Linguistics; Localisation; Journalism and Media among others.
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:
This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors: