Leaving Cert Irish 1: Few surprises in a well-received paper

Take your pick: technology, alcohol and drugs, travel, the Irish language

In the context of major stories - water charges, Charlie Hebdo, marriage equality referendum were all topics students could have written about. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

In the context of major stories - water charges, Charlie Hebdo, marriage equality referendum were all topics students could have written about. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Higher level Irish students who prepared well for the oral Irish exam were doubly rewarded with a paper that was rich in the issues of the day, according to teachers on Monday afternoon.

“I always tell my students the topics you prepare for the oral are never a waste,” said Ruth Morrissey-Casey, TUI subject rep and teacher in St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil, Co Clare. “There was plenty of scope for them to write on a number of issues.”

The essay section on the paper offered a good range of topics according to Asti rep Robbie Cronin. “The titles were excellent,” he said.

Technology, alcohol and drugs, travel, the Irish language and the major stories of today provided ample opportunity for strong students to show their richness of language without confounding weaker students teachers said.

“Major stories of today, was a particularly nice question,” said Clare Grealy of the Institute of Education. “It gave excellent flexibility to students, and provided they saw the potential in the question, they could have used topics they had prepared but that were not directly asked on the paper.”

The debate topic, about the progress women have made in recent years, raised a few eyebrows. “Had we not made progress before the last few years?” asked Ms Morrissey-Casey. “I’d struggle to write three pages on that topic. It was a little old-fashioned perhaps.

“It could have proved challenging as students would be required to have specific knowledge on specific women,” Ms Grealy said.

The speech that students were required to write was on Ireland’s excellent education system. “I thought that would have been better as a debate topic,” Ms Morrissey-Casey said. “What if the students didn’t agree?”

All students did an aural exam before starting the written section. “The CD material was very clear, very direct and not as fast as recent years,” Ms Morrissey-Casey said. “The terminology was accessible and the questions were appropriate to the level.”

Ordinary level students were faced with one question about recycling which may have posed a difficulty as it was phrased in the conditional tense, the dreaded “modh coinniollach”.

“There’s a problem generally with the aural Irish in that the CD is only played twice rather than three times as it is in other language exams,” Mr Cronin said. “It causes a difficulty, especially among weaker students.”

Again, students who put the work into the oral exam at ordinary level were rewarded in the story section. “Each option was based very closely on the picture sequences that students would have prepared for the oral exam a number of weeks ago,” Ms Grealy said.

In the popular letter section, students were asked to write about a stay in hospital or about a concert they were going to. The concert letter was slightly more challenging, according to Ms Morrissey-Casey, as it asked students to describe their preparations before the concert as well as what they did at the concert.

Overall, few students would have been rattled by, “accessible, run of the mill topics,” Ms Grealy said.

Try this at home

Freagair do rogha CEANN AMHÁIN díobh seo.

(a) Scríobh an chaint a dhéanfá i ndíospóireacht scoile ar son an rúin seo a leanas nó ina aghaidh: Tá dul chun cinn iontach déanta ag mná na hÉireann le blianta beaga anuas.

(b) Tá scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta díreach críochnaithe agat. Iarradh ort píosa cainte a dhéanamh ar chlár raidió ar an ábhar seo: Tá córas oideachais an-mhaith againn in Éirinn.

Scríobh an píosa cainte a dhéanfá ar an ábhar sin.

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