Leaving Cert German: Students have more time in topical paper

Higher-level paper layout said to be excellent with clear questions and instructions

The German Leaving Certificate papers were student friendly with a wide range of interesting and topical themes, teachers have said.

Pamela Conway, ASTI subject representative and a German teacher at Skerries Community College, said that students had more time and more choices.

“On the higher-level paper, there was an exciting fictional text about a young teen star who accidentally damages an antique statue of Athena in the town square and is trying to hide the evidence: a broken-off spear,” she said. “Apart from being an extract from a gripping story, the language was particularly accessible as it was full of Anglicisms like ‘filmset-designer”, ‘teenie- star’, ‘swimming pools’, ‘galas’ and ‘penthouse’.”

Ms Conway said that the letter had good topics for students to choose from including popular Netflix series, best apps, online shopping and people who get on your nerves.


“Most of these topics have come up in a similar format on past papers and were a boon to the students who practised from past LC papers,” she said. “The second writing option was also very topical: the virtual workplace.”

Orla Ni Shúilleabháin, a German teacher at the Institute of Education, said that the layout of the higher-level paper was excellent, with clear questions and instructions.

“There was a nice comprehension about two young people, one German and one Mexican, who meet in Harvard but do not speak each other’s languages,” she said.

Both teachers said that the aural exam was quite manageable.

“There was a tricky bit with a telephone number, but well-prepared students should cope without any difficulty,” said Ms Conway. “A question on cybercrime and data theft was very topical.”

Ms Ni Shúilleabháin said that the first section of the aural, an interview with a cuckoo-clock maker, was quite testing. “The cybercrime question was also quite challenging and the speed of delivery was quite fast.”

The ordinary-level paper included questions on money-saving tips and an interview with a student who has decided to live in her converted van. “The van text was lovely and should have been very manageable for students,” said Ms Conway.

"There was a slightly challenging fictional text about a family's planned move from Germany to a small town in Texas. But overall, students should have left the exam centre feeling confident.