The following are the breakdowns.
2. Reading Comprehension
Normally, you have about 15 – 20 mins homework to do. Approximately 10 minutes written work, followed by 10 minutes learning work (Study). You need to constantly revise and refresh the things we do in class. Vocabulary and Grammar are built up slowly and steadily. You cannot expect to have a good base if your study is erratic or infrequent. You do a lot of that work quietly and individually. A Teacher may not notice your industry until exam time, when the diligent students will usually shine. The teacher has a part to play but the most influential person in the equation is you and your dedication to your work.
Listening : It is vital that you do some of this at home on your own, in a silent place, 2 or 3 times a week even for 5 – 10 minutes. It all adds up. Do not neglect this area as it will be the difference between getting a B Grade or a C grade ( 10 – 15%). The majority of the pieces we will do come from the student CD which accompanies your text book. I will also supply you with the ‘script’ , allowing us to read and translate the pieces when the Listening tests are done.
Reading Comprehension : When we have completed a Comprehension, we will read back over it, translating it in full. With the key words written in, this then allows you at a later stage when doing personal study, to read that piece while fully understanding it. That reading exercise may only take you 5 minutes but it is excellent revision for your general vocabulary. While also being very beneficial, it is easier than learning lists of words off by heart and sometimes out of context. Try to develop good Irish reading habits.
Written : the most important thing is to be as ‘safe’ as possible. Try to write things you have learnt or used successfully before. When you are composing ‘fresh’ , it is easier to make a lot of mistakes. Writing simply and correctly can be the difference between 70% and getting a grade D. Answers that get a grade D are normally brim full of error and guesswork. These questions are very straight-forward to prepare. A conscientious student should do very well.
Oral : we have been doing the Oral in its different parts. Remember it is very important to do as well as possible. (For Leaving Cert it is 40 % of the exam, and that is why I believe it is best started in 1st Year).
Practice speaking out loud, practice using key words and most importantly practice getting back quickly into the conversation if the examiner has interrupted your flow. Speech that flows is what indicates fluency. You need to attempt to sound as natural as possible while speaking as correctly as possible too. Pronunciation is also very important.
Question forms : It is vital to be 100 % sure of these. They affect every area of your paper. If you mix up ‘ Cá, cad, cé ‘ …. once or twice, then you will suffer through the different areas. Spend 10 minutes learning them, then revise them every so often.
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