Expectations for Students/Learning Outcomes

Expectations for students is an umbrella term that links learning outcomes with annotated examples of student work in the subject or short course specification. When teachers, students or parents looking at the online specification scroll over the learning outcomes, a link will sometimes be available to examples of work associated with a specific learning outcome or with a group of learning outcomes. The examples of student work will have been selected to illustrate expectations and will have been annotated by teachers. The examples will include work that is  

  • exceptional
  • above expectations
  • in line with expectations

The purpose of the examples of student work is to show the extent to which the learning outcomes are being realised in actual cases. 

Learning outcomes

Junior Cycle English is offered at two levels, Higher and Ordinary and the final assessment will reflect this. The examples of student work linked to learning outcomes will offer commentary and insights that support differentiation. The learning outcomes set out in the following tables apply to all students. As set out here they represent outcomes for students at the end of their three years of study. To provide continuity with language learning in primary education a sub-set of 22 learning outcomes for first year is indicated by the symbol § in the tables of outcomes. The outcomes chosen for this purpose articulate well with content objectives for 5th and 6th classes in the Primary English Curriculum and focusing on them in first year will support the transition from English in primary school. The specification stresses that the learning outcomes are for three years. Therefore, the learning outcomes being focused on in first year will not have been ‘completed’ at the end of that year but will continue to support the student’s language development up to the end of junior cycle.

While all outcomes should be considered when planning a for students’ Junior Cycle English experience, those outcomes marked with an asterisk (*) indicate the outcomes upon which the Final Assessment will be based. 

The outcomes are numbered 1-13 for Oral Language, 1-13 for Reading and 1-13 for Writing. The numbering is intended to support teacher planning in the first instance and does not imply any hierarchy of importance across the outcomes themselves. Some overlap and repetition in learning outcomes across the strands is necessary. This arises naturally from and emphasises the integration of language learning across Oral Language, Reading, and Writing.

Strand 1: Oral Language

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Communicating as a listener, speaker, reader, writer
  1. OL 1

    know and use the conventions of oral language interaction, in a variety of contexts, including class groups,  for a range of purposes, such as asking for information, stating an opinion, listening to others, informing, explaining, arguing, persuading, criticising, commentating, narrating, imagining, speculating §

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  2. OL 2

    engage actively and responsively within class groups in order to listen to or recount experiences and to express  feelings and ideas §

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  3. OL 3

    engage in extended and constructive discussion of their own and other students’ work

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  4. OL 4

    listen actively in order to get the gist of an account or presentation noting its main points and purpose §

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  5. OL 5

    deliver a short oral text, alone and/or in collaboration with others, using appropriate language, style and visual content for specific audiences and chosen purposes §

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  6. OL 6

    learn from and evaluate models of oral language use to enrich their own oral language production

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  7. OL 7

    *choose appropriate language, style and visual content for specific audiences and chosen purposes: persuading, informing, narrating, describing a process §

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2. Exploring and using language
  1. OL 8

    *listen actively in order to interpret meaning, compare, evaluate effectiveness of, and respond to drama, poetry, media broadcasts, digital media, noting key ideas, style, tone, content and overall impact in a systematic way §

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  2. OL 9

    apply what they have learned about the effectiveness of spoken texts to their own use of oral language

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  3. OL 10

    collaborate with others in order to explore and discuss understandings of spoken texts by recording, analysing, interpreting and comparing their opinions §

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  4. OL 11

    engage with the world of oral language use as a pleasurable and purposeful activity §

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3. Understanding the content and structure of language
  1. OL 12

    *demonstrate how register, including grammar, text structure and word choice, varies with context and purpose in spoken texts

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  2. OL 13

    develop their spoken language proficiency by experimenting with word choice, being creative with syntax, being precise, stimulating appropriate responses relative to context and purpose

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Strand 2: Reading

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Communicating as a listener, speaker, reader, writer
  1. R 1

    *read texts with fluency, understanding and competence, decoding groups of words/phrases and not just single words §

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  2. R 2

    *read for a variety of purposes: learning, pleasure, research, comparison

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  3. R 3

    *use a wide range of reading comprehension strategies appropriate to texts, including digital texts: to retrieve information; to link to previous knowledge, follow a process or argument, summarise, link main ideas; to monitor their own understanding; to question, analyse, synthesise and evaluate §

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  4. R 4

    *use an appropriate critical vocabulary while responding to literary texts

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2. Exploring and using language
  1. R 5

    engage in sustained private reading as a pleasurable and purposeful activity, applying what they have learned about the effectiveness of spoken and written texts to their own experience of reading §

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  2. R 6

    *read their texts for understanding and appreciation of character, setting, story and action: to explore how and why characters develop, and to recognise the importance of setting and plot structure §

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  3. R 7

    *select key moments from their texts and give thoughtful value judgements on the main character, a key scene, a favourite image from a film, a poem, a drama, a chapter, a media or web based event

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  4. R 8

    *read their texts to understand and appreciate language enrichment by examining an author’s choice of words, the use and effect of simple figurative language, vocabulary and language patterns, and images, as appropriate to the text §

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  5. R 9

    *identify, appreciate and compare the ways in which different literary, digital and visual genres and sub-genres shape texts and shape the reader’s experience of them

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3. Understanding the content and structure of language
  1. R 10

    know how to use language resources (e.g. dictionary, thesaurus and online resources) in order to assist their vocabulary development §

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  2. R 11

    *identify and comment on features of English at word and sentence level using appropriate terminology, showing how such features contribute to overall effect

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  3. R 12

    *understand how word choice, syntax, grammar and text structure may vary with context and purpose

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  4. R 13

    *appreciate a variety of registers and understand their use in the written context §

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Strand 3: Writing

Students learn about

Students should be able to

1. Communicating as a listener, speaker, reader, writer
  1. W 1

    *demonstrate their understanding that there is a clear purpose for all writing activities and be able to plan, draft, re-draft, and edit their own writing  as appropriate §

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  2. W 2

    discuss their own and other students’ written work constructively and with clear purpose

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  3. W 3

    *write for a variety of purposes, for example to analyse, evaluate, imagine, explore, engage, amuse, narrate, inform, explain, argue, persuade, criticise, comment on what they have heard, viewed and read §

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  4. W 4

    *write competently in a range of text forms, for example letter, report, multi-modal text, review, blog, using appropriate vocabulary, tone and a variety of styles to achieve a chosen purpose for different audiences §

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2. Exploring and using language
  1. W 5

    engage with and learn from models of oral and written language use to enrich their own written work §

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  2. W 6

    *use editing skills continuously during the writing process to enhance meaning and impact: select vocabulary, reorder words, phrases and clauses, correct punctuation and spelling, reorder paragraphs, remodel, manage content §

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  3. W 7

    *respond imaginatively in writing to their texts showing a critical appreciation of language, style and content, choice of words, language patterns, tone, images

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  4. W 8

    *write about the effectiveness of key moments from their texts commenting on characters, key scenes, favourite images from a film, a poem, a drama, a chapter, a media or web based event

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  5. W 9

    *engage in the writing process as a private, pleasurable  and purposeful activity and using a personal voice as their individual style is thoughtfully developed over the years §

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3. Understanding the content and structure of language
  1. W 10

    *use and apply their knowledge of language structures, for example sentence structure, paragraphing, grammar, to make their writing a richer experience for themselves and the reader

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  2. W 11

    *use language conventions appropriately, especially punctuation and spelling, to aid meaning and presentation and to enhance the reader’s experience §

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  3. W 12

    *demonstrate an understanding of  how syntax, grammar, text structure and word choice may vary with context and purpose

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  4. W 13

    evaluate their own writing proficiency and seek remedies for those aspects of their writing that they need to improve

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