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These are the general aims in French, as laid down by the Department of Education and Skills:
Junior Certificate French
The general educational aims of the Junior Certificate programme in the target language are:-
(a) to contribute to pupils’ awareness of language as a system of communication;
(b) to give pupils an awareness of another culture, and thus a more objective perspective of their own culture;
(c) to contribute to the development in pupils of the capacity to engage in fruitful transactions and interactions with others:
(d) through (a), (b) and (c) to contribute to pupil’s overall personal and social development;
(e) to give pupils the possibility of access to sources of information, culture enrichment and entertainment through the target language;
(f) to encourage and equip pupils to consider participating in social and cultural activities which may involve some use of the target language;
(g) to make it possible for pupils to consider taking up job and further education/training opportunities which may involve some use of the target language;
(h) to give pupils the kind of language learning experience that will encourage and facilitate their learning further languages in later life;
(i) through (e), (f), (g) and (h) to enlarge pupils’ work, further education and leisure options.
General communicative aims:
The general communicative aims of the Junior Certificate programme in the target language are:
(a) to enable pupils to cope with the normal classroom use of the target language;
(b) to equip pupils with a competence in the target language which will enable them to provide themselves with basic necessities, to avoid misdemeanours and/or serious embarrassment, and to engage in some degree of social interaction in a country/situation where only the target language is in use.
(c) to furnish pupils with linguistic skills which will make it possible for them to pursue at least some aspects of their general interests through the medium of the target language.
(d) through (a), (b) and (c) and otherwise, to ensure that pupils’ competence in the target language is such as to be conducive to the fulfilment of the general educational aims specified above.
Leaving Certificate French
1. To foster in learners such communicative skills in the target language as will enable them to:
• Take a full part in classroom activities conducted in the target language
• Participate in normal everyday transactions and interactions, both spoken and written, both at home and abroad;
• Extract information and derive enjoyment from the mass media and the more accessible literature of the target language community;
• Consider as a realistic option the possibility of pursuing leisure activities, further study and/or career opportunities through the medium of the target language.
2. To give pupils a critical awareness of how meaning is organised and conveyed by the structures and vocabulary of the target language, and thus to contribute to their understanding of the workings of human language in general.
3. To help learners develop strategies for effective language learning.
4. To equip learners with a broad acquaintance with the cultural, social and political complexion of countries in which the target language is a normal medium of communication and thus to help raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity generally.