Junior Certificate Irish builds upon the language developed during primary education. The learner’s vocabulary is both reinforced and enriched at this stage and the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are further developed. In addition the learner’s linguistic and cultural awareness are expanded over the three years of junior cycle.
There is currently one Irish syllabus at junior cycle, and a candidate may take the examination at one of three levels i.e. Foundation Level, Ordinary Level or Higher Level. An optional school-based oral examination worth 40% of the overall marks is offered at all three levels. Literary works, chosen by the school and based on certain criteria must be studied at higher level only, but the study of appropriate literary works in order to promote language development is also encouraged at the two other levels.
Note: : A new specification for Gaeilge will be made available in 2015 for introduction to first years in September 2016 as part of Phase 3 of the new Junior Cycle. These students will be assessed at two levels in future.