Modern Language – French

Bienvenue à notre département de Français!

St. Dominic's College currently offers a range of languages including French, German and more recently, Russian and Chinese. As a department, we are proud of and committed to our tradition of excellence and achievements to date and continue to encourage our students to achieve their best.


As a department, we aim to increase interest and enthusiasm for language learning and to equip our students with relevant linguistic skills that will serve them well in their future lives beyond school days. We are fully aware of the importance of learning a foreign language and its relevance in securing employment at home and further afield. Our aim is also to foster an understanding and appreciation in students of the different cultures and traditions linked to these languages, so as to enrich our students' experience of learning and broaden their horizons.

Aims and Objectives

The modern languages taught in St. Dominic's College share common aims and objectives, amongst these we seek:

  • To enable students to acquire the four main linguistic skills to the best of their ability - listening - speaking - reading and writing.
  • To provide opportunities for students to communicate confidently and express themselves in the target language for everyday communicative purposes.
  • To introduce students to various cultures and traditions associated with their chosen language and to foster and understanding and appreciation of same.
  • To promote learner autonomy, a spirit of enquiry and a level of fluency suitable to the individual learner.
  • To encourage students to reach their own individul potential in state examinations.

Why French? Pourquoi le Francais?

There are many advantages to learning a modern foreign language, but notably the following:

  • It is an international language, recognised by employers worldwide, and hence will improve your career prospects.
  • It is spoken by approximately 80 million people worldwide.
  • It is derived from Latin, the foundation of many languages, and will therefore make it easier for you to learn other languages.
  • It is a beautiful language 🙂


  • In First Year we currently offer a choice of two languages – French and German.
  • Students are exposed to their chosen language up to 5 times a week.
  • Pupils in Transition Year can continue their language at an advanced level or may try out a new language – beginners’ French, German, Russian and Chinese are currently offered. Pupils may then continue to study their chosen language for the Leaving Certificate examination. (Classes may be offered subject to a minimum number of applicants.)
  • French and German are both offered at Leaving Certificate level and senior language classes (in Fifth and Sixth year) are timetabled at 5 periods per week.


Our French department comprises of the following teachers:

  • Mr Gormley
  • Ms Cluskey
  • Ms McManus
  • Ms Shanley Blake
  • Ms O'Sullivan
  • Ms Mulcahy


Our choice of core textbook changes every three years or so in keeping with modern curriculum demands. Aside from traditional teaching methods, we place a strong emphasis on incorporating the use of ICT in our teaching and learning. St. Dominic's school library contains a wide range of resources, including language books, magazines and DVDs. Our librarian, Ms. Dickson, is also happy to take requests for new relevant learning materials. Students can also make use of our three computer rooms as well as our laptop trolley to further their language and communication skills. Access to e-learning, online resources, language websites and podcasts are all vital in students' preparation for both written and oral exams.

School trips and activities

Our students have the opportunity to engage in a school trip to either Germany or France, every year, on rotation.

Our most recent French trip took place in October 2016 when we spent four days in the capital, Paris. Our itinerary included a full day trip to Disneyland, a river cruise on the Seine, the famous Eiffel Tower, an afternoon in the Musée d'Orsay as well as enjoying everything else Paris has to offer.

We are also involved in excursions to the IFI and Lighthouse Cinema, as well as plays and modern expositions. We have also entertained our students with language theatre groups who tour secondary schools in Ireland. Class groups regularly enjoy le petit-déjeuner français (French breakfast) which embraces the culture of the language.

Every year we encourage our junior students to participate in European Languages Day on the 26th of September, where we celebrate the various languages and cultures throughout our school. Together we participate in quizzes, poster-making competitions, badges, foreign greeting displays and film screenings as well as multi-lingual announcements.

Useful links

The following links are used by both teachers and students to enhance their language skills. Feel free to browse:

Moving forward

The Modern Language Department plans to use our new website as well as our Twitter account to keep students and parents/guardians posted on excursions, achievements and developments within our departement. We look forward to sharing an exciting year of experiences with you. Watch this space!

Bon courage et à bientôt!