Test turns to trial as drama unfolds
Leaving Certificate Irish
A QUESTION about the play 'An Triail' proved a bit of trial for candidates sitting Irish higher level Paper 2 yesterday.
Teacher Robbie Cronin of the ASTI and Marian College in Ballsbridge, Dublin, said they would have had great difficulty in understanding the first question.
Candidates were asked to discuss what Mr Cronin translated as: "The main conflicts of the play grow/develop from human faults or vices, which are concealed under the similarity of love."
He described it as a horror question in an otherwise good paper. "I still don't know what it means," he said.
Mr Cronin said generally there was a drama question on characters as a choice instead of the general thematic question, "but the choice was horrible", with nothing on characters at all.
"The students were asked to comment on the use of two dramatic techniques in the development of the main theme. This question is worth 40 marks and will have left many students upset," he said.
In contrast, Mr Cronin described the questions on prose as "very good", while poetry was challenging but fair; and there was a "good broad range" in history.
Clare Grealy, of the Institute of Education, said areas that were widely anticipated were in evidence on the higher level paper.
She welcomed the new-style prose question as being of "significant assistance" to students. She was also happy with the poetry, while the history section, she said, which is sometimes feared by students, allowed them to answer with confidence.
At ordinary level, Mr Cronin said that while students would not have had a problem with the prose, the style of question changed for the poetry section, which would have confused some.
"Some of the questions were subdivided, so instead of asking general thematic questions on theme or emotions, students were asked specific questions. This, I feel, is unfair and so do my students."
But he said the second poetry question was considered fair.
Ms Grealy said that, overall, ordinary level candidates were happy.
In relation to the new style of poetry question, Ms Grealy believed the approach "really helped candidates, especially those that were nervous about this part of the syllabus".