Students given flexible and fair options
Why do Leaving Certificate Irish candidates get only two playings of the CD for their aural test when in other languages they hear it three times?
Teacher Robbie Cronin believes it can cause confusion and would like to see it changed.
It was his only quibble about yesterday's first exams in Leaving Certificate Irish, which included an "excellent choice of essay at higher level" he said.
Mr Cronin, of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin and the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI), said students were very pleased.
Clare Grealy, of Dublin's Institute of Education, described the higher level paper as "very fair and varied". She said a number of the topics that appeared on the paper, such as alcohol, drugs, the state of the language and the educational system, would have been prepared by students for the recent oral exam.
Ms Grealy thought Section A, Option C, on major stories of today, was a particularly nice question.
"It gave excellent flexibility to students, and provided they saw the potential in the question, they could have used topics that they had prepared but that were not directly asked on the paper. Topical issues such as the water charges and homelessness could have been used".
In Section B, she said that unlike last year's paper, students would have had no difficulty with the sean fhocal, as it was a widely used phrase and they would know the meaning.
Similarly, Ms Grealy said, the ordinary level was a "fair, clear paper that well-prepared students could have handled competently".
The letter/email choices were accessible, run-of-the-mill topics that most students would have covered in class.
She said while Section D, the conversation, is the least popular choice for students, the topics were not problematic.
"The first conversation was on the students' Leaving Cert results, and their parents delight at seeing their results. The second was based on the start of the school year and meeting a friend they haven't seen during the summer. The language used would have posed little difficulty for students," she said.