French (H): A friendly, topical paper with some little twists

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Reaction to Leaving Cert 2022 French (Higher Level) by Corinne Gavenda, French teacher at The Institute of Education.

Overall, this was a friendly, topical paper with some little twists which would require students to read the questions fully.

The instructions at the start of the paper, which were in both English and French, were extremely clear.

The way the paper was printed was a little bit tight and the text might have come across as a little bit off-putting.



First Comprehension:

The first comprehension was about a girl who has always wanted to be a nurse. She gets work experience in an emergency accommodation for children and realises that is what she wants to do.

This topic was very relevant to students as it was about work experience and careers.

The language was extremely approachable, and students would have had no problem understanding the text.

There was also no question that required reformulation. The grammar question was to look for a verb in the infinitive which meant to ‘calm down’.

Second Comprehension:

The second comprehension was definitely more difficult to understand.

It was about a 22-year-old woman, who is trying to find her mother and who is getting help from a friend.

Two questions required reformulation.

Most students would probably have gone for the first comprehension. This follows a pattern of the second comprehension, which is always a literary extract, being more challenging.


Like last year, students answered two questions in this section. Normally they answer three. The choice was excellent, and most students would have gone for the second option.

The first option had two parts- How do you choose the career that is most suitable for you, and have you decided what you want to do for your career? It is possible that some students may have missed the first part of the question.

The second option was about the cost of living, relating to young people. That it is becoming more difficult for young adults to live without financial support.

The third option was the narrative. Students were asked if they have ever taken a big decision, and then to narrate what happened. It was a nice question but most students would probably not have gone for it.

Section 3

Like last year, students had to answer one of six questions in this section.

In question 2, the diary, students had to write about their wallet being stolen while they were Christmas shopping. At first sight it was a nice question, but to keep it going over half a page might have been a bit more difficult.

The email in question 3 was about your school and what it does for the environment. The theme was great and nice and topical, but students would have had to make sure they read until the very end of the question, where they were asked to congratulate their French friend on the fact that his school received a recent prize.

Question 4 will probably be the most popular. It was about replacing the Leaving Certificate with a continuous assessment and most students will have prepared something on this topic.

Question 5 was on sport. Again, a great theme but students needed to be careful with the question, which said that sport is not simply good for your health, it also helps you to be more efficient in your everyday life.

The last question 6 was the most difficult in terms of topic. It was about why Europe must welcome migrants. This was extremely topical and stronger students would have had the vocabulary to cope with a question like this. The majority however would have shunned away from it, as question 4 was so good.