Junior Cert French and History: pas mal

Positive reactions to history while higher level French had a little sting in its tail

One French question was about snowy mountains

One French question was about snowy mountains


Technology and tablets were popular themes among this year’s exam setters with iPad-type issues appearing on both the Junior and Leaving Cert French papers at higher level.

The higher-level paper presented “interesting and engaging” comprehension texts, according to the TUI’s David Duffy. As well as computer tablets, there were passages about a boy’s account of boarding school, a recipe, restaurant advertisements, the Pantheon and interviews with a sports star and an actor. “The questions asked were fine,” said Elizabeth Hayes-Lyne, author of Bonne Chance.

The written production section of the paper was “a little bit nasty in parts”, said Natasha Lynch of Essentialfrench.ie. “The postcard asked students to tell their penpal how they love looking at the snowy mountains. It was a bit mean I thought,” she said. “The letter could also have been a bit nicer.”

History paper

The afternoon’s history paper was broadly welcomed. At higher level, there are two questions that make up the bulk of the marks.

“As long as questions four and six are okay, students are generally happy,” said TUI representative Michael Hogan, a teacher in Deele College, Raphoe, Co Donegal. “They were fine.”

Question four was on the D-Day landings, which would have been tipped by teachers. The choice of topics in question six was “more than fair”, Mr Hogan added.

He described as “beautiful” the paper that greeted ordinary level students. “Again, the key questions were fine.”

Question four, one of those key questions, required students to write about a given person in history. People such as a knight in the Middle Ages and a religious reformer were “predictable”, Mr Hogan said.