Review of French Higher Level paper by Corrine Gavenda, French teacher at The Institute of Education.
An approachable and fair paper that offered students a good choice of questions on a range of interesting, relevant and topical subjects. There were no surprises in terms of layout or types of questions asked.
Section 1: Reading Comprehension:
Journalistic passage: This question was made very approachable because the question, posed in English, told them that the topic was hitchhiking. This gave students a good starting point. The tense question might have caught some students out, as this specific tense has not come up on the paper before.
Literary passage: Always the more challenging question in this section. But the text presented was very accessible. Only thing that might have caught them out here were specific words added to the questions such as ‘exactement’.
Section 2: Productive Writing: Students were asked to discuss whether to succeed in the working world of today, is it necessary to go to college and get a degree? This is a topic they are familiar with, both in writing and speech.
Journal/ Diary section: Students were asked to write about a party they had held while their parents were away. This was a fair topic that gave good scope. It was not over easy.
Question 3- Section 2: The theme of friendship was examined. It was a nice comfortable theme which students should have been well prepared for. The Gathering also made an appearance in this section, with students asked to discuss what they thought of the event. There was good scope to discuss tourism etc here.
Question 4: Students were asked to discuss the influence of celebrities on young people. This question would have proved a popular with students and the manner in which the question was posed provided a good structure for the opinion piece. Students were also asked to react to a humorous cartoon about the horse meat scandal. This was a very topical subject and would have perhaps been one of the most challenging questions on the paper.