AN approachable and fair paper that offered students a good choice of questions on a range of interesting, relevant and topical subjects, was how one teacher described Leaving Certificate French Higher Level.
There were no surprises in terms of layout or types of questions asked, said Corrine Gavenda of The Institute of Education
She said the Reading Comprehension journalistic passage was made very approachable because the question, posed in English, told them that the topic was hitchhiking, which was good starting point.
However, she said the tense question might have caught some students out, as this specific tense had not come up on the paper before.
The literary passage is always the more challenging question in this section but the text was very accessible and the only thing that might have caught students out were specific words added to the questions such as ‘exactement’.
In Productive Writing, students were asked to discuss whether to succeed in the working world of today, it is necessary to get a degree, a familiar topic.
Students may also have been familiar with the topic in the Journal/Diary section, about a party they had held while their parents were away.
“This was a fair topic that gave good scope. It was not over easy” said Ms Gavenda.
Candidates should also have been well prepared for Q3 on the theme of friendship, while The Gathering also made an appearance.
Q4 (a) about the influence of celebrities on young people would have proved popular. However Ms Gavenda said that while Q4(b), where students had to react to a cartoon about the horse meat scandal, was topical, it “would have perhaps been one of the most challenging questions on the paper” .
Carole Oiknine, also of The Institute of Education described the ordinary level paper as “fair” and one that checked a wide range of vocabulary.
But she commented that students may have been thrown slightly by the ‘Fill in the Form’ exercise in question 7, as it was worded slightly differently to usual.