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Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge

TEG is an examinations and accreditation system for Irish language learners. The syllabuses and examinations in the TEG system correspond to the levels set out in the Common European Framework for Languages: Learning Teaching and Assessment (The Council of Europe, 2001).

Examination systems of this kind which are based on The Common European Framework for languages are already in use in the majority of European countries. There are syllabuses, sample examinations and teaching materials available for the Irish language at 5 different levels and more information about those levels is available here.

Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge and secondary schools

TEG examinations are being undertaken by secondary school students in schools around the country for the past number of years. The TEG examinations system is suitable for:

  • transition year students
  • 5th and 6th year students preparing for the Leaving Cert Irish Examination.

There are two options available for secondary school students with regard to TEG. They may either:

  • Gain full certification (i.e. sit the full examination – reading comprehension, listening comprehension, writing and speaking) or
  • Gain partial certification (i.e. sit the oral examination only)

There are syllabuses, sample examinations and comprehensive teaching materials for each level in the TEG system, suitable for secondary school students. The levels in question are Absolute Beginners (A1), Beginners 2 (A2), Lower Intermediate (B1) and Upper Intermediate (B2). The syllabuses and teaching materials give both students and teachers a definite learning goal to strive for. Teaching materials dedicated to secondary school students are available on the site www.ceacht.ie and this material will help secondary school students and teachers who wish to undertake any of the TEG examinations.

Secondary school students have the opportunity to sit TEG examinations in April or May every year. The examinations take place in TEG centres around the country or alternatively, in the school of the candidates, depending on the number of students involved.

The advantages of the TEG system for secondary school students

Some of the advantages of the TEG system for secondary school students include:

  • They receive an Irish language qualification which has international recognition
  • They gain experience of sitting a formal oral examination, which will be invaluable to them in their preparation for the Leaving Cert Irish Exam
  • They are given the opportunity to develop important communication skills, which will in turn benefit their language learning skills
  • Transition year students are given a definite goal when they are preparing for one of the TEG examinations
  • The TEG examinations system has advantages for secondary school teachers also:

  • TEG examinations help them to set down definite learning goals for Irish language students in Transition Year
  • They may use teaching materials available on www.teg.ie
  • Through the results achieved by their students, teachers are given a formal, reliable insight into the abilities of their students in the various language skills. This type of information helps them in teaching and preparing students for the Leaving Certificate Irish language examinations.
  • Candidates in every TEG examination must undertake an oral examination. This helps teachers to prepare their students to become familiar with the oral examination in a formal setting with trained, independent oral examiners
  • The TEG team provide general feedback for the teacher in charge of a group of students undertaking the full examination or the partial certification in speaking. Information is given with regard to the strengths and weaknesses displayed by students in examinations and general information is given with regard to strategies for improving students’ abilities.
  • Joanne Ní Choileáin, an Irish language teacher in Coláiste Íosagáin in Dublin had this to say about TEG in that school:

    “We have been doing TEG with Transition Year students in Coláiste Íosagáin for three years now. We began doing the exams in order to provide the students with a definite goal at the end of the year and also because there is a separate oral exam as part of the assessment. Because 40% of the marks in the Leaving Cert exam are devoted to the oral exam now, it’s a wonderful opportunity for the students to focus on this aspect of the language. As well as this, the other language skills are developed: reading comprehension, writing and listening comprehension.

    TEG is an internationally recognized certificate and this adds to the status of the certificate for the students and for their parents. It helps teachers to develop a formal structure for the year’s work and to inspire students to be active and participant in their own learning. We strongly recommend TEG as an innovative, challenging and beneficial approach.”

    FAQ for secondary school teachers


    1. Can every school apply for TEG examinations?
      Yes. If your school is interested in undertaking these examinations, you are strongly advised to send in an application form as soon as possible.
    2. What advantage are TEG examinations to secondary school students?
      TEG is an internationally recognized qualification and will provide students with an extra qualification in the Irish language. In addition to this, depending on which examination they undertake, students will gain experience in written and oral examinations, which will be invaluable to them in the Leaving Certificate examinations. As well as this, students will have the opportunity to develop important communicative skills which will aid their language learning skills.
    3. Can secondary school students do any of the TEG examinations?
      Yes, however teachers are advised to contact the Language Centre with regard to choosing the appropriate level for students. You can call 01 7086417 between 3.30 and 4.30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays or send an email to teanga@nuim.ie.
    4. Which levels are involved in the TEG system?
      All information regarding the different levels is available here.
    5. How do I choose the correct level for my students?
      Teachers are strongly advised to contact The Language Centre in order to obtain further information with regard to this. Prior to doing this, they should carefully study the syllabuses and the sample papers available for every level on the TEG website. One of the sample papers could be given to the students to give an idea which level is most suitable for them.
    6. What exactly does a TEG examination involve?
      There are two choices with regard to TEG and secondary school students. They can either:
      - Gain full certification (i.e. sit the full examination – reading comprehension, listening comprehension, writing and speaking) or
      - Gain partial certification (i.e. sit the oral examination only)
    7. What is the fee?
      The fees for secondary school students are:
      A1 - B2 (Full examination):         €80 per person
      A1 - B2 (Oral examination only):       €50 per person

      Special rate available for secondary school students this school year (2014-15).  Further information here:  http://teg.ie/pdf/COGG.pdf  

    8. Where do examinations take place?
      The full examination: This depends on the number of applicants in the school. If there are more than 20 applicants in a school doing TEG, every effort will be made to hold the examination in the school itself. Note that the written exam takes place on a Saturday. Examination dates for TEG 2014 are available here.
      The oral examination only: Depending on the number of students in your group and the availability of TEG examiners in your area, every effort will be made to hold the oral examinations in your school during and after school hours Monday - Friday.
      In every case, the Language Centre will make contact with the Irish language teacher in the school in order to make arrangements regarding the administration of the examinations.
    9. How will results be provided?
      The full examination: The overall mark attained by the student will be provided together with a breakdown of the marks attained by him in the various sections
      The oral examination only: If the students undertake the oral examination only, they will be provided with the mark they received in that examination only.
    10. Where can I get an application form?
      Application forms for secondary school students are available here.
    11. When is the deadline for applications?
      The deadline for applications from schools is Friday 22 February 2013.
    12. Who should complete the application form?
      It is advisable that students complete the application form in the classroom under the supervision of the teacher. The class teacher should send the students’ application forms together with the examination fee for each student (a cheque or postal order made payable to the Language Centre, NUIM) to Ionad na dTeangacha, Ollscoil na hÉireann Má Nuad in one package.
      Teachers are asked to ensure that students (a) complete the application forms clearly and accurately and (b) that they use the version of their name as it appears on the ID card they will have on the day of the examination. In addition to this, teachers are asked to inform students that they use the same version of their names, e.g. if the student registers using the English version of their name (if such is the case on their ID card), he/she should use the English version of his/her name in all communications with TEG.
    13. Must students bring an identity card with them to the examination?
      Yes. Each student must have photographic identification. A valid passport, driving license or international ID card will be accepted. No other form of ID will be accepted.
    14. Can individual students apply for TEG examinations or must the school apply?
      Yes, but the student should specify clearly on the application form that he / she is a secondary school student.
    15. Can students in any given group do either the entire examination or the oral examination only?
      Yes, but please note that the examination in its entirety will not be held in a school if there are not more than 20 students registered to sit it.
    16. Where can I receive more information?
      - All information is available on this website (www.teg.ie)
      - Send an email to teanga@nuim.ie.
      - Call 01 7086417 between 3.30 and 4.30 pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

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