TEG is the first and only system of certification for adult learners of Irish, administered by the Centre for Irish Language at Maynooth University. Similar systems have already been developed for the majority of other European languages. The various levels in TEG are broadly based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001). This system helps learners to plan their study and to get recognition for the progress they have made.
A further advantage of the system is that it gives employers specific information about the language ability of candidates for the purpose of employment or promotion. This is of particular importance since the implementation of the provisions of the Official Languages Act (2003). A number of organisations in Ireland now specify TEG certification as a basic requirement for employees or use TEG exams in order to assess the Irish-language proficiency of applicants for jobs, schemes, awards or courses.
TEG certification is also recognised by the Department of Education and Skills. TEG Meánleibhéal 2 (B2) satisfies the entry requirement for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in primary education in the teacher training colleges. This provides a great opportunity for people who would like to enter the teaching profession but do not have the necessary Irish language qualifications (e.g. Leaving Certificate Higher Level Irish). Unlike the Leaving Certificate syllabus and examination, TEG syllabuses and exams are completely language-based and designed specifically for adult learners which greatly enhances the learning experience.
In addition, applicants for the Professional Master of Education (Primary) are required to achieve a minimum of 65% in a TEG B1 oral examination in order to apply for that programme. More information here.
Candidates presenting for matriculation a qualification other than the Leaving Certificate, such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma or the French Baccalauréat, and whose primary and post-primary education has been in the Republic of Ireland, will satisfy the Irish language requirement by presenting a pass in TEG Meánleibhéal 1 (B1) examination.
TEG exams at various levels have been completed by journalists, members of An Garda Síochána, employees in preschools, primary and secondary school teachers, university tutors, those who wish to add to their qualifications for the purpose of employment, those who are learning Irish as a pastime and many others besides.