French (H) 2019: An extremely topical and relevant paper

Reaction to Leaving Cert 2019 French (Higher Level) by Corinne Gavenda, French teacher at The Institute of Education.

An extremely topical and relevant paper. The paper stayed very close to student’s interests, in both the comprehension and the productive writing. A little bit challenging in places, as a higher level paper should be.

Section 1: Reading Comprehension:

First Comprehension:
The much-awaited theme of the environment came up here, with the focus on food wastage.
This could not be more topical. The text was still challenging and students would need to have taken their time to go through the text and read the questions carefully.

Second Comprehension:
The second comprehension was an unusual extract about a girl travelling alone in Europe.
It was an approachable comprehension but a little more challenging than last year. The grammar question involved finding a reflexive verb, something students sometimes struggle with.

Section 2: Productive Writing:
There was plenty of choice here.

Question 1, Part A: As a compulsory question, the environment came up, with an interesting slant. Students were asked what are your everyday habits that you should change in order to save the world.

Question 1, Part B: No story came up in Part B. A reaction came up instead- An act of kindness is never lost. This was not something students would have prepared for and yet it was not a difficult question, and was something that everyone should be able to write about.

Question 2: Diary:
A very broad, relevant theme came up here- you’ve been to a big concert with your friend.

Question 2: Email:
Students had to write an email in which you congratulate a friend for getting a place in college. Students had to answer three questions: What is the procedure in Ireland? Do you have to pay? And how do students go about finding accommodation? This was very topical and is a part of students everyday lives.

Question 3 & 4: Reactions.
The four opinion pieces in Questions 3 and 4 were factual and modern and most of them would have posed no problems to well-prepared students.

There were some very nice questions on drugs and young people and the advantage of learning foreign languages. Question 3 (B) on sport would have proved more challenging to students.