Teachers widely welcome second Leaving Cert article in English – The Irish Times
Teachers widely praised the second English paper, saying it provided good choices and tested students’ understanding of the texts studied.
Paul McCormack, an English teacher at the Institute of Education, said the higher-level paper was designed to reward students who have worked hard on their analytical, planning and critical thinking skills.
Kate Barry, ASTI subject representative and teacher at Loreto Secondary School in Fermoy, Co Cork, said changes to the document meant students only had to prepare four poets in depth – instead of five, as c That’s usually the case – so be guaranteed at least one proper question on the top paper.
Irish poets Brendan Kennelly and WB Yeats appeared in this year’s paper alongside Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson and William Wordsworth.
“Formulating one or two of these questions required careful thought and consideration,” McCormack said.
“In particular, the formulation of Yeats’ question, which asked students to comment on the lessons Yeats learned from history, myth, and legend, was difficult.
“The omission of a question about DH Lawrence, the only poet in the course who had not already been reviewed in the past three years, was a disappointment.”
Ms Barry said many of the questions were quite specific and that was a welcome development.
“The questions relate to specific aspects of each text, such as the story of Nora in [Henrik Ibsen’s] A doll’s house, and the use of letters as a narrative device in [Mary Shelley’s] Frankenstein.
“This is a change from previous years where the questions were the same with only the names of the texts/characters replaced, and it is certainly an improvement as it means that candidates need to have an intimate understanding of the text being studied in order to respond well,” said Barry.
Both teachers said most students would have answered a question about Shakespeare’s Othello.
Earlier yesterday, engineering students attended an “interesting and topical paper” which had a particular focus on sustainability, teachers said.
Donal Cremin, ASTI subject representative and teacher at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Co Kerry, said many of the questions tested students’ awareness of their surroundings and the world they live in.
“There were a variety of engineering principles and procedures [covered in questions that addressed] renewable energy, electric scooters, bike helmets, cellphone covers and screens, with the iconic Ha’penny Bridge featured in a very modern newspaper as well,” Cremin said.
Michael Martin, TUI subject representative and teacher at Castleblayney College, Monaghan, pointed out that higher level students had already completed 50% of their assessment through a practical exam and a project, each of which was worth 25%.
“This year’s students had to answer five out of nine questions, one less than in previous years,” Martin said.
Try this one at home:
– English test two, higher level
(i) “Various aspects of the relationship between Iago and Emilia in Shakespeare’s play Othello are both fascinating and disturbing.” Discuss why you agree or disagree with the above statement. Expand your discussion by referring to the text.