Junior Cert Irish Paper 1: ‘Difficult if not impossible’

Question on Oireachtas na Gaeilge Irish language festival felt to be ‘unclear’

Lorde: students were asked to comment on the ‘freshness’ of her music. Photograph:  Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Lorde: students were asked to comment on the ‘freshness’ of her music. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

 

Some questions on this year’s Junior Cert higher level Irish exam were “difficult, if not impossible”, according to Robbie Cronin, an Irish teacher at Marian College, Ballsbridge in Dublin.

Commenting on Junior Cert higher level Irish (Paper 1), he said while the topics were relevant and interesting, some of the questions were too difficult.

“I refer especially to question five on [New Zealand teen singer] Lorde, where the word ‘úire’ would not be known.

“None of my students understood it. And I, who do understand the word, find it difficult to figure out how to answer the question. The word means ‘freshness’ – a freshness to her music.

Lazy lyrics

Mr Cronin said that another comprehension question on Oireachtas na Gaeilge, an Irish language festival, was unclear, and that students would not have understood some of the words. The rest of the paper was fine, Mr Cronin said. “There was a good variety of essays and grammar. No complaints.”

Students taking higher level Irish Paper 2 faced a slightly different format this year, said TUI subject representative Seamas Ó Farraigh.

Predictability

Mr Cronin echoed this, saying that while the questions were generally fair, the question on the prose piece was “a bit more convoluted than usual, with the students asked to write on more abstract themes . . . a bit unfair”.