The new Leaving Certificate Irish course retains its previous focus on language and literature with two written papers (50% of overall mark) which allow pupils to read articles and write essays on current topical issues which affect the Irish nation, both at home and abroad. As well as this, pupils study poetry and prose which reflect the rich tradition of storytelling inherent in the Irish language. These stories and poems range from the stories of the Fianna to modern day tales relevant to young people.
Pupils also do a listening comprehension where the various dialects of the spoken language are introduced (Uladh, Connacht agus Mumhan). The value of the aural test has been reduced to 10% and it is now contained within Paper One.
The new Leaving Certificate brings spoken Irish to the forefront. It now accounts for 40% of the overall mark for Leaving Certificate and allows pupils and teachers the opportunity to engage with the language in a meaningful and lively way. “Teanga beatha í a labhairt”.