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French Junior Cycle Study Notes

Parlez-vous anglais?

Of course you do. Sure, weren’t you brought up speaking it and isn’t it the most important language in the world, used in business, the entertainment world and even the Internet? What’s the point in spending time trying to learn some foreign language? When will I ever get to use it, besides in school exams?

Au contraire. It has never been more advantageous to speak a foreign language and French is the most widely studied language in Irish schools. Knowing some French can open up the world to you for travel, work or holiday purposes. It is spoken by more than 200 million people worldwide, including six European countries, far-flung Canada, numerous African states and parts of the Far East. As the EU expands and more and more Irish people work for global companies, having a second language can make a big difference to your career opportunities.

Of course, a knowledge of French language and culture brings a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your future appreciation of the finer things in life - the food, wine, arts and entertainment that you will come across as you encounter other ways of life. It’s also a sure-fire way to make a good impression on that someone special in your life!

The Junior Cert course is designed to prepare students to be competent in the four main language areas – speaking, listening, reading and writing. There is an aural exam but no oral exam to worry about. You will learn practical communication skills, how to write postcards, letters and e-mails in French, and most of the answers on the written paper are required in English so there is no excuse!

Allons! Learning a language is much easier as a younger student and you can make rapid progress. There is less pressure on you and more time to explore areas of interest and maybe visit France a couple of times to experience the life and culture. You will have added considerably to your ‘joie de vivre’ for years to come.


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