Advice for 6th Year Irish :

On the Ordinary level paper,  the following are the breakdowns :

Oral   –  40 %  (Oral break-down given below)

Listening  –  10 %

Paper 1  –  17 %    Written pieces.  (Scéal + Litir)

Paper 2  –  33 %     Reading Comprehension,  Prós ainmnithe,

Poetry (Filíocht ainmnithe).

Normally, you have about 20 mins homework to do. That breaks down into no more than 10 minutes written work, followed by 10 minutes learning work or 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 (10%) :  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. In the examination, you will hear each piece TWICE. Not 3 times, as in previous years.


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 ( 17 % ) : the most important thing is to be as ‘safe’ as possible. Try to write things you have learnt or used successfully before. I will recommend the

–  Scéal

–  Litir

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 2 questions on Paper 1. are very straight-forward to prepare. A conscientious student should do very well.

Oral ( 40 % ) :  Broken down as follows.

     –    2%  Introductions (Fáiltiú), when were you born, date of birth, exam number)

     –    15%  Reading Poetry (Léamh na filíochta) the examiner chooses a poem and you simply read it out loud.

(Géibheann – all, Colscaradh – all, Mo Ghrá – véarsa 1, 2, 3.  Spailpín – véarsa 1+2, An tEarrach – véarsa 1+2).

–    33%  Picture Stories (Sraith Pictiúr) There are 20 in total. The examiner chooses one. The candidate should have approx 2/3 sentences in each picture. That’s 18 sentences in total. The candidate asks 3 questions / then the examiner asks 3 questions back.

–    50%   General conversation.

We have been doing the Oral in its different parts since 5th Year, so most of the material requires practice now at this point. Remember it is 40% so it is very important to do as well as possible. 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. Obviously, you must avoid sounding like a parrot rhyming things off. You need to attempt to sound as natural as possible while speaking as correctly as possible too. Pronunciation is important too.

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.