Fáilte cairde! Féach cad a fhoghlaimfidh sibh.
San alt seo, féachfaimid ar an Cluastuiscint, le haghaidh teastas sóisearach Gaeilge. Tá sé ceart go leor focail a aithint trí fhéachaint. Ach más féidir leat focail a chloisteáil agus iad a thuiscint is é sin nuair a fhoghlaimíonn tú teanga nua i ndáiríre.
Welcome friends, let's look at what you are going to learn.
In this article, we will look at the listening comprehension for Junior Cycle. It's okay to recognize words by looking. But if you can hear words and understand them that is when you really learn a new language.
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
- Nelson Mandela
The Department of Education has recently changed the Junior Cert Cycle to focus on continuous assessments on written, spoken and listening skills.
The aim of Junior Certificate Irish is to improve your ability to communicate through Irish. You will focus on improving your language skills through four areas:
- Oral skills through speaking
- Aural skills through listening to others, CDs etc.
- Written skills through writing in Irish
- Reading skills through reading passages, poems and stories written in Irish.
Let us start by asking the first and possibly most important question right now:
What is the Cluastuiscint (Irish Aural)?
The Irish aural is a part of the examination for your junior cert course. It is a listening comprehension which ties into the Communicative Competence strand of the course. Communicative competence consists of students ability in the following five skills: listening, reading, spoken production, spoken interaction, and writing.
The listening skill is what is tested during the Irish aural exam. During the exam, you'll be asked to listen to different sections which are referred to as Cuid. There are usually about three Cuid in your Cluastuiscint (Trial Chluastuisceana
Tá trí chuid sa trial seo).
Each of which falls into one of the following categories:
- Cainteoir (Speaker)
- Comhrá (Conversations)
- Fógra (Announcements)
- Píosa Nuachta (News)
While each of the above recordings is playing you will have a sheet with questions, some of these questions are multiple-choice others ask for a specific answer, all of which you will have heard about in the recording.
"If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk."
- Robert Baden-Powell
Now more than ever is it easier to practice for your aural exam. Before the last couple of years, students could only practise for their aural exam in the classroom when the teacher played a CD or tape. But now you can find samples both in PDF format and MP3 to practice when and where ever you want. Many people will practice using their tablet so they can listen while also answering or even their laptop.
This is a huge advantage for students as they get to regularly listen to people speaking in Irish (Daoine ag labhairt i nGaeilge) meaning in general their understanding of the language is better. They are not restricted as students were in the past, especially students in L2 schools where English is the language used at home and in school, they now have access to hearing the language more frequently.
The aims of Irish Aural are listed below, it is expected that students should be able to:
- understand communication messages at normal speed
- listen to understand the meaning or specific details and coherent, continuous arguments
- recognise speakers’ perceptions and attitudes (direct or indirect)
- understand rich, accurate, dialectal spoken language
- differentiate between different dialects
- critically select and share listening material using digital technologies
How can I improve my Irish Oral and Aural skills?
The aural is a question that can cause students a lot of trouble when it comes to improving their skills for the Aural Exam there are many things that can aid you. Below are a few things which you may be beneficial for you:
- Make use of the Irish language you already have and continuously.
- Make sure you participate in “Seachtain na Gaeilge” events.
- Speak Irish in class, in school and try using some “Cúpla Focal” outside of school too.
- Tune into TG4 for some Irish TV programs.
- Watch the news in Irish on RTE or TG4.
- Listen to radio programs presented in Irish.
- Always ask your teacher for advice.
Practice makes perfect. The Irish aural is usually hard at first. If you have trouble doing these tests, keep on practising and you will improve. It’s important that you listen closely to everything that is said when you practice these tests. Don’t just write down the answers that you hear. If you hear a word you don’t understand, write it down phonetically and look it up later in a dictionary or ask your teacher. Vocabulary repeats regularly in exams, so what might just sound like a weird word last year might be an answer next year.
Finally remember it’s all in the question. The question will guide and direct you to the answer if you use it properly. It’s more important to understand all aspects of the question than it is to understand every word you hear. It is vital that when you complete an Irish aural exam paper you review the questions again and ensure that you understand every word in every question.
Irish Aural Online
"Acting is reacting. You can't react if you're not paying attention, if you're not listening."
- Reid Scott
Watching YouTube videos is a great way to revise any topic, but they are particularly useful for practising a range of different ways to improve your Irish Oral and Aural skills.
Many teachers are uploading their Irish Oral and Aural lessons to Youtube. Lessons like this can be really helpful especially if you're working through past exam papers, as usually they will be used as part of the lessons to give examples of questions that may come up. This method of revision is useful for students as they can pause, rewind, and replay parts of the lesson at any point and, of course, it's completely free! All you need is a Wifi connection.
Other ways to prepare for your Irish Aural Exam include using sample mp3s and papers on websites such a Studyclix. Where you can actually listen to samples and try the questions (Cuid agus Ceist).
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