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.
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:
- 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.
- READING SECTION
The reading section of the exam is allocated 100 marks or 31.25% of the total marks.
- WRITING SECTION
This section carries the least amount of marks, but at 25%, this is still a substantial chunk of the overall marking.
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|
|Emotions||School subjects||Musical Instruments||Days of the week|
|Drinks||Expressions of time||Modes of transport||House|
|Rooms of the house||Plants & Flowers||Ordinal numbers||Adjectives|
|Furniture||Technology||Signs of the zodiac||Prepositions|
EXPRESSIONS OF TIME
|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|
|Le soir||The evening|
|La nuit||The night|
|Au milieu de la nuit||In the middle of the night|
|Il y a une heure||An hour ago|
|Dans quelques minutes||In a few minutes|
|Dans 5 minutes||In 5 minutes|
|Il y a||Ago|
|Une heure||An hour|
|Une seconde||A second|
|Après cela||After that|
|Le lendemain||The day after|