Junior Cert German: getting easier

Great paper from a student’s point of view, with very accessible language

The Junior Cert German  exam and syllabus are being modified to reflect the norms of the Common European Framework for Languages. Numbers taking up German t at this level had been slipping as the exam was considered quite challenging.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The Junior Cert German exam and syllabus are being modified to reflect the norms of the Common European Framework for Languages. Numbers taking up German t at this level had been slipping as the exam was considered quite challenging. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 13:56

More than 10,000 Junior Cert students sat a German exam that was “not dumbed down but definitely getting easier”, according to one teacher.

“This was a great paper from a student’s point of view as the language was very accessible,” said Patrick Kavanagh of St Mary’s CBS in Enniscorthy.

“This has been a trend in recent years and it’s welcomed by teachers as well. The printed letter, for example, was understandable with no difficult vocabulary and this is important, because the students need to be able to access it in order to write their own letter. It makes life so much less stressful.”

It is understood that the Junior Cert exam and syllabus are being modified to reflect the norms of the Common European Framework for Languages. Numbers taking up the subject at this level had been slipping as the exam was considered quite challenging.

“By removing some of the more difficult tenses from the exam, it frees up more time to make the learning experience nicer for kids,” Mr Kavanagh added. “These were two very nice papers at both levels.”

Almost 23,000 students sat the home economics exam in the afternoon.

Maura McCaul of Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, described a “topical” paper with questions relating to shopping, banking and water conservation in the home. Both the higher and ordinary level papers featured questions on smoking. Higher-level students were asked to describe measures taken in Ireland to reduce smoking while ordinary level students considered the health effects of passive smoking.

“For the first time ever, students were asked to draw and label the structure of the tooth. We welcome that, as it rewards able students,” Ms McCaul said. “In the past they would only have been called upon to label a diagram provided already.”

The written paper counts for 50 per cent of a student’s grade. The remaining marks were awarded earlier in the year for a cooking project and for coursework in craft, childcare and textiles.