French (H) 2018: A young, modern paper

Reaction to Leaving Cert 2018 French (Higher Level) by Carole Oiknine, French teacher at The Institute of Education.

A manageable paper that was a fair test of students’ abilities. Challenging in parts. The paper tested the students’ vocabulary and their ability to form their own sentences. A young, modern paper that featured themes that would have appealed to students such as mobile phones in schools and social media.

Section 1: Reading Comprehension:
In the first reading comprehension, both the vocabulary used in the text and the questions asked were quite manageable.

The second text was more challenging and featured some advanced vocabulary. Although most questions were accessible, students would have needed to have had plenty of practise reading literary passages, as well as a wide range of vocabulary, to understand it well.

Section 2: Productive Writing:
The first opinion piece was quite testing. Students were asked to suggest solutions to improve rural life in Ireland. It was a question that was difficult to predict, and students would have had to formulate their own sentences, rather than rely on rote learning.

In the narrative story, students were asked to describe a day in September when their plans had changed at the last minute.

Question 2- Diary:
The diary entry question was quite manageable and it would have been a popular choice. Students were asked to give their reaction to school and business closures due to the snowfalls.

In the email question, students had to apply for a job in France.

Question 3- Opinion Piece:
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.

The questions on mobile phones in schools and social media would have been popular choices, whereas the ones on self-driving cars and the generation of young leaders in Ireland were more specific and less engaging.