French for Leaving Certificate builds on the knowledge of the language acquired for Junior Certificate. The aim is to improve students’ skills in reading comprehension, aural comprehension, written and oral work. There is a greater emphasis on oral work, as one of the components of the Leaving Certificate is an oral test accounting for 25% of the total marks. Course content for Higher and Ordinary levels is similar. However, oral and written skills are of particular importance at higher level. A grade ‘C’ at Higher Level in the Junior Certificate is the absolute minimum requirement for Higher Level French at Leaving Certificate.

The learning of a language can be achieved by steady work and is much helped by a period spent in France, if that is possible. A motivated, hard-working student can acquire a high standard of spoken and written French in the 2/3 years of Senior Cycle.

A good knowledge of French allows one to avail of this option. Specific careers in which French would be of benefit include teaching, translation, interpreting, journalism, and media. There is a particular need for French speaking graduates in the I.T. sector at present. Indeed, in all career areas employment prospects are much enhanced for graduates who have a good working knowledge of a European language especially in the post-Brexit era.

Link to French Department of Education syllabus – Click here

Breakdown of Leaving Cert French Honours Paper (400 marks)

Aural 80 marks     20%
Comprehensions 120 marks   30%
Written Expression 100 marks   25%
Oral 100 marks   25%

Breakdown of Leaving Cert French Ordinary Paper (400 marks)

Aural 100 marks    25%
Comprehensions 160 marks    40%
Written Expression 60 marks      15%
Oral 80 marks      20%