Leaving Cert: Good choice of essays but tough on weaker candidates
LEAVING Cert French Higher Level candidates who had learned off a number of essays hoping to regurgitate one of them on the day may have been caught out by yesterday's paper, teachers said.
"There was a very good choice, with topical issues coming up, but the students would have had to think," said Maire Ni Chiarba of the ASTI and Colaiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, Cork.
One essay centred on the surplus, or not, of sport on TV while another asked students to write about the experience of going to a rock concert.
As an example, Natasha Lynch of Essential French, a grinds service in Cork, said: "The opinion piece mentioning Euro 2012 was not, in fact, about sport, but about the huge amount of sports on TV".
Corinne Gavenda of the Institute of Education said, in the second comprehension, students struggled with the verb, "rejoindre", out of its usual context.
In the productive writing section, Ms Gavenda said there was an interesting departure, which may not have been popular with weaker students.
"Unusually students were not given a prescribed set of English instructions, but this question was more of an opinion piece about the Irish language in schools," she said.
On the listening test, Ms Lynch said some of the vocabulary was quite challenging while question six was quite unclear.
"The weaker student would definitely have felt quite intimidated answering this part of the paper," she said.
Dellemar Keane, of the TUI and Bush Post-Primary School, Riverstown, Dundalk described it as "an excellent paper".
She said the written section included no topics that could "throw" students, while the issues featured were ones which should have put them at ease.
Ms Keane judged the ordinary level paper to be "very fair", while Ms Ni Chiarba praised the inclusion of integral elements of French culture, such as the Tour de France.
Ms Gavenda said while students would have required specific vocabulary for the topic of "work" in sections A and B, this was a theme consistently covered in class.