The list of subjects for the Leaving Certificate examination includes the following language subjects: Irish, English, Ancient Greek, Arabic, French, German, Hebrew Studies, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Russian.
The State Examinations Commission also provides examinations in a range of subjects in the language area referred to as the non-curricular EU languages. These are languages which do not appear as part of the normal school curriculum but which students may opt to be examined in if they meet certain criteria. Chief among these conditions are the requirements that candidates for these examinations :
Another condition is that candidates may undertake examination in one non-curricular language subject only.
- Be from a member state of the European Union
- Speak the language in which they opt to be examined in as a mother tongue,
- Have followed a programme of study leading to the Leaving Certificate
- Be taking Leaving Certificate English
For 2012 these examinations are offered in the following subjects:
Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian,
Modern Greek, Finnish, Polish, Estonian, Slovakian,
Swedish, Czech, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch
The development of the examinations in these languages has evolved over time. From time to time the SEC, and prior to 2003 the Department of Education and Science, have received requests to provide examinations for native speakers in their mother tongue. The policy has been to accede to these requests in the case of the national languages of EU states in line with the commitment made by member states under Article 149 of the Treaty of Nice. This states that "Community action shall be aimed at developing the European dimension in education, particularly through the teaching and dissemination of the languages of the Member States."
The model for the non-curricular language examination papers is based on the First Foreign Language final written paper of the European Baccalaureate.
School candidates can register for the non-curricular language examinations through their schools and candidates studying outside of school or non-school attending candidates (i.e. external candidates) can use the external candidate application form available here.
State Examinations Commission,
Phone: 090 6442702, 6442703, 6442706
Fax: 090 6442709