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Leaving Cert Irish aural “more challenging” than usual

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Leaving Cert Irish was the least popular subject chosen by candidates for this year’s exams, and many will be relieved they missed a “challenging” Higher Level listening comprehension.

However, the written part of Paper 1 was accessible, with a good choice of essays, according to teachers.

Declan Glynn, a Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) subject representative, thought the aural was “more testing than usual”.

He said students reported that there were insufficient gaps between the questions to record their answers.


Mr Glynn also referred to a piece on holidays, in which “quite a bit of it was in the habitual past tense, which is really very challenging for students”.

Eithne Coyne, of the Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI), agreed that parts of the listening comprehension were “tricky”.

Meanwhile, Dr Michael Casey of The Institute of Education, Dublin, said the listening comprehension was “an exam of two halves”.

He said while there was lot of “the usual trappings”, on the other hand “there was some challenging vocabulary and phrases, which allowed students to push boundaries and demonstrate their language skills”.

Overall, Ms Coyne of Presentation College, Athenry, Co Galway, said there was very positive feedback about the paper and essay/debate themes such as the life of a young person in Ireland today and the advantages and disadvantages of technology.

Dr Casey described it as “a wonderfully thoughtful paper that provided familiarity and a fair challenge to the Class of 2021”.

Mr Coyne said the Ordinary Level paper was “equally nice” and students were “very happy about it”.



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