AN EXTREMELY topical and relevant paper that stayed very close to students’ interests, in both the comprehension and the productive writing, was how teacher Corinne Gavenda, described the Leaving Cert higher level French exam.
While it was “a little bit challenging in places, that is how a higher level paper should be”, said Ms Gavenda of Dublin’s Institute of education.
The first reading comprehension dealt with the environment and food waste, a theme that Ms Gavenda said was “much-awaited”.
While the topicality would have appealed to students, Ms Gavenda said the text was challenging and students would need to have taken their time to go through it and read the questions carefully.
She described the second comprehension as “an unusual extract” about a girl travelling alone in Europe.
Although approachable, it was “a little more challenging than last year”, with a grammar question involving finding a reflexive verb,” something students sometimes struggle with”.
Ms Gavenda said there was “plenty of choice”, in Section 2, Productive Writing, with an interesting slant in the compulsory, Q1 Part A, with the environment featuring again. Here, students were asked what of their everyday habits that they should change in order to save the world.
In Q1, Part B, students may have been surprised that no ‘story’ came up.
“A ‘reaction’ came up instead – An act of kindness is never lost. This was not something students would have prepared for and yet it was not a difficult question, and was something that everyone should be able to write about” said Ms Gavenda.
More topicality in the diary question, about attending a concert, and the email option, where the task was to congratulate a friend for getting a place in college.
Ms Gavenda said most of the four opinion pieces in Qs3 & 4 should have posed no problems to well-prepared students.
She said there were some “very nice questions on drugs and young people and the advantage of learning foreign languages” although Q3 (B) on sport would have proved more challenging.