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Leaving Certificate Spanish: Question proves a puzzler

HOLIDAYING on the cheap is a subject close to the heart of Leaving Certificate candidates, so they probably welcomed its appearance as a reading comprehension on the higher level paper.

But even a teacher was puzzled by one of the associated questions.

Students were asked to give another word for "gangas", but Robbie Cronin of the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI) and Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin, said he didn't know what the word meant.

Mr Cronin had a positive view of the paper and described the choice of Section A reading comprehensions as interesting.

Begona de la Fuente, of the Institute of Education, thought the Section A journalistic text was an area where students might have found the vocabulary challenging.

She said the Section B Opinion Piece topics "gave students good scope", and described the paper as manageable.

Mr Cronin regarded Section C dialogue as "challenging in places – a lot of my students didn't have the word for scholarship".

He described ordinary level as "very good", but said in the passage which had Spanish questions and Spanish answers students were confused.


Mr Cronin said higher level Junior Cert was a "fine paper with a variety of reading comprehensions. One of his students described it as "challenging but doable".

However, he said "the boys felt that the letter was disjointed – especially the last point about two things you like and you dislike about your school. It didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the exam".

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