It was a well-received paper, but teachers had some different opinions on the level of challenge presented by the Leaving Cert Italian higher level exam
A fair modern paper, with some challenges, was how teacher Erika Capello of The Institute of Education, Dublin described it.
Topics included the importance of travel, getting to know new cultures and remote working, including the possibility of working abroad.
Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) subject representatives Chiara Biondi and Mairéad Ní Drisceoil described the paper as “relatable and topical”.
Like last year, students only had to answer one question in sections A or B whereas normally they must answer both sections. They may have been glad of the additional choice and, according to Ms Capello, may have avoided what is usually a popular option.
She described the Section A reading comprehension journalistic passage, on remote working, as a “nice, open, familiar topic” with “very accessible” vocabulary.
In the Section B literary passage, there were three choices and Ms Capello said the unseen passage option was “not particularly easy, but it was manageable”.
While Ms Capello thought that in the passage from the prescribed novel, the “vocabulary and questions were quite precise and challenging”, Ms Biondi and Ms Ní Drisceoil felt the questions were “approachable” and very accessible to students of all abilities.
Ms Capello added that the essay in English, “which is usually the most popular choice, was challenging this year”. Ms Capello thought students would have found it hard to develop their answer about the relationship between the two friends over a page and a half and “as a result, most would probably have opted for the journalistic passage in section A”.
Ms Biondi and Ms Ní Drisceoil said Section C, the written section, “showed a great scope for differentiation”, and it was possible for students of all levels to choose which points to answer.
Ms Capello said all students would have enjoyed the opinion piece while the guided composition was “very straightforward”.
In the formal letter, students had a choice between a cover letter and a request for information, Ms Capello said the cover letter task was an application for a course, rather than the usual job application.
“Students may have been surprised to see this at first, however the same vocabulary was suited to both, so they would have found the question very manageable.”
In the request for information, students had to book a stay in a hotel in Italy and, according to Ms Capello, “the catch here was that they had to book, not for themselves, but for their neighbours”. But they would have been prepared for this, so the question was “very approachable”, she added.
Ms Biondi and Ms Ní Drisceoil described the ordinary level paper as “also student-friendly”.