Introduction to French

The Leaving Certificate Examination in French, at both levels, is comprised of three components:

  • An oral examination,
  • A written paper containing both reading comprehension material and a written production section
  • And a listening comprehension test


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%


Oral Examination

The oral examination which takes place in the school is administered by external examiners. It takes place in March or April before the Leaving Certificate. It consists of a conversation of approximately twelve minutes duration during which candidates were given the opportunity to display their proficiency in the spoken language. Candidates have the option of bringing in a document of their choice. This could consist of a photograph or picture, a newspaper or magazine article, a literary text or a project. All candidates were marked out of a total of 100 marks, which were allocated as follows:

  • Pronunciation (20 marks)
  • Vocabulary (20 marks)
  • Structures (30 marks)
  • Communication (30 marks)


Useful Tips

  • Try to learn about 5 new words a day. Keep these in a Vocabulary notebook, either organised alphabetically or by topic.
  • Listen to French songs and news items. These will help with understanding French and also with pronunciation.
  • Practise reading and saying phrases, letters etc. as well as writing them. This will help with recalling material when necessary.
  • Make posters for your own home/bedroom wall or label items with post-it notes.
  • Practise, practise, practise! It is not possible to cram a language. Frequent practise of oral work in particular will reap the rewards.


Useful websites for students

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