Roinn na Nuatheangacha
The Modern Languages Department
Le Département des Langues Modernes

Year 8
Year 8 students will study either Irish, French or both languages for two
periods per week. Topics studied will include Greetings, Numbers, Days and
Months, Myself and My Family and School Life, with the main focus being
on speaking the target language. At the end of Year 8, students will choose
one language to focus on in Years 9 and 10.

Year 9
Pupils now study their chosen language for four periods each week. Topics
covered include Hobbies, Holidays, Shopping and Food, and Home Life. As
well as speaking, there will be a greater emphasis on listening, reading and writing, and also on Grammar.

Year 10
The main focus in Year 10 is the OLA (Online Language Assessment) exam,
which pupils will sit in May or June. They will be tested in each of the key
skills; speaking, listening, reading and writing. Pupils who do well in this exam
will then have the option of continuing to GCSE level in their chosen language.

Extra-curricular activities
The Modern Languages Department is keenly aware of the importance of showing our pupils that we study not just subjects, but ‘living languages’, and we try to let our students experience this as often as possible. Regular events in the Department include:

• The Gael Linn Irish Quiz.
• The French Theatre for Schools troupe performs annually.
• Trips to the Irish Schools Drama Festival.
• Irish Christmas pantomime in the Cultúrlann in Belfast.
• Irish concerts.
• Language cinema trips.
• Annual Paris trip.
• Many students travel to the Donegal Gaeltacht every summer.

You can view pictures of some of these events below, and in the St. Mark’s Newsletter.

GCSE Languages
Both GCSE Irish and French students follow the CCEA Specification. The course is divided into three contexts for learning. These are outlined below:

Context 1: The Individual
Students’ lives, families, homes and interests, and those of others in Irish-speaking communities
• Relationships: families and friends;
• Local environment: advantages and disadvantages;
• Activities: daily routine and leisure activities; and
• Health and lifestyle: diet, exercise and illness.

Context 2: Citizenship
Lifestyles, attitudes and customs in students’ own communities, and in Irish-speaking communities
• Social issues: problems in society and equality;
• Travel and tourism: destinations and choices;
• Environmental issues: attitudes to and responsibilities for litter, transport, energy, conservation and recycling;
• Media and communications;
• Celebrations: festivals and customs; and
• Gaeltacht.

Context 3: Employability
Education and employment in students’ own communities and in other, Irish-speaking communities
• School life;
• Part-time jobs: advantages and disadvantages; and
• Future plans: choices and expectations.

There are two examinations for GCSE languages: a listening paper and a reading paper. They are each worth 20 percent of the final mark. The rest of the mark comes from the new Controlled Assessment tasks. Students must complete two Controlled Assessment speaking tasks and two writing tasks. Each task focuses on one of the three contexts in the specification.

For more information, follow these links to the Student Guides: