Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19

GCSE Irish

For first teaching from September 2017
A guide to changes in GCSE Grading

Students of our GCSE Irish specification can develop their enthusiasm for the language while increasing their confidence in the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. They learn more about Irish-speaking countries/communities, as well as covering topics like social and global issues – taking their place as citizens in a multilingual, global society.

Three contexts for learning provide plenty of variety and scope for investigating, understanding, describing, discussing and giving opinions. The contexts are:

  • identity, lifestyle and culture
  • local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • school life, studies and the world of work.

There is an external examination for each of the specification’s four assessment units, each worth 25% of the overall mark. The teacher conducts and records the speaking exam for our examiners to mark, and students have the opportunity to prepare one of the conversation topics in advance.

Specification and Specimen Assessment Materials

Our GCSE in Irish is unitised, so it’s possible to take part of the assessment at the end of the first year of study.

The specification has four units:

  • Unit 1: Listening
  • Unit 2: Speaking
  • Unit 3: Reading
  • Unit 4: Writing.

(PDF), Last Updated: 09 January 2019

Related Circulars

S/IF/55/18 - September 2018 - GCSE Modern Languages
(PDF), Last Updated: 02 October 2018

S/IF/28/18 - April 2018 - GCSE Modern Languages Unit 4 Writing – Foundation and Higher
(PDF), Last Updated: 23 May 2018

Specimen Assessment Materials

Specimen Assessment Materials
(PDF), Last Updated: 07 February 2019

Speaking Assessment

The teacher conducts the exam for Unit 2: Speaking under controlled conditions (see the specification for details). It includes two role-plays and one general conversation on two topics.

GCSE Speaking pre-release topics September 2018 (for examination Summer 2019)

Conversation Topic 1
My Local Area

Please note Conversation Topic 1 may also include the entire topic area as below or simply 'my local area'.
. My local area and the wider environment (for example home, neighbourhood, town or city, places to visit, region and country)

Speaking Examination at a glance
(PDF), Last Updated: 11 September 2018

GCSE MFL Guidance for the Conduct of the Speaking Examination
(PDF), Last Updated: 26 March 2019

GCSE MFL Candidate Role Play Response Sheet
(PDF), Last Updated: 26 March 2019

GCSE MFL Candidate Preparation Sheet
(PDF), Last Updated: 26 March 2019

Past Papers

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