Junior Certificate Irish
Junior Certificate Irish builds upon the language developed during primary education. The learner’s vocabulary is both reinforced and enriched at this stage and the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are further developed. In addition the learner’s linguistic and cultural awareness are expanded over the three years of junior cycle.
There is currently one Irish syllabus at junior cycle, and a candidate may take the examination at one of three levels i.e. Foundation Level, Ordinary Level or Higher Level. An oral examination worth 40% of the overall marks is given at all three levels. Literary works, chosen by the teacher must be studied at higher level only, but the study of appropriate literary works in order to promote language development is also encouraged at the two other levels.
Note: A new specification for Gaeilge is due to be introduced to first years in September 2017 as part of Phase 3 of the new Junior Cycle. These students will be assessed at two levels in future.
Leaving Certificate Irish
Leaving Certificate Irish builds upon the language developed during Junior Cycle. All four language skills are further developed in order to enable the learner take an active part in the bilingual society in which we live in today in Ireland. The learner is encouraged to develop and share her/his views on a range of topics. The learner is also prepared during Senior Cycle for further study in or through Irish.
Irish is assessed at three levels i.e. Foundation Level, Ordinary Level or Higher Level. The learner’s oral competency is assessed around Easter of the final year, in an oral examination worth 40%, at each level, of the overall mark, and the other three skills are assessed in June. Aspects of literary works must be studied at Ordinary Level while at Higher Level these same works and additional material must be studied in greater detail.
The NCCA is currently undertaking a review of the Leaving Certificate Syllabus.