Junior Cert Irish paper 2: ‘Students challenged with detailed questions’

Afternoon paper a tougher task for many

Junior cert students from left; Elizabeth Constantineanu, Sureksha Sukumaran and Aisling Incze  at Mount Carmel Secondary School, King’s Inns Street, Dublin.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Junior cert students from left; Elizabeth Constantineanu, Sureksha Sukumaran and Aisling Incze at Mount Carmel Secondary School, King’s Inns Street, Dublin.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Junior Cert students who who sat their second Irish exam of the day faced a much more challenging paper which required a wide and flexible vocabulary, according to teachers.

Teacher Ruth Morrissey said many of her students found paper two a highly testing affair with little time to familiarise themselves with unseen texts on some tricky subjects areas and themes.

“Overall, it was a significantly more challenging than paper one. While anyone who was well prepared would have flown through it, some would have found the level of vocabulary required a real challenge,” said Ms Morrissey, a teacher with St Michael’s Community College in Kilmihil, Co Clare.

The unseen poem and comprehension extracts, for example, were on subject areas which required students to draw on a wide range of vocabulary.

“There was just 15 minutes for students to negotiate these texts and answer three questions,” said Ms Morrissey, who is also a subject representative for the TUI.

“While students were able to comprehend the questions, they were often very specific and required students to answer in their own words.”

Questions on stories that students have previously studied posed a challenge for many in that they focused on place, rather than characters or emotions which many would have prepared for.

“Instead of rote -learning off answers, students really had to apply their knowledge to the questions,” she said.

“It seems to be a very deliberate strategy to get students thinking about what they have learned.”

Robbie Cronin, a teacher at Marian College, Ballsbridge, said this question on previously studied stories was different to other years .

“For the first time ever, they were asked to write about a friendly, frightening , famous place. My own son studies in a Gaelscoil and he came home cross. Imagine the guys in schools in which English is the language most used”, he said.

He said the question on unseen prose was “excellent” and fairer than other years.

With regards to the unseen poetry, he said the choice of poems was quite good but said a question in section ’A’ which required students to ask for two items or reasons was unfair because it was difficult to come up with a second example.

“There were no problems with the choice of letter: school celebration, a hero of yours and a formal letter to an editor about an article in the paper you were unhappy with,” said Mr Cronin, who is an ASTI subject representative.