Junior Cycle

¡ Bienvenido al Departamento de Español!

Welcome to the Spanish Department.

In the Junior Cycle Spanish is taught using all 4 key language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Learners are introduced to topics including family, school, past times, holidays etc and learn to write letters and translate sentences. We focus on vocabulary and grammar and all aspects of the language including the culture of Spanish speaking countries – fiestas, food, dancing and music. We promote interactive and collaborative learning through the use of technology such as iPads and language apps.

The Junior Certificate Exam is divided into two sections :

  • Aural - 45%

  • Written paper - 55%.

More About the Junior Cert Exam

The exam has 3 different sections; Please refer to past paper in order to understand the layout of the exam and what is required. These are found on

  • Aural / Listening - 140 marks (44%)

  • Reading Comprehensions - 100 marks Honours (31%) or 120 marks Ordinary (38%)

  • Written Expression - 80 marks Honours (25%) or 60 marks Ordinary (19%)

1. Aural / Listening

All questions MUST be answered in ENGLISH.

There are four distinct sections to the listening exam. Dialogos/ Anuncios/ Una noticia/ Descriptivo. The listening script is the same for both Higher and Ordinary level only the questions are different. The first section ALWAYS begins with directions. The remaining segments are conversations: (Times, numbers, dates and months are often asked in this section)

Section B- This deals with announcements (Bus, train, plane arrivals and departures or delays are announced) Instructions given in a school, themepark, museum ,concert etc.

Section C- This consists of a news ítem- An accident, a strike, a fire, a sporting event.

Section D- This is the most difficult section. It usually consists of two descriptive passages. The best way to revise for this section is by practising this section in the exam papers.

Also refer to the listening book “Vamos a Escuchar” (All students have this book and the accompanying CDs)

2. Reading Comprehension

Students should aim to spend one hour on the reading section the exam. To prepare for the this section of the exam you need to read as much as you can in Spanish. You need to read a variety of texts: newspaper articles, road signs, advertisements, guides and brochures relating to concerts, sporting events, museums, galleries etc.

Section A - Multiple choice / general vocabulary/ signs/ household objects/ places in town/ food/ classroom items/ Sports/ parts of the body.

Section B - 5 vocab questions. Q. 2-5 Small comprehensions. Questions are all in English so answer in English. Ie. Articles from a magazines/ newspaper.

Q6. Giving advice- ie. Consejos= advice ie. What you should do at the beach (2013)/ what you should do if you don’t have air conditioning in the heat (2012)

Section C - 3 articles at Higher Level and 4 at Ordinary Level. Usually articles from magazines/ newspapers.

Section D - Two final comprehensions. Usually the most difficult.The first one is a dialogue between two people and the second one is a descriptive piece. It is usually about a town/ a festival/ a country. TIP ALWAYS READ THE QUESTIONS FIRST.

3. Written Expression

Higher level

Section A (10 marks) - los números y las fechas / numbers and dates.

Section B (30 marks) - frases para traducer/ translation sentences.

Section C (40 marks) - carta

Ordinary Level

Section A (10 marks) - los números/ numbers and dates

Section B (30 marks) - frases para traducer/ translation sentences

Section C (40 marks) - carta/ letter

Spanish Images

Consejos/ Tips

Remember that changing the language over to Spanish on a dvd is a great way for learning a language and enjoyable.

Also a lot of Spanish songs are also a great way to learn Spanish. Here are some popular Spanish (speaking) singers/ latino singers!

Alejandro Sanz Loona- Vamos a la playa Amaral

Chayanne Estopa Juanes

Shakira Buena Vista Social Club Rodrigo y Gabriela (only music)

Enrique Iglesias Gotan Project Los Lobos

Manu Chao La Oreja de Van Gogh

La Oreja de Van Gogh