Information Points Arising from discussion at Ministerial Council Meetings

3. Help for parents in finding a school where their child's mother tongue is taught

Question 1. A question was raised as to how can parents find out which schools teach a particular language e.g. Russian?

Response: Parents can contact the Post-Primary Languages Initiative at 01- 853 5136 for information.

Question 2. A query was raised as to the range of languages that are available for students to be examined in.

Response: In the Irish school system, the curricular languages available are English, Irish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek, Japanese, Arabic and Russian.

In addition, the State Examinations Commission provides examinations in a range of languages referred to as "non-curricular languages". These are languages which do not appear as part of the normal school curriculum but which Leaving Certificate students may opt to be examined in if they meet certain criteria. For example, if the candidates:

1. are from a member state of the EU

2. speak the language in which they opt to be examined in as their mother tongue

3. have followed a programme of study leading to the Leaving Certificate

4. are also presenting for Leaving Certificate English.

The number of languages on offer to students increased from 9 in 2005 to 16 in 2009 (Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Modern Greek, Finnish, Polish, Estonian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Swedish, Czech, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Danish and Dutch). The model for the non-curricular language examination papers is based on the first foreign language final written paper of the European Baccalaureate.

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