Leaving Certificate Arabic was offered in Ireland for the first time in 1997, at Ordinary and Higher levels. The current syllabus is based on the Arabic curriculum taught at secondary school level in the state system of an Arabic-speaking country. A new interim Leaving Certificate Arabic syllabus was introduced in September 2002. A key feature of the 2002 syllabus was the addition to the syllabus of set texts from modern Arabic literature. This reflected the increasing variety in the students taking the subject. However, since the majority of these were expected to remain, first language Arabic speakers, the syllabus introduced in 2002 continued to emphasise reading and writing skills.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) propose to commence a full review of the Leaving Certificate Arabic interim syllabus in Q1, 2020 with a view to creating a revised subject specification. NCCA review in the area of Leaving Certificate foreign languages is ongoing, with Leaving Certificate specifications for Polish, Portuguese, Lithuanian and Mandarin Chinese currently in development. A
framework approach towards foreign languages is being taken and this work will inform development of a revised subject specification for Leaving Arabic.