Modern Languages - French and German

Subject Content

Both 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

In both French and German there are oral aural and written exams.

Mark Allocation for L.C. French & German

 Section   Higher Level  Ordinary Level
 Speaking  25%  20%
 Listening Comprehension   20%  25%
Reading Comprehension  30%  40%
 Writing   25%  15%
The Oral Exam
This takes place in March/April of 6th year.  13 mins - French, 15 mins – German
French  Interview with examiner; students may prepare a document
German Interview with examiner, presentation of project or picture sequence and role play

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. One section on the German paper requires answers in German.

Written Exam (2 ˝ 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.

At Higher Level Reading Comprehension involves a literary and a journalistic reading text, followed by questions testing comprehension, language awareness, applied grammar and the student’s ability to give an opinion on a topic raised. The written section consists of a formal or informal letter or an essay-type response to a picture.
At Ordinary Level students do one literary and two journalistic comprehensions with similar exercises to Higher Level. Written exercises include letters, telling a story from a given series of pictures, writing a dialogue.


  • We welcome and encourage students to study a foreign language for its own value, to increase cultural awareness and as a life skill, not just as a requirement for college entry.
  • It is the aim of the Modern Language Departments to promote the use of the target language in class because the desire of the student to communicate motivates learning.
  • We advise that here is a considerable gap in the standard required between Junior and Senior Cycle
  • It is highly advisable that students spend some time in a country where the target language is spoken.
  • Students who have shown an aptitude in both languages at Junior Certificate Level are encouraged to continue with both languages in Senior Cycle.
  • While it is our policy to teach each student with regard to his/her unique set of needs, we would advise students who have experienced serious difficulty with a modern language in Junior Cycle to give strong consideration to the far-reaching and demanding nature of the courses in French and German when opting for a modern language at Senior Cycle. 
Newbridge College Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland Tel: +353 45 487200 Fax: +353 45 487234 Email: info@newbridge-college.ie