The Leaving Certificate foreign language specification for Mandarin Chinese provides for learners from all language backgrounds and offers opportunities to develop communicative capacity and linguistic and intercultural awareness in a wide range of real-life and authentic contexts.
While the language is available to all students, including those from a heritage language background who wish to improve some or all of the skills within their communicative repertoire, and those who have no prior experience with the language, the expectations for learners articulated in this specification are at ab initio* level.
Furthermore, while the CEFR Companion Volume is not generally used in relation to Mandarin Chinese, for transparency and consistency with the ab initio pitch, this specification has been informed by the CEFR educational aims and outcomes. The expectations for learners are broadly aligned with Pre-A1/ A1 levels of the CEFR.
Assessment will be offered at both Higher and Ordinary levels.
* Ab initio is a Latin term meaning from the beginning (‘ab’ meaning from and ‘initio’ meaning beginning).