Dominican College
Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9

JC - Modern Foreign Languages

JC - Modern Foreign Languages

Our aim in all years is to develop skills in all four competencies; Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

We wish to foster a love of the Modern Foreign Languges and culture and hope that all our students will be able to communicate to a high standard.

Click here for an information leaflet on MFL

The Specification for Junior Cycle Modern Foreign Languages

The Specification for Junior Cycle Modern Foreign Languages is designed for a minimum of 200 hours of timetabled student engagement, and is organised around three integrated strands: Communicative competence, Language awareness and Socio-cultural knowledge and intercultural awareness.

Strand 1:Communicative competence: Communicative competence enables students to communicate in the target language for meaningful purposes. In this strand, students engage in language activities and tasks involving the integrated language skills of listening, reading, spoken

Strand 2:Language awareness: Language awareness enhances the students’ general awareness about languages. In this strand, they analyse how the target language works, they compare the languages they know (English, Irish and/or their mother tongue) and they reflect on their own language-learning strategies.

Strand 3:Socio-cultural knowledge: and intercultural awareness Socio-cultural knowledge and intercultural awareness gives students access to new cultural dimensions and encourages them to reflect on their own culture. In this strand, students acquire cultural information about the target country/countries and are encouraged to compare other cultures to their own.

Assessment for the JCPA

The assessment of junior cycle modern foreign languages for the purposes of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) will comprise two Classroom-Based Assessments (Oral communication and the student language portfolio), an Assessment Task linked to the Student Language Portfolio and a final examination. The Assessment Task and the final examination will be assessed by the State Examinations Commission.

Classroom-Based Assessment 1: (End of year 2)

Oral communication: The purpose of this Classroom-Based Assessment is for the student to demonstrate the skills of oral production and oral interaction. However, other skills may be developed, e.g. reading, writing, listening, or basic research. In completing the oral communication activity, students may use any one of the following formats: interview, role-play, presentation (accompanied by a question-and answer session), or conversation in response to stimulus material. For this oral communication, the student will focus on an aspect of the target language country/ countries) or culture; or on a simulation of an experience in a target language country; or on a topic or stimulus of interest. Students may work individually, in pairs or in groups. However, where students have collaborated to complete the activity, the teacher should ensure that each student makes a meaningful individual contribution.

Classroom-Based Assessment 2: The student language portfolio: (year 3)Over the three years of junior cycle, each student develops a language portfolio. The student language portfolio focuses on the process of language learning and places the learner at the centre of teaching, assessment and learning. It provides the MFL student with an opportunity to set personal learning goals across the five skills in strand one, to engage with and reflect on their language learning as outlined in strand two and to develop and document their sociocultural awareness, thereby supporting the learning outcomes in strand three. Using the student language portfolio supports formative assessment in the MFL classroom and facilitates students in showcasing their language-learning achievements. The student language portfolio will include a broad range of items, such as written texts, projects, audio-visual materials, learning logs, student reflections and learning goals. It is recognised that in this context the student’s created texts may be presented in different formats—handwritten, digital, multi-modal, and so on. Students learn a lot from the process of language acquisition when they are taught how to use a portfolio to document and reflect on their learning. They need to develop confidence in interaction and an awareness of the process of language acquisition. The second Classroom-Based Assessment offers students a chance to celebrate their achievements as language learners in a variety of media by choosing three pieces from those compiled over time and presenting them for assessment.

The Assessment Task

Students complete a formal written Assessment Task to be submitted to the State Examinations Commission for marking along with the final examination for modern foreign languages. It is allocated 10% of the marks used to determine the grade awarded by the State Examinations Commission. The Assessment Task is specified by the NCCA and related to the learning outcomes on which the second Classroom-Based Assessment is based. The Assessment Task is devised from some or all of the following elements in year 3:

  • • A short stimulus in written, audio, audio-visual or multi-modal format to prepare for the written task.
  • • A written task that tests the students in

- their ability to outline and/or discuss their experience of compiling a portfolio of language learning

- their understanding and evaluation of that experience

- their capacity to reflect on the skills they have developed

- their understanding of a cultural aspect of the target language country about which there will be evidence of learning in the student’s portfolio.

As the key purpose of the Assessment Task is to encourage student reflection on the process of language learning, the questions and answers will be in the language of schooling.

The final assessment

There will be one examination paper at a common level, set by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). Students will sit this written examination paper of up to two hours duration at the end of the third year. They will be required to engage with, demonstrate comprehension of, and respond to stimulus material, which will include an aural stimulus. In any year, the learning outcomes to be assessed will constitute a sample of the outcomes from the tables of learning outcomes. The aural component will be allocated 35% of the marks used to determine the grade awarded by the State Examinations Commission.

Link to JCT MFL website:

Link to students talking about MFL:

Useful websites and links


Easy site with great videos.

Great practice for oral work.

An online certification Spanish programme for schools

A virtual Spanish classroom

Planning courses to improve MFL competency

European Language Colleges run highly reputable courses at schools in Dublin, Clane, Roscrea and Limerick for students looking to have a fantastic time while improving their French.

Guaranteed to improve your French!

Ideally located in Dublin City Centre, the Allicance runs courses for French speakers at all levels, all year round.

This organisation offers residential courses/stays in France, Germany and Spain.

Innovative teaching in Co.Cork for Senior Students running mid-term and summer curriculum focussed courses.

The French Institute in Galway runs exam preparation courses for L.C. students, and exam focussed summer courses.

These courses are aimed at children aged between 3 and 12, and young learners aged between 13 and 18. Open to pupils with previous knowledge of German and to beginners.

Escuela International,Madrid/Salamanca/Malaga (Learn Spanish abroad).

Spanish summer camp in Galicia.

Instituto Cervantes, 54 Northhumberland Rd.,Dublin 4

This institute hosts spanish courses to students throughout the year.

A site to facilitate exchanges between Irish students and students from France, Germany and Spain.

Arranges placements in French schools for TY and 5th Year students, and organises summer camps for Irish students to study abroad.

Similar to Living Language, experienced at organising TY exchanges to partner schools in France.

The UK's largest foreign-language bookseller.

204 Griffith Ave, Dublin 9, Ireland, D09A5X0.
01 837 6080
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