'Ours is not to reap the harvest, Ours is just to sow the seed'
Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey

Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, Italian)

Subject summary

The Leaving Certificate in each of the Modern Foreign Languages is comprised of a two-year course. Our students receive five class periods of tuition per week. At Senior Cycle, our aim, as teachers, is to further develop the students' four key skills - listening, reading, speaking and writing. They are encouraged to become more autonomous in their learning. They engage with a wide variety of topics, including education, lifestyle, sport, technology and travel. Since its inception, our Language Laboratory has proven to be of huge benefit to all students in the MFL Department. It facilitates independent learning among our students, as well as enabling them to further consolidate work covered in class (e.g. the rudiments of grammar). Exploring websites of their chosen language allows them to further enhance their vocabulary and knowledge of the country.

Why study ?

There is a very strong Modern Language learning tradition in Mount Sackville Secondary School. Our love of language and culture has been inherited form the Saint Joseph of Cluny Sisters. Our students are obliged to study a minimum of one Modern Foreign Language at Senior Cycle. This is a requirement for most university courses. Many of our students study two Modern Foreign Languages at Junior Cycle, and subsequently continue their studies in both languages at Senior Cycle. We firmly believe that language learning provides one with an essential life skill.

Course Content

We offer the following three languages at Senior Cycle, namely French, German and Italian. However, it should be noted that any student wishing to take any of these languages at Senior Cycle must have studied these languages at Junior Cycle. Each language is examined in the following way: Oral Examination Reading Comprehensions Written Production Listening Comprehension Test. During the two-year course, students are required to: - study grammatical terminology (e.g. tenses, adjectival endings, pronouns, prepositions etc.) - speak about everyday topics (e.g. family, hobbies, school, local area etc.) - write proficiently on topical themes in various formats (e.g. informal / formal letters, emails, opinions etc.) - comprehend journalistic and literary passages and respond to questions accordingly. - comprehend authentic texts in audio format and respond to questions accordingly.

Exam Structure

Please see below the allocation of marks and respective percentages for both Higher and Ordinary level Leaving Certificate examinations for the afore-mentioned languages:

Marks allocated: Higher level

Percentage of total grade: Higher level

Marks allocated: Ordinary level

Percentage of total grade: Ordinary level

Oral examination

100

25%

80

20%

Reading Comprehension

120

30%

160

40%

Written production

100

25%

60

15%

Listening comprehension

80

20%

100

25%

Total

400

100%

400

100%

Please see the breakdown of the examination for the individual languages:

French

1. Oral examination (Higher & Ordinary level)

This examination is approximately 12 minutes in duration. It takes place around Easter of the second year of Senior Cycle. The oral is comprised of a conversation between the examiner and the candidate, in which a variety of themes are discussed. Some students may choose to present a ‘document’ on a prepared topic of their choice.

2. Listening comprehension (Higher & Ordinary level)

This examination is approximately 40 minutes in duration. It consists of five sections which must be answered in English.

3. Written production

This examination is two and a half hours in duration.

(Higher level)

Students must respond to questions based on two reading comprehensions (journalistic & literary). Students must respond by giving their reaction to three different stimuli. The stimuli can be presented in different forms, i.e. bar charts, cartoons, diary entries, letters (informal/formal) and photographs. Students must answer question one which is compulsory and two further questions from a choice of three. The student has a choice of (a) or (b) in each case.

(Ordinary level)

Students must respond to questions based on four reading comprehensions (answering two in English and two in French). Students must choose two sections out of three – sections A, B, C. In each of these sections the student has a choice of (a) or (b). The questions are presented in different forms, i.e. cloze tests, CV forms, diary entries, postcards, notes and formal letters.

German

1. Oral examination (Higher & Ordinary level)

This examination is approximately 15 minutes in duration. It takes place around Easter of the second year of Senior Cycle. The oral is comprised of a conversation between the examiner and the candidate, in which a variety of themes are discussed for 5-6 minutes approximately. The remaining minutes of this exam are spent with students engaging in a pre-prepared role-play (from a set of five) and discussing either a pre-prepared picture sequence (from a set of five) or a pre-prepared project of their choice. Prior to this exam students are required to study five role-plays as set out by the State Examinations Commission. They also have the option of either preparing five picture sequences or preparing a project which focuses on a cultural aspect of a German-speaking country.

2. Listening Comprehension (Higher & Ordinary level)

This examination is approximately 40 minutes in duration. It consists of four sections. Higher level students must answer Sections 1, 3 & 4 in English but Section 2 in German. Ordinary level students must answer all four sections in English.

3. Written Production

This examination is two and a half hours in duration.

(Higher level)

Students must respond to questions based on two reading comprehensions (literary and journalistic). Students are required to answer these questions in both English and German. Students must do two questions related to the various aspects of grammar they have studied. These include adjectival endings, cases, prepositions, tenses and relative pronouns. Students are required to answer two questions by reacting to different stimuli. These stimuli are presented in various forms i.e. emails, photographs and informal/formal letters.

(Ordinary level)

Students must respond to questions based on three reading comprehensions (literary & two journalistic). Students are required to answer these questions in English. Students must answer two grammar questions relating to compound nouns and prepositions. Students are required to either write a letter to their German-speaking friend using the ‘prompt’ questions provided or composing the concluding narrative for a picture sequence, having firstly completed the cloze test based on it.

Italian

1. Oral examination (Higher & Ordinary level)

This examination is approximately 15 minutes in duration. It takes place around Easter of the second year of Senior Cycle. The oral is comprised of a conversation between the examiner and the candidate, in which a variety of themes are discussed for 7/8 minutes approximately. This is followed by a pre-prepared role play and a pre-prepared picture sequence. Students prepare five role plays and five picture sequences prior to the examination. One of each is examined on the day of the oral.

2. Listening comprehension (Higher & Ordinary level)

This examination is approximately 40 minutes in duration. It consists of three sections which must be answered in English.

3. Written production

This examination is two and a half hours in duration.

(Higher level)

Students must respond to questions based on one reading comprehension. Students then choose between an unforeseen passage, a passage from the novel they have studied or an essay written in English on the novel they have studied over the course of the two-year programme. Students must then respond by giving their reaction to three different stimuli. The first question is an opinion piece based on the theme of the first reading comprehension. The second question is called ‘storia guidata’, which requires the student to create a story about something that happened using the prompts given. The third question relates to a formal letter and students have a choice here between (a) and (b).

(Ordinary level)

Students must respond to questions based on seven reading comprehensions (answering in English). Students must answer three written pieces. In the first question students have a choice of (a) a dialogue or (b) a letter. The second question is a CV form and the third question is a jumbled up script which students must put in the correct order.

Career Possibilities

Over the years many of our students have pursued successful careers using their Modern Foreign Language skills, learned here in Mount Sackville. Their MFL expertise enables them to work in areas such as, business, education, law, marketing, technology or tourism. Our three languages on offer also equip our students for careers throughout the European Union. Taking the time to master a language demonstrates that one is dedicated and committed. Language learning provides one with an additional attribute in a competitive job market.

Jun
08 2022
State Examinations
Aug
25 2022
1st Year Sports Camp - Half Day
Aug
25 2022
TYs meeting in school with Principal, Deputy Principal, Deans and tutors
Aug
26 2022
1st Year Sports Camp - Half Day
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Contact
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Chapelizod,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061


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