'Difficult to follow' -- even for native speaker
Challenging but fair was the general verdict on the Leaving Certificate German written paper.
However, Pierce Purcell of the ASTI and German Teachers' Association said he thought the dialogue section of the aural test was too fast. "I found bits of it difficult to follow. The candidates I spoke to found the same thing, including a German native student."
Mr Purcell said that while higher-level candidates were happy with the written exam, a few came across words which they couldn't understand in the reading -- but that it was unlikely to have affected their overall comprehension.
Blaithin O'Shea of the TUI and Cork College of Commerce said that in the second comprehension, about a solar-powered mobile cinema, students had to write a short expression about the cinema or a competition in their school. She felt the latter topic would have challenged weaker candidates.
Orla Ni Shuilleabhain of the Institute of Education described the paper as "very manageable, with some challenging parts".
While both comprehensions were accessible, some of the vocabulary used was testing, she said, adding that the choice of topics was very broad and unpredictable, the short essay required very specific vocabulary in places and there was no scope for pre-prepared topics.
Grammar Section 2 was a welcome change from previous years and there was something there for students of all levels, she also said.
She added that ordinary level students reacted positively to their paper; the comprehensions were straightforward although the grammar was more challenging.
In the Junior Certificate higher level paper, Scatha Ni Fhearghail of the TUI and Mulroy College, Milford, Co Donegal, said there was "nothing out of the ordinary". Ordinary level, she added, was a "lovely paper".