ANIMALS on social networking sites may be an unusual topic for an examination but it was a popular one in yesterday's Junior Certificate French.
"Fair and straightforward with relevant and pertinent topics" is how the French higher and lower level examinations were described by Maire Ni Chiarba of the ASTI and Colaiste Ni Phiarasigh, Glanmire, Co Cork.
The exam began with a listening comprehension described as "clear, with adequate pauses and using vocabulary which was very appropriate for Junior Cert level".
Students then had to undertake a series of reading comprehensions which involved topics including a recipe for a quiche Lorraine and a story about a 14-year-old boy who was a stamp collector.
"The topic of celebrity magazines also came up, which are very popular with teenagers," said Ms Ni Chiarba.
"Animals who have their own social networking pages was also a popular choice and students were happy enough with this fun topic," according to the ASTI spokeswoman.
However, the section that students found the most satisfying was the postcard.
"Students were delighted with this section as it involved writing home to tell friends about a holiday. The letter was also straightforward and asked students to thank someone for a birthday present, and talk about school exams and what they did at the weekend -- all of which involved vocabulary which students should be very familiar with," she added.
There were no major surprises at ordinary level either, which Ms Ni Chiarba described as "a very fair and very appropriate paper".
"What was interesting here culturally was the reading comprehension which defined the roles of the different people who work in the French school system, for example the school nurse and the supervisor, roles which Irish students would know are usually covered by just one person," she said.