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Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

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Expectations for Students

Expectations for students is an umbrella term which links learning outcomes with annotated examples of students’ work in the subject 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. These examples will include work which 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 achieved in actual cases.
Definition of text
All products of language use oral, written, visual, or multi-modal can be described as texts. Multi- modal texts combine language with other systems for communication, such  as print text, visual images, sound and the spoken word. In using  the definition of the word ‘text’, the specification seeks to consolidate the richness and diversity needed to stimulate the students interest and foster their respect for language. Readers need  to fully understand the meaning of the word ‘text’ to understand the learning outcomes in every element and strand.

Learning outcomes are statements which describe what knowledge, understanding, skills and values students should be able to demonstrate having studied Irish in junior cycle. 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. The specification stresses that the learning outcomes are for three years and therefore the learning outcomes focused on at a point in time will not yet have been ‘completed’, but will continue to support students’ learning in Irish up to the end of junior cycle.

The outcomes are numbered within each strand. The numbering is intended to support teacher planning in the first instance and does not imply any hierarchy of importance across the outcomes themselves.

The examples of student work linked to learning outcomes will offer commentary and insights that support different standards of student work.

Communicative competence consists of students’ ability in the following five skills: listening, reading, spoken production, spoken interaction and writing. These are skills required to communicate with other users of the language. Students can work confidently and effectively in interpersonal communication settings in the language community. They can both understand and use the day-to-day language of communication at a normal pace in the language community. They enjoy participating in communication with other users and interacting with them. They recognise rich, accurate language and can use rich, accurate language when speaking and writing in Irish. They read a wide range of texts, including literary and multi-modal texts which are used in the language community and demonstrate a critical understanding of the material. They compose their own relevant texts to communicate with other users.
*Speaker doesn’t need  to slow or simplify speech to be understood.
§ All products of language use oral, written, visual, or multi-modal can be described as texts
Students learn about Students should be able to
1 Listening
  1. 1.1

    understand communication messages at normal speed*

  2. 1.2

    listen to understand meaning or specific details  and coherent, continuous arguments

  3. 1.3

    recognise speakers’ perceptions and attitudes (direct or indirect)

  4. 1.4

    understand rich, accurate, dialectal spoken language

  5. 1.5

    differentiate between different dialects

  6. 1.6

    critically select and share listening material using  digital technologies

Students learn about Students should be able to
2 Reading
  1. 1.7

    use a range of reading strategies, including decoding strategies

  2. 1.8

    critically engage with a wide range of texts§  using  appropriate language and vocabulary

  3. 1.9

    explore conclusions and implications relating directly or indirectly to the content of texts

  4. 1.10

    demonstrate enjoyment of a wide range of relevant authentic texts§ to develop their reading ability

  5. 1.11

    identify, explore and share a personal selection of texts for research and pleasure

  6. 1.12

    recognise and understand terminology in a wide range of texts and written genres

  7. 1.13

    demonstrate enjoyment of a wide range of relevant authentic texts to develop their reading ability

Students learn about Students should be able to
3 Spoken production
  1. 1.14

    take an active role in conversation (including group work), questioning, exploring

  2. 1.15 develop conversation, expanding on personal thoughts in a wide range of topics/subjects  
  3. 1.16

    pronounce words naturally with a clear, accurate tone and appropriate emphasis

  4. 1.17

    use rich, accurate Irish (including living language and dialectal forms) using their own dialect as appropriate

  5. 1.18

    develop and enrich their own  personal vocabulary and contemporary vocabulary on general topics and areas of interest

Students learn about Students should be able to
4 Spoken interaction
  1. 1.19

    take an active role in conversation (including group work), questioning, exploring and developing personal opinions and responding appropriately during conversations

  2. 1.20

    interact confidently and appropriately in different situations for a variety of purposes

  3. 1.21

    check, confirm and exchange information, ideas and views, re-telling and explaining specific details, as needed

  4. 1.22

    synthesise and communicate views from a range of sources

  5. 1.23

    explain thoughts relating to personal experiences with samples and appropriate arguments to persuade/influence

  6. 1.24

    communicate orally using digital technologies

  7. 1.25

    deal with comprehension difficulties so that communication is maintained

Students learn about Students should be able to
5 Writing
  1. 1.26

    create both personal and formal texts; including creative texts and multi-modal texts, in a range of styles and registers, using  appropriate language and vocabulary, demonstrating an understanding of audience

  2. 1.27

    use language flexibly, creatively and for fun

  3. 1.28

    use language flexibly, creatively and for fun

  4. 1.29 respond personally to texts demonstrating a critical understanding of style, content, tone and imagery, etc. in texts  
  5. 1.30

    recognise and use writing conventions i.e. spelling, punctuation

  6. 1.31

    share written pieces in various formats using digital technologies

  7. 1.32

    develop their personal writing style using accurate and rich language (using own  dialect, as appropriate)

Students are acquiring Irish in an Irish-language environment. They notice both the accuracy and the richness of the style of the language. They understand what it means to be a good language user, and they try to emulate users who have a rich, accurate grasp of the language. They consider how the language works so as to avoid any  inaccuracy. As they are surrounded by the language, they are very familiar with the living culture of Irish and have an opportunity to internalise that culture. They understand the descriptive power of the language and their respect for the language community grows. They identify with the community and are encouraged to use the language in the language community.*

Language community: a community where the target language is spoken as language of communication in the home and in domains outside of it.


Students learn about Students should be able to
1 Focusing on how Irish works as a language
  1. 2.1

    notice rich and accurate input in all language skills and re-use examples of good language

  2. 2.2

    recognise and acquire grammar and syntax

  3. 2.3

    recognise significant grammatical and syntactic differences between Irish, English and other languages to avoid cross-linguistic inaccuracies

  4. 2.4

    use the appropriate language register to suit the occasion, audience and type of communication

  5. 2.5

    recognise and understand personal mistakes in speaking and writing Irish and reflect on the reasons for these mistakes

  6. 2.6

    recognise and use accurate spelling and punctuation

  7. 2.7

    recognise the dialectal richness of Irish, differentiating between dialects, and noticing differences in pronunciation and dialectal forms/colloquialisms

Students learn about Students should be able to
2 Fostering awareness of the culture of the language
  1. 2.8

    choose  an aspect/s of Irish-language culture to study and present in a modern, creative way

  2. 2.9

    complete a project/oral presentation on aspects of the living culture of the Irish language

Students learn about Students should be able to
3 Fostering awareness of bilingualism
  1. 2.10

    demonstrate an appreciation of what it means to be plurilingual

  2. 2.11

    explore cultures of lesser-used languages and compare with other languages

Students concentrate on their own  individual attributes as language learners. They understand how  to use learning strategies that are appropriate to themselves. They understand their own personal motivation in using  the language and take personal ownership of the language and of the process of acquiring fluency.
Students learn about Students should be able to
1 Developing self-understanding as a language learner
  1. 3.1

    recognise their personal learning style, developing learning strategies to facilitate the acquisition of language skills

  2. 3.2

    deal effectively with feedback

  3. 3.3

    exploit opportunities for language use in the language community

Students learn about Students should be able to
2 Developing self-directed learning
  1. 3.4

    make independent decisions as learners

  2. 3.5

    carry out self-assessment on their progress in each of the language skills

  3. 3.6

    share feedback with other learners on personal learning in language and learning skills

  4. 3.7

    use language resources (dictionaries, online dictionaries, grammar books, spelling and grammar checkers, etc.) to achieve accuracy and fluency in speaking and writing

Students learn about Students should be able to
3 Developing an understanding of personal motivation to learn the language
  1. 3.8

    demonstrate an understanding of their personal motivation to use the language in the language community

  2. 3.9

    take steps which reflect their personal motivation to advance their accuracy and fluency in the language

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