FRENCH JUNIOR CERTIFICATE EXAM PAPER READING COMPREHENSION

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Submitted by FrenchNotes.ie’s director Elizabeth Hayes:

Elizabeth Hayes-Lyne is the owner and founder of FrenchNotes.ie which is a website that provides material for the Junior Cert & Leaving Cert French Exams. She is the author of the popular Listening & Oral book, Bonne Chance, published by Gill & Macmillan. She is a member of the Teaching Council of Ireland, and is a State Examiner with the State Examinations Commission. Elizabeth is a French teacher in the CBS, Sexton Street, Limerick. 

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The Junior Certificate French exam focuses on the receptive skills in language learning. Therefore, most marks are awarded for listening and reading. The productive skills of writing and speaking are given more prominence in the senior cycle.

The Higher level Junior Cert French paper is divided into 3 sections:

  1. LISTENING COMPREHENSION

This section of the exam is really pivotal, as it carries a total of 140 marks or 43.75% of the total marks awarded.

  1. READING SECTION

The reading section of the exam is allocated 100 marks or 31.25% of the total marks.

  1. WRITING SECTION

This section carries the least amount of marks, but at 25%, this is still a substantial chunk of the overall marking.

READING SECTION

The reading section is a section which carries 100 marks or about 31% of the total marks. With this in mind, it is a very important section.

There are usually 9 reading pieces for you to contend with going from very easy to more difficult, as you progress through the paper. While it is difficult to predict what will come up, there is usually a pattern which emerges from year to year. We will look at the key areas of vocabulary that will need to do very well in the reading section.

In order to do really well in this section you will have to go over the following themes of vocabulary, which I have illustrated using a table below. My advice for the time left before the exam, is that you get a list together of words relating to each topic. I have included a list of vocabulary for Expressions of time to get you started.

 

THEMES OF VOCABULARY FOR JUNIOR CERTIFICATE

 

Numbers Greetings Shopping Reservations for campsites, hotels
Weather Pastimes The town Road accidents
Sport Work & professions Notices /signs News items
Invitations Holidays Fashion /clothes Colours
Food School items Health Directions
Emotions School subjects Musical Instruments Days of the week
Countries Animals Fruit Vegetables
Drinks Expressions of time Modes of transport House
Rooms of the house Plants & Flowers Ordinal numbers Adjectives
Furniture Technology Signs of the zodiac Prepositions

VOCABULARY

EXPRESSIONS OF TIME

Français Anglais
Aujourd’hui Today
Hier Yesterday
Demain Tomorrow
L’année Prochaine Next year
L’année dernière Last year
Un demi-heure A half an hour
Une journée A day
Le matin The morning
L’après-midi The afternoon
Le soir The evening
La nuit The night
Au milieu de la nuit In the middle of the night
midi Midday
Minuit Midnight
Il y a une heure An hour ago
Dans quelques minutes In a few minutes
Dans 5 minutes In 5 minutes
Prochaine Next
Dernière Last
Il y a Ago
Une minute minute
Un moment moment
Une heure An hour
Une seconde A second
Après cela After that
Le lendemain The day after
Enfin/ finalement finally
avant before
Après After
pendant during
Annuel Annual
Plus tard later

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