What sort of subject?

The Leaving Certificate syllabus in German at Leaving Certificate is very student orientated. It prepares the pupil in the type of language which they would experience if working in, or on a visit to Germany.  A high honours standard in the Junior Cert. is strongly advisable in order to do Higher Level in the Leaving Cert.

The emphasis is on creating skills in:

  1. Speaking German (general conversation, storytelling and role-playing)
  2. Understanding telephone conversations in German.
  3. Understanding radio broadcasts (news, documentaries etc).
  4. Reading comprehension (contemporary literary and journalistic texts).
  5. Writing letters in German, both personal and formal.
  6. Writing conversations and notes in German. (Ordinary Level)
  7. Writing longer pieces in German based on themes arising from
    the texts used for reading comprehension. (Higher Level)
  8. Applied Grammar exercises.
  9. “Landeskunde” or knowledge of the German-speaking world. This is
    a study of geography, customs, culture, contemporary scene, etc., in German-speaking countries.

Format of the Examination

The German Examination consists of the following elements:

  • Oral exam
  • Aural exam
  • Reading comprehension (two pieces, one from a literary source, and the other
    from a journalistic source).
  • Written Comprehension in the form of a letter/dialogue/essay type piece, all based
    on a theme from a text or other source.

The combined marks allocated for the oral and aural comprehension elements of
Leaving Cert German is 45%.

What type of student?

The syllabus will suit a student who is encouraged or feels motivated by career requirements, travel or further study.  It is not confined to high achievers with a flair for the “classical” approach to language.  It suits any student who wishes to speak the language and who is prepared to explore its communicative aspects.

Career Links

Job Opportunities

In an enlarged European Union, a good knowledge of one or more of the languages of the countries of the EU, particularly German, will give the student an obvious advantage and increased mobility when competing for jobs in the European jobs market. German is the first language of some 100 million Europeans and the second most important foreign language in the EU. More and more employers are looking for graduates with communication skills, interpersonal and presentation skills, problem solving, team working and organisational skills, and independence. These are all skills which are developed when learning a language.


Germany is one of Ireland’s main trading partners. It is the largest market in Europe and is an important export market for Ireland in the Euro zone. Many Irish business people require a working knowledge of the German language to engage effectively with the German economy.  The demand is for people who are proficient in many branches of commerce through German.  Germany is also the third largest provider of foreign direct investment in Ireland and German companies employ an estimated 20,000 people in Ireland. In short, German is a big plus in an international career.

Undergraduate and Graduate courses

There is now a very wide choice of courses in Universities, Institutes of Technology and other third level colleges, where Leaving Certificate German forms the basis for pursuing a course in a variety of disciplines, such as computer science, engineering, business, marketing, journalism, tourism and education.  This choice is increasing on an annual basis both in Irish and British third level colleges.  Many former pupils from Drogheda Grammar who opted for German for the Leaving Cert. have pursued courses of this kind with great success.