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English Higher: Mystery theme leaves some pupils perplexed

LC ENGLISH HIGHER PAPER I

Published 09/06/2011 | 05:00

Some teachers and students were certainly perplexed by the mystery theme of the Leaving Certificate higher level Paper 1.

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Jim Lusby of the Institute of Education in Dublin said the theme was "contrived and had the potential to mislead candidates by encouraging them to search for elements that were not prominent on the paper".

Michael Doherty of the ASTI and Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, Co Donegal, said the question -- asking students to write a short story in which a mystery is solved -- was a bit vague.

As with the ordinary level paper, Mr Doherty was unhappy that there was only one short story option in the composition section, but conceded that students had six other choices.

On the other hand, Mr Doherty said students were happy with the comprehension and their questions, which contained "no surprises".

Alan Thompson of the TUI and Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town, said it was a "very fair paper and should have been manageable for all".

He noted some slight changes in layout, but said they should not have caused any difficulty.

Mr Lusby said the three comrehension texts -- a newspaper article, an extract from 'Let The Great World Spin' by Colum McCann, and a short story by Kevin Barry -- made for good quality reading, "although the fact that all three authors were Irish resulted in a lack of range and variety in terms of material and perspective".

He said the paper overall was "enjoyable, but unbalanced".

Irish Independent

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