Saturday 16 December 2017

Leaving Cert French: Henry handled well during 'slick' challenge

Edel O'Connell

THIERRY Henry's now infamous handball during France and Ireland's World Cup qualifier was a popular topic among many Leaving Cert French students yesterday.

Mary Lyndon of the ASTI and St Brendan's Community School, Birr, Co Offaly praised the inclusion of a number of relevant and current topics.

Overall she described higher level French as "smooth and slick" but with lots of "stings in its tail".

The comprehension section was very well received, however, there were elements that may have challenged students, she said.

"You had to watch out for some of the detail in the questions, but overall it was pretty smooth and very age appropriate. It was clear and nicely paced, so there were no major problems there for students," said Ms Lyndon.

The compulsory question provided a choice between 'the importance of independence as teenagers', which did not require very specific vocabulary and enabled candidates to tap into the work undertaken for their oral exams and crime in Ireland, a common topic in the oral exams, according to Corinne Gavenda of Dublin's Institute of Education.

In the productive writing section there was plenty of choice.

"Students who prepared well for the oral exams fared well in this section as topics such as teens dreaming of independence, criminality in Ireland today and binge drinking came to the fore," said Ms Lyndon.

Question 3(B) of the written section was very popular with sports fans as it asked students for their opinions on refereeing.

"Many students when asked to give their opinion on whether or not a referee's opinion is sacrosanct took up Ireland's World Cup qualifier loss and Thierry Henry's infamous handball to argue against," said Ms Lyndon

The final productive writing option required students to discuss the importance of religion for young people in Ireland or, possibly more engaging, their thoughts about social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In ordinary level, continuing on from past papers, the language used was appropriate for the candidates, said Ms Gavenda.

"The only issue that may have arisen was in comprehension four, which really required them to get to grips with the detail of the passage; a general gist of the piece would not have sufficed."

Irish Independent

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