The higher-level German paper was in line with expectations although there were one or two challenging items in the letter, according to Fiona Healy, a German teacher at St Joseph's in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry.
“My students described the paper as fair, and felt the reading and listening parts of the paper were nice,” said Ms Healy, who is also an ASTI subject representative. “The letter related to topics that students have covered in class such as weather, the house and neighbours, pets and describing a party in the past tense. One part that may have been more challenging was writing about a talent show in your school and what prizes you could win. That said, students would have had plenty of practice over the three years responding to a wide variety of letter questions.”
The note asked students to write to their exchange partner and this topic is covered in class, said Ms Healy. On the comprehensions, there was an article in which students in a German school described the best methods to study. "It was interesting: they gave tips on what worked best for them, and a psychologist also spoke about what types of music students should listen to when studying different subjects including rock and pop music for creative subjects like art - this was music to our own students' ears in Ireland. "
She added that a story about a brother and sister arguing over household chores as one that students could relate to.
The ordinary level paper was fair, she said. “Apart from the challenge of knowing enough vocabulary to answer the questions in the listening paper, my students found the paper fine. The reading comprehensions included topics like hobbies, holiday plans and pets. The vocabulary and questions were very accessible for ordinary level. The letter featured topics students would be very familiar with such as family, hobbies, food, pocket money and school.”
TRY THIS AT HOME: JUNIOR CERT GERMAN, HIGHER LEVEL
You are in Germany visiting your exchange partner in Mainz. Leave a note for him/her and include the following information: Your friend Jakob rang. The football team has training in the park this afternoon. Then you are going to the cinema. Ask your exchange partner to come along (Write approximately 25 - 30 words in German)