Tuesday 21 November 2017

Leaving Cert Irish: Higher choices 'horrendous'

Shane Hickey

THERE were diverging opinions about the higher level paper, with one teacher calling the choices "horrendous".

Robbie Cronin, of the ASTI and Merrion College in Dublin, said the exam was very difficult and verged on being unfair.

He said the choices in the essay section, which many students go for, were poor and were geared toward adults and not teenagers.

Pupils were asked to write about the rights of children, social interaction in the age of the internet and public leaders.

Blaithin Ni Liathain, of the TUI and Kylemore College in Ballyfermot in Dublin, said the paper was "fine" overall but that the choice of essays was "rather philosophical".

Mr Cronin said students could have taken a way out by doing the question on debating, but that overall the options were poor.

Students were frustrated by the paper, and he criticised the comprehension questions, which were about former president Mary Robinson and a man's decision to go to Poland to teach Irish.

Ms Ni Liathain said the extract about the man teaching in Poland was "not difficult" and the questions were straightforward, but the text and the questions on Robinson were more difficult.

However, Clare Grealy, an Irish Teacher at the Institute of Education, said it was "one of the best papers of recent years. Very well balanced."

There was a good reception to the ordinary level paper, said Mr Cronin.

Both the essays and the story were good, he said, while the comprehensions were just "okay".

A question regarding John Hume was not very topical, he said, and confused some pupils.

Some found the listening exercise difficult.

Ms Ni Liathain said overall the paper was straightforward, although the questions about John Hume may have been difficult for some.

Ms Grealy said: "Students were able to understand the topics presented."

Irish Independent

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