Belvedere College - French




French is a compulsory subject taken by all pupils up to the end of Transition Year and becomes optional in 5th and 6th years to Leaving Certificate level.

Strong emphasis is placed on communicative skills and classes are generally conducted through the medium of the target language.
Teachers of French make great effort to hone all four language skills; speaking, listening, reading and writing in preparation for Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations.

Students are also encouraged spend time in France during their six years of study.
Joe Thuillier organises the Lyon Exchange for TY students and it is a great opportunity for students to practise their language skills and to gain first-hand experience of French life.
Other activities include inter-school debates, excursions and competitions.

Mission Statement

The French Department is committed to the academic, social and personal development of the students, but also to help the less able ones to reach their own potential, regardless of standard. In insisting on high standards, our intention is not merely ‘academic’ but is aimed at assisting the boys to develop their personality and abilities in a much broader sense-to think beyond the exams and enjoy learning.

A great deal of time is spent, outside of class time, in helping students individually. This is perhaps most evident in the preparation of Rhetoric students for the Leaving Certificate oral exam, where many teachers see the pupils on a one-to-one basis. This is not the only way, however, in which care is shown for each individual boy. Where necessary, teachers give extra time, after school hours, to students experiencing particular problems in French.

Culturally, we endeavour to develop the boys’ awareness of France and its distinctive culture and thereby, hopefully, help to make them more aware of the divergence of cultures beyond our own shores (and increasingly within Ireland itself). The Lyon exchange is a practical example of this aspect of our work.

Our policy in regard to how French is taught us essentially encapsulated above. We place great emphasis on academic standards, not for their own sake, but rather as a means of developing the person in a more general way. The individual student is given priority as a human being. It is our intention to help each boy to widen his horizons in an enjoyable, fulfilling way. In this way it fits in perfectly, we feel with the aims of Jesuit education.

French being a language which is spoken world-wide emphasises the wider world, albeit through an emphasis on one language. In the context of the European Union, it has a practical as well as a cultural significance-working and spending holidays in French-speaking countries etc.

French Department Team

John Connell (Head of Dept)
Catherine Keogh
Louise Curtin
Ms. E. Grealy (Mr. J. Thuillier)
Simon Murphy
Ms. A. O'Donoghue
Ms. L. O'Sullivan
Ms. M. Siggins

Junior Certificate French

General communicative aims as per the Department of Education Syllabus:

(a) To enable pupils to cope with the normal classroom use of the target language;

(b) To equip pupils with a competence in the target language which would enable them to provide themselves with basic necessities, to avoid misdemeanours and/or serious embarrassment, and to engage in some degree of social interaction in a country/situation where only the target language was in use;

(c) To furnish pupils with linguistic skills which will make it possible for them to pursue at least some aspects of their general interests through the medium of the target language;

(d) Through (a), (b) and (c) and otherwise, to ensure that pupils’ competence in the target language is such as to be conducive to the fulfilment of the general educational aims specified above.

Breakdown of French Junior Cert Honours Paper (320 marks)

Aural 140 marks    43.75%
Comprehensions 100 marks    31.25%
Written  Expression 80 marks      25%

Breakdown of French Junior Cert Ordinary Paper (320 marks)

Aural 140 marks    43.75%
Comprehensions 120 marks    37.5%
Written  Expression 60 marks      18.75%

Leaving Certificate French

Link to French Department of Education syllabus - Click here

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%


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