Leaving Cert: Refugees, ‘Star Wars’ on topical German paper

Questions on higher level paper challenged students to think independently, teacher says

A question on the higher level Leaving Cert German paper focused on the attraction of Ireland for making films such as ‘Star Wars’, and if there were any drawbacks for the country. Photograph: Lucasfilm Ltd/Reuters.

A question on the higher level Leaving Cert German paper focused on the attraction of Ireland for making films such as ‘Star Wars’, and if there were any drawbacks for the country. Photograph: Lucasfilm Ltd/Reuters.

 

Star Wars and refugees were two of the issues that appeared on the higher level Leaving Cert German paper which teachers called a very topical and fair test of students.

Candidates were asked in one section to write about integrating refugees into their school and wider society. Another question focused on the attraction of Ireland for making films such as Star Wars, and if there were any drawbacks for the country.

Marie Morrissey, ASTI subject representative and a teacher at St Mary’s CBS in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, said these questions will have challenged students to think independently rather than ream off rote-learned German.

She said one of the comprehensions, about not paying for a train ticket, was a little bit tricky but that students will have been able to relate it to a picture sequence from the oral exam.

Some students may have been slightly caught out by a particular phrase on the German exam, but a grammar section which asked them to fill conjuctions into the blanks, was very manageable, said Josephine Neilsen, president of the German Teachers Association of Ireland.

Two of her students, Pierce Sinnott and Ruairí Murphy, both said the higher level paper was fair and reasonable.

Ms Neilsen said that, overall, the higher level paper was very fair.

“The paper dealt with modern topics and often a number of these topics were integrated into questions to examine the students ability to produce German themselves and not just rote-learned material,” she said.

There were no surprises on the ordinary level paper, said Ms Neilsen with students likely well prepared for topics such as accommodation for young people, migration and refugees.

“The topics and questions were fair and the grammar section very manageable, while the written section offered two possibilities which gave students very different options to gain their marks. The stduents I spoke to were happy with the paper,” she said.