Leaving Cert Italian: Topical, relevant and challenging

Ample choice for students in this year’s exam though some may have struggled with complex questions

The Italian paper was topical and relevant, although students did face some challenges, teachers have said.

Chiara Biondi & Mairéad Ní Drisceoil, ASTI subject representatives for Italian, said in the higher level paper that students would have been happy to see technology on the paper.

“But two of the questions in the journalistic reading comprehension were challenging as students were asked to use their own words to explain a point of view from the text,” they said. “Students find it difficult to know how much they need to change and can struggle at times to find synonyms for ideas expressed in the text.”

Ms Bionda and Ms Ní Drisceoil said that there was ample choice within section B, with students having a choice between an unseen literary comprehension, literary passages from prescribed novels and essays on prescribed texts.


“The reference to ‘didattica digitale’, digital learning, and the use of a wide range of relevant vocabulary in the journalistic reading comprehension would have assisted students in the written section linked to the reading comprehension, where they were asked to discuss how technology can help people in many situations,” the teachers said.

“Students would have had plenty of relevant vocabulary to develop their story in the guided composition, where they had to describe how they got to see their favourite singer,” they added.

“There was plenty of choice again, with students only having to use any six of the ten ideas mentioned in the question. The bullet point layout was very student friendly.”

Erica Capello, an Italian teacher at the Institute of Education, said that there was a lot of choice on the paper.

Ms Bionda and Ms Ní Drisceoil said that the aural paper was student-oriented at both higher and ordinary level, with conversations planning days out and a lost ID card, as well as an interview with an Irish woman about her Italian learning journey.

Both teachers said that the ordinary level paper was also student-centred.

“There were reading comprehensions based on Italian singer, Noemi and on Mammapack, an online supermarket supplying Italian products,” they said.

“In the written section, students again had good choice, covering four of the six points given for the informal letter. The students wrote an email to a friend, explaining their desire to do an online course. This question was student-focused, with the students having a chance to discuss a course that interests them personally.”



Discuss the view that the novel Bianca come il latte, rossa come il sangue is about Leo’s personal growth. At least three points to be made. OR Discuss the character of Leo’s father, showing also how the relationship between father and son changes as the story develops. At least three points to be made.