Senior Cycle

Senior Cycle

Leaving Cert: 5th and 6th Year

There are many options for foreign language learners for the Leaving Cert. As well as French, German, Italian and Spanish, you can take Ancient Greek, Arabic, Hebrew Studies, Japanese or Russian. In 2020, four more languages – ChineseLithuanianPolish and Portuguese were added as curricular languages for those sitting the Leaving Cert from 2022 onwards.

For inspiration on what language to learn and what to expect on the Leaving Cert course, check out our Say Yes to Languages Leaving Cert Videos for all you need to know.

For information on the more recently added curricular languages including specification, supports and assessments, click on the individual language below or the FAQs.

Studying Foreign Languages for Leaving Cert outside of school

If you are interested in these languages, but cannot access them within your own school, check out our free Saturday classes. These classes are fully funded by the Department of Education and cover the whole Leaving Cert course over 2 years.


Non-curricular EU languages

You can sit the Leaving Cert in what is referred to as the non-curricular EU languages. These are languages that are not part of the normal school curriculum but students may opt to take if they meet certain criteria. These languages included Latvian, Romanian, Slovenian, Modern Greek, Finnish, Estonian, Slovakian, Swedish, Czech, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Danish, Dutch, Croatian, Maltese. There are a number of conditions attached to these exams. Take a look at the State Exams Commission website for more information.


Explore Languages

Still unsure about which language to choose? Find inspiration and information about the benefits of learning different languages at Explore Languages


Working with Languages

Whether you plan to go to college or straight into the workforce, foreign languages can continue to play an important role for you. Hear from people who work in many different industries talk about how they use languages every day in our At Work section. For even more insights and real-life stories from Irish people with foreign language skills, check out our Youtube channel.