Friday 23 March 2018

Leaving Cert Irish Paper II: Easy task for Honours students but Ordinary Level a challenge

Steve Jobs: question on paper
Steve Jobs: question on paper
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

It was a tale of two papers in Leaving Certificate Irish Paper 2, according to one teacher.


Despite a new departure in terms of the style of questions asked, students would have been happy with the Higher Level Paper, said Clare Grealy of the Institute of Education.

Ms Grealy  said both comprehension topics in Question 1m  - on the life of Steve Jobs  and his input in to the effects of modern technology, and on the foundation  and development of  Radio na Gaeltachta - were accessible and of interest to students.

 She said Question 2 was a surprising departure from previous years, where the prose question, on Oisín i dTír na nÓg’,  was divided in to three, with students required to answer two.  “This new style of question will have made it easier for students not go off the point but might have made their answers quite long,” she said.

The poetry question dealt with the area of humour and was “very predictable”, she said.

The Optional question about the play An Triail, based on one character only, as quite narrow while the Optional question on poetry was about the poem, ‘Éiceolaí’, which would have been regarded as one of the easier poems in the section, she said.

However, Ms Grealy  described the ordinary level paper as  “tough and quite challenging for weaker students”

“This was a lot more challenging than last year’s paper and some of the questions, especially in the Prose section, were unpredictable,” she said.

She said in the Prose section students would have been anticipating a straightforward summary-type question. While in both prose pieces this question did feature, students  were required to make reference to certain parts of the prose which would have been very challenging, especially those areas dealing with conversation.

Students were questioned on a film  (‘Cáka Milis’)  and the question was divided into five  parts and one section asked about a conversation at the start of the filn.

“This would have forced students to write their answer in indirect speech, which would be challenging for the weaker student,” she said .

In the second piece of prose (‘Dís’), students were again asked about a conversation between the two people, which would have been very challenging for the weaker students, she said.

On the other hand Poetry and Comprehension were straightforward, said Ms Grealy.

*The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)  is inviting student feedback on the Leaving Certificate oral exams ion its website until next Friday, June 14.

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