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Accredited Grades for Non-Curricular Languages

Important Advice for your students sitting non-curricular languages for Leaving Cert 2021

Written Proficiency Assessments for Accredited Grades – 8th May 2021

If students in your school have already registered to sit a non-curricular language (NCL) for the Leaving Cert this year, there is an opportunity available for them to get an accredited grade.

To give students an opportunity to provide evidence of their skill in a non-curricular language prior to the June exams, the Department of Education is arranging for Written Proficiency Assessments to be held on Saturday 8th May in schools throughout the country.


What subjects does this apply to?

Students of Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Slovenian, Modern Greek, Finnish, Polish, Estonian, Slovakian, Swedish, Czech, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Croatian and Maltese are all eligible. In the most part, this will apply to those students for whom these languages are heritage/home languages, and they are not studying them as part of their regular school timetable. To be eligible, the students must have already registered for the Leaving Cert exam in the subject on the Candidate Self-Service Portal (CSSP).


Where can I get more information about the assessment?

The written proficiency assessment will be a similar format to an in-class test with a duration of 1½ hours. Further information and clarification on the format of the proficiency assessment will be communicated directly to registered students by the Department of Education. The Department of Education will also be in touch with schools to request assistance with setting up examination centres for these assessments.

If you have students that would like to avail of the NCL written Proficiency Assessment, it may be a good idea to share this information with both the student and your principal so that they can get the necessary preparation in place for the 8th May.


Does this Assessment take the place of the LC non-curricular language exam?

No. The student can still sit the exam in June. If the student completes the written proficiency assessment in May, they will be eligible to receive an Accredited Grade. If they sit the written examination in June, they will be eligible to receive a grade in the Examination. When Leaving Certificate results are issued, results will be based on the better of: the Accredited Grade (only available if the student takes the proficiency assessment in May) OR the Examination Grade (only available if they sit the written examination in June).

NB: For students of non-curricular languages, this proficiency assessment is the only way to access an Accredited Grade. If they don’t take the Proficiency Assessment, their only route to a grade will be the June examination. There will only be one opportunity for the student to complete the proficiency assessment: if the student is unable to take this assessment for any reason, they will be unable to receive an Accredited Grade in the subject and must sit the June examination to ensure that they obtain a grade for their non-curricular language.


Did Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese not become Leaving Cert curricular languages?

Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese will be examined as curricular languages from 2022. This year will be the last year that they are examined as non-curricular languages. Mandarin Chinese will also be examined as a curricular language in the Leaving Cert from 2022.


Where can I get the most up-to-date information?

Detailed information regarding Accredited Grades for Non-Curricular Languages is available on page 15-17 of this Dept of Education document.

The most current information on all matters relating to Leaving Certificate examinations and the Accredited Grades process will be available on an ongoing basis on

Languages Connect promotes the personal, social, professional and economic benefits of foreign language skills to principals, teachers, guidance counsellors, parents and students, and all stakeholders in the third-level sector. Funded by the Department of Education and facilitated by Post Primary Languages Ireland, as a key objective of the Languages Connect – Ireland’s for Foreign Languages in Education 2017 – 2026. For all the latest updates check out or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram