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arrowFrequently asked questions

 
graphicWho are the TEG examinations for?
graphicWhy is TEG certification important?
graphicWhat is partial certification?
graphicDo candidates have to sit the Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1) exam in advance of sitting the Bonnleibhéal 2 (A2) exam?
graphicWhere are the examinations held?
graphicWhen are the examination results available?
graphicI’m not happy with my exam results. What can I do?
graphicHow many hours of study are required to undertake the different examinations?
graphicDo I have to pass each part of the examination in order to gain an overall pass?
graphicCan I do different parts of the examination at different times?
graphicIs the use of dictionaries allowed in the examinations?
graphicWill candidates lose marks if they misspell words in the aural exam?
graphicWhat can candidates do if they don’t understand the directions given at the beginning of the examination or during the oral examination?
graphicAre there any restrictions regarding the age of candidates?
graphicDo I have to attend an Irish language course in order to do any of the examinations?
graphicHow often are the examinations held?
graphicHow can I register for one of the examinations?
graphicWhat is the cost of the examinations?
graphicWhat are the payment methods?
graphicWhere is TEG recognized?
graphicDoes TEG satisfy the Irish language requirements for the postgraduate course in primary teaching?
graphicI have a disability. Can I take a TEG exam?
graphicIf I have further questions?
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Who are the TEG (Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge/European Certificate in Irish) examinations for?

Anyone can sit a TEG examination. It is not necessary to attend a particular course, nor are there any age restrictions for candidates.

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Why is TEG certification important?

TEG is the first and only system of certification for adult learners of Irish. Similar systems have already been developed for the majority of other European languages. The different levels in TEG are based on the Common European Framework for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001). This system helps learners to plan their study and to get recognition for the progress that they have made. A further advantage of the system is that it gives employers specific information about the language ability of candidates for the purpose of employment or promotion, the importance of which has increased with the implementation of the provisions of the Official Languages Act (2003). The Language Centre is a member of ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) which monitors the content and standard of the TEG examinations.

The Department of Education and Skills has accepted Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge Meánleibhéal 2 (B2) as meeting the Irish language entry requirement for primary education programmes.

This is a great opportunity for people who would like to enter the teaching profession but who do not have the necessary Irish language qualifications (e.g. Leaving Certificate Higher Level Irish) for the colleges of education. Unlike the Leaving Certificate Higher Level Irish syllabus and examination, the TEG Meánleibhéal 2 (B2) syllabus and exam are designed with the adult learner in mind which greatly enhances the learning experience.


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What is partial certification?

In 2012, partial certification was introduced, which will allow learners of Irish to take the oral exam only at whatever level they choose. If candidates are successful, they will receive a certificate indicating their level of spoken Irish. The marks attained in the oral exam will be clearly shown on the certificate. It will also be clear that this is not a full TEG certificate and that oral competence only was tested.

At Ardleibhéal 1 (C1) candidates who receive partial certification can obtain full certification without resitting the oral exam if they undertake the rest of the exam within two years. For example, if a candidate receives partial certification in the oral exam at this level anytime during 2014, he/she will have until the end of 2016 to undertake the other parts of the exam at that level (Listening, Reading and Writing and the Use of Irish*) in order to get full certification.

In the case of examination levels Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1)-Meánleibhéal 2 (B2), candidates will be required to take all parts of the examination in one session in order to get full certification.

*Note that candidates have to undertake these sections in one session and that these sessions normally take place once annually.

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Do candidates have to sit the Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1) exam in advance of sitting the Bonnleibhéal 2 (A2) exam?

No. Each exam is independent and it is up to the candidate to choose whatever examination is most suitable for him/her.

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Where are the examinations held?

The examinations are held once a year, in April or May (Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1), Bonnleibhéal 2 (A2), Meánleibhéal 1 (B1), Meánleibhéal 2 (B2)) and January (Ardleibhéal 1 (C1)). Details of venues are here.

Usually, the written exam is held in the morning. See the information on the application form to check times for the oral exams. Examinations are held in various locations in Ireland and abroad, depending on demand.

Please note that an examination will be cancelled at any venue if there are fewer than 15 applicants. You will be informed of available venues 14 days before the examination date. We advise against making travel and accommodation arrangements prior to receiving this notification from the Language Centre.

Those wishing to take the oral exam only for partial TEG certification can arrange with the Language Centre at NUI Maynooth to hold the oral exams at other times of the year in centres throughout the country. This is subject to a minimum of fifteen candidates.

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When are the examination results available?

Results will be posted to candidates 6-8 weeks after they sit the exam. Certificates will be sent to successful candidates shortly after that.

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I’m not happy with my exam results. What can I do?

Appeals
A candidate can request to have his/her marks rechecked within 14 days of the issuing of exam results. There will be no charge for this. The results of the recheck will be discussed with the candidate on the phone or by email.

If a candidate wishes to appeal his/her examination result, this can be done within 14 days of the issuing of exam results. There will be a €35 fee for this. The results of the appeal will be discussed with the candidate on the phone or by email.

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How many hours of study are required to enable one to undertake the different examinations?

Guidelines here.


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Do I have to pass each part of the examination in order to gain an overall pass?


No. Although candidates are given the marks they attained in each section, the marks from each section are added together to give the overall result. Therefore, depending on the marks, a candidate could fail a section or two but pass the overall exanination. If candidates are successful in the examination, certificates will be awarded to them according to the following grades:

Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1) Bonnleibhéal 2 (A2)
50-64% Pass 50-64% Pass
65-79% Pass with Merit 65-79% Pass with Merit
80-100% Pass with Distinction 80-100% Pass with Distinction


Meánleibhéal 1 (B1) Meánleibhéal 2 (B2)
50-64% Pass 50-64% Pass
65-79% Pass with Merit 65-79% Pass with Merit
80-100% Pass with Distinction 80-100% Pass with Distinction


Ardleibhéal 1 (C1)
60 % Pass *
80-100% Pass with Distinction
*Candidates must obtain a minimum 10% (out of 20%) in every section of the exam to earn an overall pass in the exam. See the Advanced 1 examination for further information.

At all levels, the percentage of marks awarded to the candidate in each section will be indicated on the certificate.

In the case of Meánleibhéal 2 (B2), each section of the exam (Speaking, Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension and Writing) is worth 25% of the marks.

In the case of Ardleibhéal 1 (C1), each section of the exam (Speaking, Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Writing and Use of Irish) is worth 20% of the marks. At this level, the percentage of marks awarded to the candidate in each section will be indicated on the certificate.

In the case of partial certification, the marks awarded to the candidate in the oral section of the exam will be indicated on the certificate.

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Can I do different parts of the examination at different times?

In 2012, partial certification was introduced, which will allow learners of Irish to take the oral exam only at whatever level they choose. If candidates are successful, they will receive a certificate indicating their level of spoken Irish. The marks attained in the oral exam will be clearly shown on the certificate. It will also be clear that this is not a full TEG certificate and that oral competence only was tested.

At Ardleibhéal 1 (C1) candidates who receive partial certification can obtain full certification without resitting the oral exam if they undertake the rest of the exam within two years. For example, if a candidate receives partial certification in the Oral Exam at this level anytime during 2013, he/she will have until the end of 2015 to undertake the other parts of the exam at that level (Listening, Reading and Writing and the Use of Irish*) in order to get full certification.

In the case of examination levels Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1)-Meánleibhéal 2 (B2), candidates will be required to take all parts of the examination in one session in order to get full certification.

*Note that candidates have to undertake these sections in one session and that these sessions normally take place once annually.

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Is the use of dictionaries allowed in the examinations?

The use of dictionaries is not permitted in any of the examinations. Certain questions in the examination test the candidates understanding of particular words and phrases and their usage.

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Will candidates lose marks if they misspell words in the aural exam?

At beginners' levels (Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1) agus Bonnleibhéal 2 (A2)) it is accepted that candidates will not always be totally correct in their spelling. Mistakes in spelling are accepted, therefore, if it is clear what word is intended, for example, 'diardain' instead of 'Déardaoin'. If a particular word is spelt out loud on the recording, candidates will be expected to spell correctly the word in question.

At the other levels, candidates will not lose marks for spelling mistakes provided that what they write is clear and intelligible to the examiners.

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What can candidates do if they don’t understand the directions given at the beginning of the examination or during the oral examination?

Candidates can ask the examiner to repeat the directions and they will not lose marks as a result of doing this. That said, in the interests of fairness, the examiner cannot give any additional information apart from repeating the directions.

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Are there any restrictions regarding the age of candidates?

There is no age restriction for candidates who wish to undertake any of the TEG examinations. However, the texts and tasks are for the most part directed at adult learners.

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Do I have to attend an Irish language course in order to do any of the examinations?

No. Even though many of the organisations teaching Irish in Ireland and abroad use the syllabi and teaching materials on which TEG is based, there is no requirement to attend any particular course or to use any particular learning materials in order to sit the examinations. However, it is certainly helpful to attend a course that addresses the requirements of the examinations.

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How often are the examinations held?

The full examinations are held once a year. Meánleibhéal 1 (B1)/Meánleibhéal 2 (B2) in April. Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1)/Bonnleibhéal 2 (A2) in May. Ardleibhéal 1 (C1) in January.

Candidates who wish to take the oral exam only can do so in April and in May, or groups of fifteen or more can arrange with the Language Centre to have the oral exams take place at other times of the year in centres locally.


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How can I register for one of the examinations?

It is possible to register and pay online. Details here.

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What is the cost of the examinations?

Information here.

A complete refund will be made to an applicant who withdraws more than 10 days prior to an examination. No refund will be made for later withdrawals except where a medical certificate or other documentation acceptable to the Language Centre is presented. Notification of an intention to withdraw should be sent by email to us.

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What are the payment methods?


  • It is possible to register and pay online. To discuss other payment methods, please call (01) 708 6417. Details here.

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    Where is TEG recognized?


    TEG is among the entry requirements for various courses, schemes and awards administered by the following bodies:

    Colleges of Education

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    Does TEG satisfy the Irish language requirements for the postgraduate course in primary teaching?

    Yes. The Department of Education and Skills, the Teaching Council and the Colleges of Education have recognized TEG Meánleibhéal 2 (B2) as meeting the Irish language entry requirement for the Grad. Dip. in Primary Education.


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    I have a disability. Can I take a TEG exam?

    The Language Centre is committed to providing a range of supports to ensure that candidates with disabilities or specific learning difficulties have full access to the TEG exams and we make relevant supports and accommodations available when required. Verification of a candidate’s disability or learning difficulty must be provided to the Language Centre on registration for a TEG exam. If you wish to discuss your requirements with us, please call 01 708 6417 or email aisling.nibheachain@nuim.ie.


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    If I have any further questions?

    If you have any further questions please contact Ionad na dTeangacha:

    graphicteanga@nuim.ie
    graphic(01) 708 6417/3737
    graphicAt Ionad na dTeangacha, Ollscoil na hÉireann Má Nuad, Co. Chill Dara, Éire.

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