German students must think independently, say teachers

Classical Studies straight forward and Latin well received

Orla Ní Shúilleabháin, a German teacher at The Institute of Education, said the paper was challenging in parts, with the grammar section being particularly testing.

Orla Ní Shúilleabháin, a German teacher at The Institute of Education, said the paper was challenging in parts, with the grammar section being particularly testing.

Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 23:22


Travel, diets and blogging appeared on a fair and topical higher level Leaving Cert German paper that required students to think independently and on the spot.

Orla Ní Shúilleabháin, a German teacher at The Institute of Education, said the paper was challenging in parts, with the grammar section being particularly testing.

A question asking students what they would do if they won the Lotto challenged students on their knowledge of the conditional tense. “The weaker students will have found it particularly tough,” she said.

Barbara Capper, a teacher at St Louis High School in Rathmines, Dublin, said the comprehension questions were “quite doable and used vocabulary that would be known to students. The second comprehension piece, about Haustausch, or house exchanges, was a nice topic and new to the exam.” Another question, about where to find house keys, would also have required thinking outside the box.

The ordinary level Leaving Cert paper echoed much of what appeared in yesterday morning’s Junior Cert German paper, with broken arms, hospital stays, friends who can’t get to Germany, and summer plans all making an appearance. “All topics should have been fine for the ordinary level students,” said Ms Capper, although she suggested that an email on camping holidays was a little harder than a related dialogue on the same topic.


Classical Studies
Jim O’Dea, a classical studies teacher at Rathdown School in Dublin, said the Leaving Cert classical studies paper was straightforward and trouble-free. However, he criticised the breakdown of the marking scheme, which places more emphasis on essay writing for some questions than for others.


Latin
Mr O’Dea said that the 101 students sitting Leaving Cert Latin found the paper to be fair. A Latin comprehension question, based on the Battle of Marathon, was well received.

A section on unseen prose was straightforward, although students said a passage on Horace, who was a Roman lyric poet during the time of Emperor Augustus, was relatively difficult, as was a section on the Roman historian Livy.

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