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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...
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...
 
Sub Lieutenant - Navy - David Fleming
David Fleming, Defence Forces

For my Leaving Certificate I took the subjects, French, Geography and Business. Prior to applying for my cadetship I found out that I required a Science subject which I took up in my Leaving Certificate. 

A lot of my training and education through the Navy todate has been Maths and Science based particularly Physics. If I had a choice again I would have gone down this line in school to give me a better foundation. The subjects I chose just made everything slightly harder.

 
  go to interview...
 
Shift Manager - Richard Storey
Richard Storey, McDonald'sIn school I studied the basic subjects, English, Irish, Maths. I also took French Physics and Biology. These subjects stood to me in my course choice as Biology is essential in understanding how the body works when undertaking a fitness course. As we have come into difficult times recently people have zipped up their pockets and are not renewing their gym memberships, therefore leaving me struggling to obtain a job in this industry. If I could change anything I would have opted for a trade in carpentry or an electrician. 
  go to interview...
 
Lecturer - Dr. Patrick Cadwell
Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Languages ConnectStudying languages altered my career path the most - I studied French first and then Japanese, and these subjects led me to Luxembourg and Japan. 
  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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Recruitment Manager - Frank Morrison
Frank Morrison, Health Service Executive

Irish, English, Maths, Accountancy, Biology, Physics, French, Social & Scientific.

As already stated, my initial goal was accountancy following the Leaving Cert. The accountancy covered by the Leaving Cert was very beneficial during my first year at college. However I don't believe I had the personality to become an accountant.

Moving to my later choice of Nursing, I believe that biology was essential as it is a major part of nursing studies from the start. I also believe that experience at work itself will further one's career and may in fact lead to a change further down the career pathway.

 
  go to interview...
 
Ambulance / Paramedic - Keith Hayes
Keith Hayes, Health Service ExecutiveIn school there was very poor attention given to, or ‘guidance’ towards suitable careers. I was lucky I knew what I wanted to do. This, looking back was disappointing because I had no drive to go to third level college. I knew all I needed to be a Paramedic was the Leaving Cert.

In the Leaving Cert I took English, Irish, Maths, French, Biology, Chemistry and History pretty much the standard, they didn’t really have much influence on my career choice. That said, Biology and Chemistry are a great foundation for studying medicine as a Paramedic. 
  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