Confusion reigns as Spanish weather vocabulary leaves Leaving Cert listeners mystified

‘Difficult’ and ‘confusing’ aural in an otherwise fair exam

Students reported difficulties with a listening comprehension section on the subject of Spain as a tourist destination. Yesterday’s comprehension accounted for 80 marks out of a total 400 for the subject. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Students reported difficulties with a listening comprehension section on the subject of Spain as a tourist destination. Yesterday’s comprehension accounted for 80 marks out of a total 400 for the subject. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 01:00


Students of Spanish were presented with a challenging listening exercise at the end of their exams yesterday as a topic on weather presented them with “difficult” and “at times confusing” vocabulary.

Maire Ní Chiarba, subject representative for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, explained the confusion.

“Some of the answers mentioned geographical areas first, then the weather second, and others expressed it the other way around.

“Overall there were lots of areas mentioned and the students found it hard to follow.”

Aileen Cusack, Spanish teacher at the Institute of Education in Dublin, agreed.

“Even well prepared students would have found section six in the aural exam that dealt with the weather challenging. There was a lot of vocabulary in this section and students would need to have had a discerning ear to make all of it out.”

Tourist destination
Students also reported difficulties with a listening comprehension section on the subject of Spain as a tourist destination.

Yesterday’s comprehension accounted for 80 marks out of a total 400 for the subject.

Just over 5,000 students take Spanish for the Leaving Cert. The written part of yesterday’s paper was well-received.

About 1,600 students took Spanish at ordinary level yesterday.

The paper was described as “suitably challenging”.

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