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Monday 20 November 2017

Leaving Cert 2012: New question 6 in Irish higher level paper could pose problems

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

LEAVING Certificate Irish Higher Level candidates could have had difficulties with two separate questions six on today’s Paper 2, according to one teacher.

One question was linked to an “interesting” comprehension piece about Irish American, Jim Thorpe who won two gold medals in the 1913 Olympics in Stockholm

The ASTI’s Robbie Cronin, of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin said the questions were generally fair.

However, he noted Question 6, a new addition this year, with a part (a) on grammar, and a part (b) which sought an opinion from the candidates.

“The opinion piece was too demanding. For a maximum of 10 marks they had to say what the text reveals about the mindset of both the American people AND the mindset of the IOC(International Olympic Council)”, he said.

Mr Cronin also liked the second comprehension piece was about the journalist, Alex Hijmans', visit to San Salvador. It was an excerpt from his novel ‘Favelas’.

“It was interesting and the questions on the text were fair”.

However, he said the text should have used a glossary to explain the word "bundúsaigh", which means natives, and was an important one to understand.

He felt “Muintir na tire” would have been a more accessible alternative.

He said students may also have had difficulty with the term "aingil choimhdeachta" which means guardian angels. “I thought this was difficult, especially in the new secular Ireland” he said.

While Mr Cronin thought Question 6 (a) was fine, he regarded 6 (b) as “unfair”.

It asked the student to say what genre/type of literature of which the comprehension piece was an example, to give two characteristics associated with this genre, and write an article on one of those characteristics as evidenced in said excerpt.

Mr Cornin found no cause to complain about the ordinary level paper, which he said included “two very interesting comprehension passages”. One on Evanne Ní Chuileann, the RTE sport's journalist, and another on Daithí ó héithir a young Irish tennis player.

* Don’t miss tomorrow’s print edition of the Irish Independent for exclusive in-depth analysis of today’s Leaving Cert papers

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