Modern Foreign Languages

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

Modern Foreign Languages in St. Patrick's Grammar School


Mrs Pamela Canavan (Head of Department)

Mr Michael Burns

Mrs Gráinne McCaul

Ms Fionnuala McCorry

Mr Vincent Toner

Mrs Sonia Rodriguez (Spanish Language Assistant)

Mr Anthony Marchal (French Language Assistant)


All ability levels in languages are welcomed and encouraged in our vibrant and diverse Languages Department.

French, Irish and Spanish are taught up to Key Stage 4, with French and Spanish currently up to A Level.

On entering St Patrick's, students study all 3 languages and at the end of Year 8 choose which two they wish to continue in Years 9 and 10. We believe this gives all students the opportunity to make an informed choice for GCSE.

In Year 12 GCSE, there are currently 2 French classes and 3 Spanish classes. In addition, there is an A2 French class as well as an AS and an A2 class in Spanish.

Teaching and Learning Aims

In the Modern Foreign Languages Department, we encourage pupils to have a passion for language learning. Students have access to native speakers and are provided with the opportunities to attend educational trips to the Gaeltacht, France and Spain. The Department invites guest speakers who can provide them with up to date information on languages in the world of work. Students are encouraged to participate in competitions such as the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad and to attend summer courses abroad.

Through the study of Modern Foreign Languages, we aim to:

  • stimulate interest in and enjoyment of language learning;
  • encourage and enable students to reach their full potential through support and challenge;
  • enable students to become confident citizens by developing skills, knowledge and understanding, enabling them to formulate and communicate their own opinions about developments in the Target Language;
  • develop students' knowledge and understanding of culture, traditions and literature;
  • encourage students to become independent learners;
  • develop skills in data handling, ICT, communication and investigative work, as well as problem solving, organisational, research and analytical skills;
  • ensure all students reach their potential.

Why study Languages?

Careers in Modern Foreign Languages

Studying a Modern Foreign Language provides a wide variety of careers in a whole range of professions, such as;

  • Business
  • Civil Service
  • Engineering
  • Interpreting Services
  • Journalism
  • Language Development Officer
  • Law
  • Lecturing (University)
  • Managerial Positions
  • Media (television, radio, internet)
  • Medicine
  • Science-based careers
  • Teaching
  • Translation Services