Skip to content

3 Draft Leaving Certificate specifications consultations

3 Draft Leaving Certificate specifications consultations

View Info


Integration of literature is a central facet of teaching and learning. Students will be given  opportunities to sample a selection of literature to support their learning over the three years of junior cycle. The development of language skills and the exploration of literary texts should be integrated in the classroom to aid language development.

Literature supports the development of:

  • language and literacy
  • critical and creative skills
  • cultural understandings
  • personal development.

A literary text is one which demonstrates the state or circumstances of an individual: a story which derives from emotions, life experience, memories, and the predicament of the human condition. It often demonstrates fantasy, legends, emotions, horror and revelations. Poetry, creative prose and the creative film are associated with the heart and mind,  with emotions and imagination.

Language and literacy

Literature is a source of both formal language and normal, everyday language. Literature is created for the language community and as such  is an example of authentic material in a wide  range of styles and language registers that can aid students in their language development. Literature is therefore an important resource/aid for learning, for literacy and for the development of language competencies7.

Critical and  creative skills

Literary texts foster opportunities for interaction, communication and meaningful discussion stimulating students’ imagination and thereby supporting the development of communicative, critical and creative skills. While we often imagine writing and literature hand-in-hand, in many cases response to literature is spoken. If one reads a book or watches a film or hears a song it is more likely that one will speak about it before one writes about it. People often have different understandings of and views  on literary texts, not everyone finds the same meaning in a text. Through encountering literary texts students have opportunities to enhance both their creative and critical thinking skills.

Cultural understandings

Literature provides cultural insights for students. Literary texts contain many explicit and implicit insights on native culture.

Personal development

Literature is an important resource for emotional development. Literary texts create opportunities for students to identify with characters and emotions revealed in the texts. This helps students learn about the nature of humanity and about their own  lives. It aligns with the emphasis placed on wellbeing in the junior cycle as a whole.  Each subject has a role to play in that area, including Irish. Literary texts (films, short stories, songs, plays, poems, novels,  etc.) influence students’ ideas and emotions.

The selection of literary texts is very important; texts must be selected which students can relate to and with which they can be involved both emotionally and personally. The students’ role in the selection of texts is crucially important. Teachers will help students explore the possibilities so that they may select the most appropriate option.

The following will be provided to assist with this approach:

  • a recommended list of appropriate texts for to support learning in first year
  • a list of compulsory genres with an internal choice of texts for second and third year.

Students will select the texts in consultation with the teacher.

Lists will be available on

The guidelines below will help when selecting texts:

First year

First year will set the foundation for learning literature in second and third year. Students will sample from the following genres:

  • short films
  • short stories
  • poetry
  • songs.

Students must study at a minimum one text from each genre listed above.

Second and third year

Over the two-year period students will choose texts from a list of possibilities, choosing a minimum of

  • two short films or one (complete) play
  • one short story
  • four poems/songs
  • one novel (complete) higher level only.*

*Students intending to take the final examination at higher level should study the complete text of a novel along with the other texts mentioned above, during second and/or third year.

Successfully added to the clipboard.