Online ICT and MFL course

The ICT in the Post Primary MFL Classroom online course from PDST Technology in Education is available for self-enrolment via This e-tutor supported five hour course provides an overview of a range of technologies and how they can be used to support post primary teaching, learning and assessment of modern foreign languages. Developed by PDST Technology in Education in collaboration with the Post Primary Languages Initiative (PPLI). The course starts on January 30th, 2017.

To self-enrol, teachers use their Scoilnet account (get your account here). With that Scoilnet account username and password, login to and go to the link for PDST Technology in Education courses….ENROL HERE. (You will find enrolment FAQs and a video guide on if experiencing difficulty.) Places are limited. Enrolment closes once all places are taken.

PDST Technology in Education
INVENT, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland


« Bonjour bonheur ! » Short Film Competition deadline

There is still time to make a quick 5 minute film with your students and submit it on/before Friday January 27th 2017 to:

  • Joe Walsh, French Dept, CBS, Naas, Co.Kildare.

Entries sent on or before that day will be accepted. These will then be judged by a jury external to the FTA so that members of regional branches and of the National Executive may enter teams from their schools.

More info and downloadable entry form here, along with clips of previous winners.
Deadline now expired.

Merci à toutes et à tous…

…d’être venus à notre Conférence
Merci à toutes et à tous d’être venus si nombreux à notre Conférence annuelle qui s’est tenue à Maynooth le 15 octobre. Ce fut une très belle réussite.

Vous pouvez désormais télécharger (en format ppx / powerpoint) les présentations des intervenants au moyen des liens suivants :

Françoise Blin
Nathalie Cazaux
Shane Freeman
Si vous n’êtes pas encore un membre de la FTA, nous vous invitons à  y adhérer afin que nous puissions vous tenir informés des évènements à venir au cours de cette année scolaire.

Ça y est, c’est reparti pour une autre conférence nationale de la FTA !…

The conference will open on Friday evening with a screening of Ma Révolution, a French film directed by Ramzi Ben Sliman.

Saturday promises to be exciting and informative, with presentations by Nathalie Cazaux (Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown), Shane Freeman (Bureau nationale, FTA), Françoise Blin (School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies), Hugh Nagle (French teacher, Cork) and Joe Dennehy, Deputy Chief Examiner, Leaving Cert French). Pour en savoir plus, veuillez voir le programme du week-end.

Junior Cycle Modern Languages/ NCCA Consultation – make our voice heard!

The FTA welcomes the review of the Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum as it has been 25 years since the last review and many of the key recommendations of the latter, notably the introduction of an oral examination, have still not been put into place.

The world has changed so radically during these 25 years in terms of communication, travel and outlook that a review of the how Irish students encounter the learning of a foreign language is long overdue.

We welcome the increased emphasis on using the target language as the language of interaction and learning in the classroom. We also welcome the encouragement of teachers to use a wider range of teaching and learning methodologies including the many different digital and interactive media now available. We agree that more emphasis should be placed on acquiring a broader knowledge and appreciation of the peoples and cultures that use the target language in their everyday lives. A greater awareness of how language-learning takes place can only enhance the student’s language acquisition and help to make him more responsible for his own learning. The use of the CEFR (Common European Framework for Languages) with its can-do statements and goals will help the student to set targets and auto evaluate his own learning. The LLPs (Language Learning Portfolios) will allow a student to compile a portfolio of his work which will allow him to track his language-learning and take pride in his achievement. The new MFL Curriculum should link into both of these although not in a prescriptive way.

However, in line with majority of views expressed in all the different consultations that have taken place, we have to highlight the overwhelming shortcoming of the proposed MFL curriculum. Despite what appears to be unanimous agreement by the initial draft document, language experts, current research, teaching professionals, teachers’ representative bodies, schools of education and students, the question of the oral is again to be sidestepped. Instead of giving it its rightful place at the centre of the language teaching, learning and assessment experience, we understand that what did not happen in 1991 – an externally-based objective oral assessment of students – will not happen again in 2016.

The enthusiasm with which language teachers greeted the recent review of MFL was largely based on the introduction of same. We believe that this decision has been largely dictated by DES finances as there can be no ideological argument for again refusing to put it centre stage in the assessment process. We strongly feel that it will be very hard to persuade language teachers of the usefulness of this new curriculum if this issue is not addressed. Other Junior Cycle subjects have an externally-assessed practical component and justifiably so. In the same way as it would not make sense for a music student not to have his playing/singing objectively assessed, it makes no sense to award a state certificate of proficiency in a modern language to a student whose oral skills in that language have not been objectively and externally assessed. If we want to have some objective correlation for what is being learned by the language student, no amount of linking in with the CEFR will replace this external assessment.

It is proposed to have an oral component as one of the CBA (Classroom Based Assessments). However, as the ways in which this will be tested will vary substantially, and as many union members are currently prevented from participating in oral testing of their own students, the situation is extremely problematic and unlikely to produce anything of any real value. It should also be stated that the proposed times allocated to this as a CBA and the very nature of the classroom setting are further problems.

The commitment of students, parents, teachers and school administrations to the oral component of the MFL can only be assured by its forming part of the objectively-assessed state examination.

On behalf of the Second-Level French Teachers of Ireland, who are the key participants in the implementation of this programme, we urge the NCCA and DES to introduce an externally-based oral examination as part of the final state examination in Junior Cycle MFL.

Aural Assessment

The Aural component of the state examination is a central part of the assessment of a student’s linguistic attainment in Junior Cycle. Despite some discussions that this may not be retained, we urge the NCCA and DES to include this in a similar format to what already exists in the state examination of Junior Cycle. Again this request is in agreement with the views that have emerged from the various NCCA various consultation processes.

Common Level

While this is not an issue peculiar to MFL, the other subjects being affected by this at Junior Cycle will not be taught and learned through the medium of another language. One of the objectives of the revised MFL curriculum is to make languages more accessible to all. Another is to increase the use of the target language in the classroom. If we are serious about including more students in language learning in Irish schools we need to allow them to achieve. Despite the numbers presenting for modern languages in Junior Cycle, many Junior Cycle students do not study a language at all, and some for only their first year in Secondary School. Many Junior Cycle students with learning difficulties are actively encouraged to drop MFL as it is felt by parents and school administration that they will not achieve here. While the less able student may survive in a common level subject classroom where all the interaction is in English, the situation changes dramatically when this is in another language. In order to allow less able students and students with learning difficulties to achieve in a MFL we would argue that a special case needs to be made for a subject in which the classroom language is not the mother tongue of the learner.

On the other hand we need to allow the more able student to be fully challenged in his language learning. The existence of a common curriculum will prove problematic for him, too, and may curtail what he could achieve. Anyone with experience of mixed-ability teaching will know of the difficulties of facilitating all the different levels of attainment possible in the class. If the 2 levels of assessment are maintained, this will allow the student to aim at the fulfilment of his chosen level. Otherwise the less able student knows that he can never attain a high grade and the more able student is not being assessed fully.

The implications of the common level for those continuing to Senior Cycle also need to be considered. If there is already a huge gap between the standard of Junior Cycle MFL Higher Level and Senior cycle, one wonders if the existence of a common level will increase this.

Written Language

Undoubtedly, letter-writing and postcards are no longer a regular activity of the everyday lives of most of our Junior Cycle students. However, they do write in quite a lot of social media formats and as they grow older will need writing skills in MFL. Formats in which to write are constantly changing and therefore, should not necessarily be specified as they may then exist in the syllabus long after they have ceased to be a current form of communication (see references to faxes in Senior Cycle). Whatever the format, students need to be able to write in MFL and this needs to remain as part of the final state examination in Junior Cycle.

The FTA, as the representative of the second level teachers of French, is anxious that the Junior Cycle Review of MFL should be a success. We want it to provide the framework in which our young language learners will all fully engage in a process which will encourage them to love and attain in the chosen language. In common with the NCCA and the DES, we want the new curriculum to break down the prejudices and perceived barriers that prevent and remove many of our young learners from learning a MFL. We want these young learners to be orally proficient and to have this oral proficiency standardised so that it can truly be linked with the criteria of the CEFR. We urge you to consider the very real considerations outlined above and remind you that these are the key issues which have also emerged from all the other consultations that you have held.

We will continue to engage with the review of the Junior Cycle Reform of MFL and are available for further consultation at any time.

FTA National Executive

April 11th 2016

Film Competition Winners

The jury has met and was very pleased with the entries. They were impressed by the ideas, the acting and the quality of the French both at Senior and Junior levels.

There were four categories this year as we decided to have best junior overall film and a best senior overall film as well as the most imaginative film and most the most creative with language.

So, here are the winners:

Best Junior overall film: Oh là là ! Madame Escargot, St David’s Holy Faith, Greystones. Mr O’Dowd’s 2nd years

Best Senior overall film: La Belle et les bêtes, Lough Allen College, Drumkeeran. Ms Shannon’s 5th years

Most imaginative film: Oh là là ! Coláiste Na Coiribe, Cnoc Na Cathrach. Ms Ní Choileáin’s TY class (Dé Danann)

Most creative with language: Les géants se mettent au vert !, CBS Secondary School, Roscommon. Ms Kilroy TY and 5th year classes.

There will be a prize giving ceremony during the French Teacher Association national conference in October for the best overall winners. Details will be emailed to you in due course. The other two categories will receive their prizes from members of the FTA executive before the end of the year.

Commiserations to the others.

Certificates will be posted shortly for all.

Again bravo à tous les participants !

A l’année prochaine !

‘Bootcamp’ pour professeurs de français


Cher(e) collègue,

L’Alliance Française de Dublin est fière de lancer son 5e « Bootcamp » pour professeurs de français.

Celui-ci aura lieu du 27 juin au 1er juillet 2016.

Pour en savoir plus, veuillez suivre les liens ci-dessus.

Les bourses :

  • Elles sont délivrées par le Department of Education and Skills et le Service Culturel de l’Ambassade de France en Irlande et sont réservées aux enseignants du secondaire
  • Les candidats doivent impérativement remplir à la fois le formulaire de demande de bourse ET le formulaire d’inscription à la formation

N’hésitez pas à me contacter pour toute information complémentaire.

Bonnes vacances de Pâques,


Mickaël Lenglet

Pedagogical Adviser
Direct line: (+353) 1 638 14 49
Alliance Française in Dublin, 1 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Fondation Alliance française : International Photo Competition

Objectif sport !


Submit your entry before April 18th.

Rules, terms and conditions

The 2016 theme for the 6th AF Photography competition is: Objectif sport! Pariticipants must portray their country’s most representative sport and, through photography, depict its essential values, showing its vital part of the culture and strong social role in the community.

Since 2010, the Alliance française, Dublin, has been organising a photo compeition that showcases in a group exhibition the photos of four local finalists. The Dublin winner is offered a French course and can enter the International photography competition organised by the Fondation Alliance française and be exhibitied in Paris with 40 international artists. The exhibition then travels around the 800+ Alliances françaises around the world.

Alliance française Dublin

1 Kildare St, Dublin 2
(353) (0)1 676 17 32

Résultats du concours “Chantons en français!” 2016

Les résultats

La finale du concours de chansons pour les écoles du secondaire s’est déroulée le mardi 1er mars 2016, lors de la matinée musicale en ouverture du Mois de la Francophonie en Irlande.

Les 33 chansons envoyées par plus de 20 écoles suite à l’annonce du concours “Chantons en français ! 2006” ont été écoutées par un jury de 7 personnes (Musiciens, professeurs, membres de l’Alliance Française et de l’Ambassade de France) qui leur ont attribué des points.

Les deux meilleures chansons de chaque catégories ont ensuite été soumises au vote des élèves présents lors de la matinée musicale animée par Caroline Moreaux, mardi 1er mars 2016 à la Royal Irish Academy of Music de Dublin.

Voici ce qu’ils ont choisi :

Catégorie : Les élèves chantent une chanson existante

  • 1. Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, Strokestown, Roscommon, 1st Years : Une Souris Verte
  • 2. St Conleth’s College, Ballsbridge, Dublin, 5th Years : Dernière danse
  • 3. Creagh College, Gorey, Wexford, TY : Running
  • 4. St. Joseph’s College, Lucan, Dublin, 1st Years  : Le ziguezon zinzon

Catégorie : Les élèves ont écrit les paroles sur une mélodie existante – Junior Cycle

  • 1. Mercy Secondary School, Kilbeggan, Westmeath, 1st Years : Le Français en tap-tap
  • 2. Ramsgrange Community School, New Ross, Wexford, 2nd Years : Sympathique
  • 3. The King’s Hospital, Palmerstown, Dublin, 1st Years : Dés que la drache s’arrêtera
  • 4. Glenamaddy Community School, Glenamaddy, Galway, 1st Years : C’est fada !
  • 5. St Finians College, Mullingar, Westmeath, 2nd Years : La Corrida

Catégorie : Les élèves ont écrit les paroles sur une mélodie existante – Senior Cycle

  • 1. Coláiste Iosagáin, Stillorgan, Dublin, 5th Years : Ces soirées-là
  • 2. Loreto College Cavan, 5th Years :On écrit sur les murs – Dis-moi dix mots
  • 3. Ursuline Convent, Waterford, 5th Years : Mon ristrette
  • 4e. ex-aequo – Ursuline Convent, Waterford, 4th Years : Quand je serai plus âgé
  • 4e. ex-aequo – Ursuline Convent, Waterford, 5th Years : La vie en fada
  • 5. Loreto College Cavan, TY : Dis-moi les dix mots !

Catégorie : Les élèves ont écrit les paroles et la mélodie

  • 1. St Vincent’s Secondary, Glasnevin, Dublin, 2nd Years : Dans mon tap-tap
  • 2. Loreto College St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, 2nd Years : Francophonie

Bravo à tous les élèves qui ont participé et à leur professeurs qui ont organisé leur participation en un temps record !

Les écoles recevront leurs prix dans les semaines qui viennent.