Students zone

Explore the Languages Connect website and hear the facts.

Remember to visit our Why Study a Languages page 

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world”

(Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Learning a language is more than learning words and phrases; it can open doors to new cultures, ideas, people and work opportunities.

Lifelong learning

However, language learning is not something that you do in school or college and then stop. If you think about English/Irish, you never stop learning new words, phrases and expressions. Also, you never stop learning about your own culture. If we stopped learning English, we’d never move forward.

Language learning is a skill you continue to acquire throughout your life.

What stage are you at?

Primary  Junior Cycle  Transition Year  Senior Cycle   College/Work  Graduate

I am a primary school student about to go to secondary school.

You may forget, but as a primary student you will study at least one language; that’s English! Many students will also learn gaeilge. These subjects are really important in helping you to start your language learning journey.

At secondary school, you will learn a foreign language, too. In Ireland, there are many foreign languages to choose from and different schools will offer different languages so make sure that you find out which ones your new school offers.

You can find out about some of these languages in our ‘What language interests you?’ section. See the link to the left of this page. 

I am at secondary school studying in the Junior Cycle.

You are probably now approaching the end of Junior Cycle and studying one or more Modern Foreign Languages. You are probably able to write and speak enough to talk about yourself, family and surroundings. You are likely to be preparing for your exams at the end of the year and soon will be heading into Transition Year. However, the main languages you study may not be the only options available to you. Enhance your language learning journey with more language learning opportunities!

Heritage Language Speaker 

If you speak a language other than English at home such as Polish or Lithuanian, you might be able to take a Junior Cycle Short Course (100 hours) to improve your language skills.

Other languages

You might also be able to take qualifications in Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

Please let us know if the language you want to learn is not available in your school, and we’ll see if we have a solution.


 click here

I am in Transition Year.

Transition Year is not a time to stop learning a language just because you have completed the Junior Cycle. There are many creative and engaging options for you at this stage of your language learning journey. Why not try a taste in a new language or to put your language skills into practice through teaching or in the work place.

Learn a new language

There are options to study a language during a part of your Transition Year. Currently, we offer short modules in Japanese and Russian. If you would like to study one of these module and it is not currently available in your school then contact us us and we’ll try to find a solution.

Also, there are options available to study Japanese and Russian at Leaving Certificate Level. Once again, if you are interested in having a go at one of these extracurricular languages then please contact us. 

Work Placement 

There are various resources being developed at the moment including a work placement pack that will help you think about how you would use your foreign language skills in a foreign workplace. More information coming soon!

Teaching Primary Students

One successful project has been the teaching of a foreign language in a Primary School. TY students design, plan and deliver a lesson or series of lessons for primary school schools in the language that they have been taught.

Here is a video of T.Y. students in Coláiste Bhríde in Carnew, Co. Wicklow embarking on a project to teach French to 5th and 6th class in their local primary school.

Leaving Cert Options

Studying a language for Leaving Certificate isn’t just for points; it’s your key to opening more doors in the future.

Your language learning journey doesn’t just stop when you leave secondary school. Language learning is a lifelong skill that can take you just about anywhere. Why not listen to some experts from different industries talking about why languages are important in the world of work. Click a video below to begin.


I am in 5th/6th Year.

At this stage in your language learning journey, you are probably preparing for your leaving certificate exams and thinking about what you are going to do next. Whether you are going to college or going out to work, foreign languages will continue to play an important role for you in the future especially as Ireland has a key role in the European Union.

Working with languages

Go to our ‘Working With Languages’ section to listen to people who work in many different industries talk about how they use languages every day.


Non-curricular EU Languages

The State Examinations Commission also provides examinations in a range of subjects in the language area referred to as the non-curricular EU languages. These are languages which do not appear as part of the normal school curriculum but which students may opt to be examined in if they meet certain criteria. There are a number of conditions attached to these exams.

Take a look at the State Exams Commission website for more information.

Languages at Third Level 

There are hundreds of different options when it comes to studying a language at third level. Visit the CAO website or Careers Portal for studying options including languages.

When studying a language this does not mean that you have to take a language degree. There are many other science, arts and humanities degrees that include language learning options. Also, many institutions also offer language learning modules in the evenings at a discounted rate for students.

Why not contact the admissions offices of where you want to go and find out what your options are so that you can continue developing this lifelong skill. 


I am in college or at work.

At this stage you are probably settled in to your study or have begun working. If you are continuing to learn a language, that’s great! However, you might not be attending any formal classes but may still want to maintain your language skills to keep your future options open.

Here are some ideas of how you might do it.

I am finishing college.

If you are finishing college, you are probably thinking about your future career. Remember that languages can unlock many new doors that you might not have considered before. Your careers service will often have a dedicated person for each subject area. Also, there will often be someone who specialises in language-related industries who will be able to give you some practical advice.

Visit our Working with Languages and our Industry Experts sections to get some ideas about your future career and the role of foreign languages within it.


Gradireland has produced a Language Careers booklet that you can download here or should be able to obtain from your careers service.


Remember that your language learning journey does not stop here. Language learning is a lifelong skill that you never stop developing.  

Did you

Only 6.5%
of the world’s population are native English speakers