LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS IN MFL
Edited from THE NEW SPECIFICATION FOR MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES – JUNIOR CYCLE
The new syllabus will actively engage students in the five language skills:
- Spoken production
- Spoken interaction
Language learning also helps students develop both verbal skills and mathematics, as learning a foreign language enhances abilities in areas such as problem-solving, multi-tasking and pattern recognition.
Students should be time-tabled for at least 200 hours of French in Junior Cycle which equates to about 3 – 4 classes weekly.
These hours are organised around three integrated strands:
- Communicative competence
- Language awareness
- Socio-cultural knowledge and intercultural awareness.
LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS
COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE –
The following are examples of what students will be able to accomplish in Junior Cycle French.
Identify the general topic of a conversation on familiar topics when it is expressed clearly
Recognise frequently-used words and phrases related to areas of immediate relevance and experience, including the language of routine classroom interactions
Identify specific information in texts related to familiar topics such as announcements, conversations, simple news items
Source, select and share audio stimuli such as songs, conversations, advertisements through appropriate digital technologies
Recognise the meaning of familiar words and phrases to include everyday signs and notices in public places
Understand the general sense of a text on familiar topics
Identify specific information in a range of texts dealing with familiar topics
Source and use authentic texts to explore topics of relevance through a range of media
Pronounce words accurately enough to be understood, with appropriate intonation
Convey simple descriptions, presentations or announcements on familiar topics
Interact in routine exchanges with pronunciation and intonation which is clear enough to be understood and with appropriate non-verbal language
Use simple polite forms in formal and informal situations such as greetings, thanks, introductions, and respond appropriately
Ask and answer questions and exchange ideas, emotions and information on familiar topics in everyday situations
Understand and use numbers as appropriate in everyday situations such as shopping, exchanging numbers, sequencing events
Take part in routine classroom interactions such as pair and group work, asking questions, language games and activities, asking for help and repetition where necessary
Communicate orally with others using digital technologies such as social media
Write words and create short sentences using various media (emails, letters, blogs, postcards…) on everyday topics with accuracy
Write a series of phrases and sentences linked with simple connectors such as but, and, or, as
Create texts5 about aspects of their lives and topics that interest them such as family and friends, school, holidays, leisure activities, fashion, sport, celebrities
Write short descriptions of present, past and future events, activities and personal experiences, as well as imaginative texts
Fill out forms relevant to their age group and experience
Produce and edit texts and interact with others in writing using appropriate digital technologies
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.
Recognise, describe and use language patterns such as word order, verbal system, nouns, adjectives, spelling and punctuation conventions
Apply all language learning to creative activities such as producing simple poems, posters, presentations, games and drama
Recognise how gender and social conventions influence target language usage
Identify similarities and differences between the pronunciation, intonation and rhythm of the target language and that of other languages they know
Compare grammar and vocabulary of the target language with that of other languages they know, making connections and distinctions as appropriate
Identify, share and explain their preferred language-learning strategies
Monitor and assess their own learning, using feedback they receive to reflect on what they need to improve and to set goals for improvement
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.
Name and describe some features of the target language country/countries such as geographical features, weather, places and landmarks, food.
Discover and use facts and figures related to the target country/countries such as statistical data, festivals, inventions, famous people
Reflect on what they have learned about the country/countries associated with the target language
Identify and explain some aspects of the target language country/countries in areas such as everyday living, interpersonal relations, customs and behaviours, social conventions
Identify and reflect on common stereotypes about the target culture/s, including their own, and explain if and how their attitude towards the target country/countries is evolving
Select, process and present information through the appropriate use of digital technologies, and evaluate it for truth and reliability
Analyse similarities and differences in relation to their peers’ lives in the target language country/countries in areas of daily life such as school, socialising, sport, eating habits
Compare and contrast aspects of personal interest in the target language country/countries with those in their own country and present them using a range of media
Appreciate how cultural differences influence social relations, such as in greetings and eating together
Compare and contrast the use of numbers in the target language country/countries and in their own, with regard to familiar topics such as prices, age, dates and seasons.