Writing (letter, note, Postcard, essay,)

Dia daoibh! San alt seo, táimid chun breathnú ar a bhfuil sa chuid scríbhneoireachta den Scrúdú Teastas Sóisearach Gaeilge. Nuair a scríobhann tú focail nua i dteanga iasachta, tá tú ag foghlaim. Cabhraíonn sé le d’inchinn iad a choinneáil, rud a ligeann duit rochtain a fháil orthu níos déanaí.

Hello! In this article, we are going to look at what is in the writing section of the Junior Certificate Irish Examination. When you write new words in a foreign language, you are learning. It helps your brain retain them, allowing you to access them later.

“Learning another language is not only learning how to do things with different words, but also learning how to do things in different world.”

― Wahyu Razak

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Why is Writing so Important When Learning a New Language?

As it is, learning to speak a second language can be quite difficult. But it is believed that if you are able to write in a foreign language, you will be able to speak it. Writing also helps you to understand how to integrate the words to form whole sentences.

Writing practice helps you think and speak in a foreign language. As you continue practising, you are able to quickly form new thoughts in the other language. The practice eventually leads to proficiency in the language because you have developed a deeper understanding of it. In order to be a good and effective communicator, you have to develop these four basic language skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Why should I write in Irish? Listed below are a few reasons why writing is important in learning Irish:

  1. It gives you a “hard copy” of your progress - Practice makes perfect, even more so in writing. Who doesn’t make mistakes, right? That’s why you should write as much as you can when learning a language. So that over time, you’ll see the progress of your language learning journey in order to evaluate your weak and strong points. Because if you don’t pay attention to your mistakes, you’re likely to make them in your speaking skills as well.
  2. It helps you recall what you’ve learned - With all the words, phrases and rules there are in a language, it may feel hard to memorize them all. However, many studies have shown that writing is proven to be helpful in retaining information because putting your learning into practice is important for cementing it in your mind.
  3. It helps you prepare for your Oral Exam- Writing sentences, paragraphs, and full texts allows you to learn to incorporate new grammar and vocabulary into your speech. It is also a great way to accompany other skills: for instance, writing activities can help you check your listening comprehension or analyse reading materials.
Writing for irish Junior Cert
When you write new words in a foreign language, you are learning. It helps your brain retain them. - Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Tips for Irish Junior Cycle Writing

"Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children."

- Michael Gove

Let's start with the Essay, it can all depend on what comes up and what you’ve written before. The essay is a bit of a lottery. Some people think that you can only write an essay for this question. That’s not true. You can write a story, a debate piece or a newspaper article instead.

Below are some things you should keep in mind as they may come in handy.

  1. Keep up with the news by watching the big stories between September and December (before the exam paper is created). It might be worth squirrelling away a few phrases on banking, budgets and economics this winter as they can be recurring new themes.
  2. It’s important to realise that grammar accounts for a large portion of the essay mark. No matter how good your ideas are, it’s all about the quality of Irish you use. If you learn a number of general phrases you can learn Irish grammar through them and adapt them on the day.
  3. Don’t rush!! Time is not a problem, so don’t turn it into one. Unless you are an exceptionally slow writer, you should have enough time to reach 600 words or so with ease.
irish essay writing
Writing is one of the most important exercises related to language learning and a very effective way of putting the vocabulary into context - Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

Postcard or a letter for Irish written comprehension

There are some things that no matter what language you are writing in will always have to be included, especially when writing an addressed piece such as a letter or postcard.

When writing a piece like this, the format is important. It's important because it will get you extra marks.

For both the letter and the postcode you should make sure to include the following details:

  • That date which you are writing
  • Hello - dear sir/madam - to whom it may concern. Getting your introduction right is important it sets the tone for the entire piece.
  • Addresses - it is not only important to include the address to which you are sending your letter or postcard to, but also the address of the sender. Making sure to use Irish names and place names will get you valuable marks.
  • Signing off - it is advisable to have a few sign-offs prepared for use. Again, valuable marks can be gained here, not only can they demonstrate good use of vocabulary and grammar, but they also add to your word count. Sample sign-offs include:
    1. Tá súil agam cloisteáil uait go luath, dea-mhéin, Sean. - Hope to hear from you soon, best regards, Sean.
    2. Gach dea-ghuí a sheoladh chugat, go dtí go labhróidh muid arís le mo chara, Orlagh - All good wishes to you, until we speak again to my friend, Orlagh
    3. Is fada liom uaim thú agus táim ag tnúth le tú a fheiceáil nuair a thiocfaidh mé abhaile! Le grá, Aine  - I miss you and look forward to seeing you when I get home! With love, Aine
    4. Táim ag tnúth le bualadh leat ag an agallamh. Maidir le Con. - I look forward to meeting you at the interview. Regards Con
    5. Ní féidir liom fanacht go bhfeicfidh mé sibh go léir arís! Beidh mé abhaile go luath. Mo ghrá go léir, Eimear. - I can't wait to see you all again! I will be home soon. All my love, Eimear.

It is important to remember that as a whole the Irish course is interlinked.

By reading you get used to the words visibly on a page which is in makes you better at writing the language.

By writing you are practising your spelling and pronunciation of the words he's an accent and grammar.

By both reading and writing, you are familiarising yourself with the language and therefore you will be able to speak and understand the words you hear much easier and do better in your Aural exam.

At the end of the day, each strand complimented chudder complements each other so that by the end of the junior cycle you will be ready to take on leaving cert Irish and hopefully feel confident enough to attend events held in Gaeilge outside of school or maybe even go to The Gaeltacht.

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Maureen

Hey, I'm Maur/Mo, I'm a writer from Ireland. I've written a novel and a lot of poetry and fiction. Currently, I work as a content writer at superprof