The French teachers in the college are Niamh Woods and Lisa O’ Sullivan. Schull Community College recognizes the importance of demonstrating that French is a living language and that all efforts must be made to teach French as a “real” language. With this in mind the French teachers take a group of students to France for one week on an Exchange Programme each year. The Exchange Programme with College La Sine in Vence near Nice in the South of France has been operating since 2005. See section on “French Exchange” for further details.  Other activities incorporating French include a visit each year from the theatre group “French Theatre for Schools” who perform a play written specifically for second level students.  As part of the Fastnet Short Film Festival students have attended a screening of a French film in Schull.
The French department in the college, fully understands the need to build students’ confidence in all aspects of the language learning process. With this in mind great emphasis is placed on the spoken language, with the target language being used in the classroom as much as possible. As an examination subject the four skills of language learning are covered – Comprehension, Writing, Listening and Oral.


Junior Certificate French Course

 All First Year students must study French and no prior knowledge of the language is necessary.  The First Year French course consists of an introduction to French vocabulary and basic communication skills.  The second and third year French course focuses on preparing students for the Junior Certificate examination. This paper consists of a Listening Comprehension test (40%), Reading Comprehensions (33%) and a Written Section (27%).

Leaving Certificate French Course

 French is an optional subject at senior cycle.  In making subject choices students should remember that a modern language is an entry requirement for many university courses.

The Oral Examination accounts for 25% of marks awarded in the Leaving Certificate French exam while the Listening Comprehension test is worth 20%.  It is important that students feel comfortable listening to and speaking French therefore regular practice of these skills is encouraged from the early stages.  The Reading Comprehensions and Written Section of the Leaving Cert exam require a more advanced standard of French.  In particular students taking the higher level paper need to express themselves in relation to topics such as the economy and various youth issues.


Why Choose French as a subject?

The study of modern languages develops linguistic skills, prepares you to better understand other cultures and generally broadens your horizons.  The ability to express yourself in another language will prepare you for the challenges of the global community in which we live.

Students of French can look forward to a world of career options, some of which include business, government, journalism, education, interpreting or translating. The demand for speakers of foreign languages continues to grow across all sectors of the economy with employers placing great value on employees who can communicate with import and export partners.

The French exchange

The Exchange Programme between Schull Community College and College La Sine in Vence, near Nice in the South of France has been operating since 2005.  The well-established link between our two schools and communities has led to many friendships between students and families.

As part of the Exchange Programme approximately 20 students travel to France for a week in March or April.  They spend a week with their French Exchange partner experiencing French family life and sampling the culture.  Students from Schull also go on excursions during the course of the Exchange to see some of what the beautiful French Riviera has to offer.  In the past destinations have included  Cannes,  Monaco, Nice and the beautiful  village of St. Paul de Vence to name but a few.  Each year students particularly enjoy their visit to the Accrobranche activity park where their endurance and tree climbing skills are put to the test.

On their return visit during the month of May students from College La Sine spend a week in the homes of their ‘correspondants’ in Schull and surrounding areas experiencing some true West Cork hospitality.    In recent years the French students were accompanied by their Irish partners on trips to Mizen Head and Killarney. French students also enjoyed a visit to Lough Hyne and Skibberen Heritage Centre to learn about some local history.  The highlight of their week is certainly a day spent sailing, even if temperatures are a little cooler than those which they are used to at home!

The French Exchange Programme continues to be a very positive experience for students and their families, both culturally and linguistically.

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