Get a qualification in Irish / TEG A2
The short video above is a sample lesson from the All About Irish TEG A2 preparatory course. Read on to find our more about the TEG certification system in general; and to learn about the TEG A2 preparatory course.
What exactly is TEG?
TEG stands for 'Teastas Eorpach sa Ghaeilge' (The European Certificate in Irish) and is a system of certification of proficiency in the Irish language for adult learners. It is a comprehensive graded system that allows adult learners to take an exam in Irish at 5 different levels of proficiency. The TEG system is based on the European wide CEFR, and is administered by the Centre for Irish Language at Maynooth University, Ireland.
Why would I choose to sit an exam in Irish?
A defined and realistic goal
It can be more difficult as an adult learner to find the time and discipline to devote to learning Irish in order to reach a high standard of fluency. Having the set goal of an exam to prepare for operates as a great incentive to put the time in.
A sense of achievement
Working your way up through the different levels in the TEG system is very satisfying and will boost your confidence in your ability to communicate in Irish. The TEG system is a comprehensive graded system which provides a very clear learning pathway.
A nationally recognised standard
The TEG exam is a nationally recognised certificate of proficiency in the Irish language. It is recognised within the civil service and by employers and recruiters. The qualification on your CV will stand to you in any job in which an ability with the Irish language is required, and might just give you the edge over another applicant!
The TEG syllabus (at each level) places a large emphasis on speaking ability, as 35% of the overall marks are awarded for this part of the exam. The monthly speaking session (or 'ciorcal comhrá') in my TEG preparatory course will be used to prepare for the oral part of the course and will provide an opportunity for you to gain confidence in your speaking ability in Irish. (These speaking sessions are in addition to the monthly live lesson).
Listening and Comprehension Skills
One of the interesting features of the TEG syllabus is that it incorporates aspects of all of the main dialects. While you may already have decided to focus more on one particular dialect (or not) - the preparation for this course will involve some contact with all 3 dialects. Anyone wishing to become proficient in Irish needs to have some understanding of the differences between the dialects, and the TEG syllabus promotes this.
Guaranteed Language Progression
Your Irish competency is guaranteed to progress in preparing for a TEG exam, regardless of whether or not you ultimately decide to sit the exam. If you take my TEG A2 preparatory course you will be learning in community with other learners, all preparing for the same exam and there to help each other along the journey!
Teacher training requirements
For anyone wishing to take the Professional Masters in Education to retrain as a primary school teacher a mark of 65% or higher is required in the B1 oral exam (along with at least H4 in the Leaving Cert). For anyone without a Leaving Cert in Irish then 50% in the full B2 exam will be required in order to be admitted.
Now, are you ready for another acronym...?
What is CEFR?
CEFR stands for 'Common European Framework of Reference for Languages'. The common framework was devised by the Council of Europe in 2001, and is essentially an international standard for describing language ability. The Framework divides ability in a language into 6 levels, from A1 (beginner) to C2 (mastery). The TEG system is based on this international CEFR grading system for language learning.
A description of the different levels
A1: Can understand and use very frequently used everyday expressions as well as simple phrases to meet everyday needs. They can introduce themselves and can ask and answer simple questions about personal details, e.g. where they live. They can interact in a simple way provided that the other person speaks slowly and clearly and is prepared to cooperate.
A2: Can understand and speak about everyday tasks, past events and future plans. They can use frequently used expressions and vocabulary related to the 14 topics of the TEG syllabus (e.g. shopping; pastimes etc.). They can describe in simple terms matters related to the past; future plans and discuss immediate needs and wants.
B1: An independent user of the language who has the necessary fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers. They can understand the main points of clear text in standard language if they are about familiar topics; they can cope with most of the situations that may arise in an area where the language is in use; they can describe experiences, events, wishes and aspirations as well as justify opinions and explain plans.
B2: An independent user who can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including on technical matters. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interactions with native speakers quite possible without undue strain for either party.
C1: A proficient user of the language who can perform complex tasks related to work and study; and who can express themselves easily and fluently without much obvious searching for the right expression. They can use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
C2: An advanced proficient user who can understand with ease practically everything they read or hear. They can summarise information and arguments from different spoken and written sources, and present themselves coherently, concisely and fluently, and can easily differentiate subtle nuances of meaning. (Note: TEG is not offered at C2 level).
What skills are tested in a TEG exam and when does it take place?
Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Irish are all tested during a TEG exam. The A2 oral part of the exam accounts for 35% of the total marks, and takes approximately 15 minutes; the listening/reading/writing sections of the exam take 2 hours. The exam is held in various centres around Ireland and abroad in May each year. The current fee to sit the exam is €120 (you can ask if your employer is willing to subsidise the cost). The All About Irish TEG A2 course is based entirely on the TEG A2 syllabus and is the optimal way to prepare for the A2 exam. This course combines audio, video, sample questions, quizzes, worksheets and live elements.
More information on my TEG A2 preparatory course
Included in the course:
- A live lesson on the last Friday of each month, from September 2023 to the Spring TEG A2 exam (dates are not yet confirmed - this is usually held at the end of April; also please note that there will be no live lesson at the end of December 2023)
- A monthly facilitated conversation meet-up to focus solely on speaking skills
- A Member's Directory so that students can meet other language/study partners outside of the course (optional of course!)
- A short video for each of the 14 topics on the TEG A2 syllabus, giving necessary vocabulary
- The teaching materials from the TEG site itself is contained within the course
- Audio recordings from the TEG site, in video format, so that reading and listening can happen at the same time
- A module dedicated to review of the two sample papers on the TEG site (Autumn 2023)
- A module dedicated to breakdown and preparation for the oral part of the exam (January 2024)
- A module dedicated to common mistakes and exam tips (February 2024)
- Course Booklet, quizzes and worksheets available on September 29th; the date of the first live lesson
The 14 topics on the A2 syllabus:
- Ócáidí sóisialta / social occasions
- An teaghlach / the household
- Caitheamh aimsire / pastimes
- Taisteal laethúil / daily travel
- Cúrsaí oibre / work matters
- Ag labhairt faoin deireadh seachtaine / talking about the weekend
- Bia agus deoch / Food and drink
- Sláinte agus tinneas / Health and sickness
- Cur síos ar dhaoine / describing people
- Éadaí agus siopadóireacht / Clothes and shopping
- Ag pleanáil laethanta saoire / planning holidays
- Treoracha, suíomh agus gluaiseacht / directions, location and movement
- Garanna agus cead / Favours and permission
- Ag déanamh socruithe / making arrangements
Should I take this course if I do not intend to sit the TEG A2 exam?
Yes! This course is a great way to learn Irish. The course covers many topics of general everyday communication and will benefit anyone learning Irish, regardless of whether or not they decide to take the A2 exam.
What is the refund policy?
If you decide after the first two topics that this course is not the right level for you, please email me to arrange for a full refund within 14 days of the date of purchase.
How do I access the course?
After making payment through the link above you will receive an email with your personal log in details. You can access the course via the All About Irish website (click on ‘Log In’) or through a free downloadable app called Kajabi. If you have any difficulty accessing the course, please email me immediately: [email protected]
How long will I have access to the course?
Full access is guaranteed for a minimum of twelve months. This will be extended free of charge for as long as I decide to make the course available, however this is ultimately at my discretion.
What if I have questions during the course?
You can ask questions under any of the lessons within the course; and during the live lessons and monthly speaking practice sessions. I monitor these questions and generally try to answer within 24 hours, although at weekend and during holiday periods the time taken to answer may be longer.
How do I register for the course?
Aon cheist? Any questions?
I hope that the above has answered your main questions about the TEG system. If you have any more questions at all, or if you are wondering which level would be the right one for you, please feel free to contact me here. If you think that getting a state recognised certificate for your proficiency in Irish might be of interest read on to find out more about my preparatory course for the A2 level. Find out more and register for the course here.