Importance of oral communication in the new Junior Certificate cycle

The new Junior Cycle for Irish has eliminated the traditional oral examination, however, it would be self- destructive to eliminate the oral element from your Irish learning experience. The new curriculum challenges students' capability to communicate through large elements of listening, grammar and of course the oral portion of the CBA assessment.

  1. Listening- The listening portion of the exam is worth 10% of the overall grade. This is widely considered as a challenging portion for 'rote learning' students as the dialects cannot be easily understood, unless a student has experience of conversing or listening to them frequently.

  2. Classroom Based Assessment- "The Communicative task gives students the opportunity to choose  a subject, topic or issue they are interested or which is important to them, and explore it over a period of time. In this task, strong emphasis is placed on the student’s oral competency and interaction and their link to the language community." (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment ).

  3. Grammar- Sentence structure and grammar litters the new exam and demands a high standard of fluency when it comes to formulating a coherent argument / point. This can be learned and supported by textbooks, however, the basic understanding is obtained through conversation in the Irish language where students can recall word order in high pressure environments such as exams.

The new Junior Cycle may not contain a heavily weighted oral examination, but fluency in the language still remains pertinent to exam success.

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