OLA Irish (2010)
OLA uses a series of short, manageable and clearly defined steps to help learners progress through the early stages of language learning.
This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Modern Languages Area of Learning.
The benefits of OLA include:
- flexible, functional language content and grammatical structures;
- alignment to the Northern Ireland Curriculum;
- relevance to learners and teachers, taking account of CILT language standards;
- contexts in place of topics, to allow for expansion of language learned;
- use of levels to report on learners’ achievements; and
- self-assessment grids, which allow learners to set attainable targets and track their own progress.
There are four units at each level, and learners must complete an end-of-course test for each unit. For Unit 1 (Listening), Unit 3 (Reading) and Unit 4 (Writing), these are paper-based tests. The teacher assesses Unit 2 (Speaking) through a range of short tasks. Centres mark the tests for all units, and we carry out external moderation.
We provide demo online tests for each level that learners can use to help prepare for assessment.
OLA can help prepare learners for beginning a language course at GCSE level or equivalent. It is available for assessment in summer only.
OLA replaced our Graded Objectives in Modern Languages (GOML/eGOML) recognition scheme in 2010.
Skills developed through OLA Irish
OLA develops learners’ skills in communicating effectively in a target language through listening, speaking, reading and writing. By offering a series of short-term accessible goals, it can also enhance their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Through OLA, learners have opportunities to develop their awareness and acceptance of cultural similarities and differences, as well as their ability to work with others and express and justify opinions. They may also explore how learning a language could enhance their career prospects and use ICT to establish contacts in countries and communities where the target language is spoken.
Working through the levels in OLA provides learners with a sound basis for further study of their target language.
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