Lost in translation

Women in the workforce was the theme of the listening paper in the Advanced Higher exam - an interesting topic, thought Fhiona Fisher, principal teacher of modern languages at Douglas Academy in East Dunbartonshire.

As in previous years, her pupils felt more comfortable with part b of the listening paper - the discussion between two people - rather than the first part, a presentation by a single person.

The translation - on the subject of the Paris, New York and Moroccan marathons - was tricky (as expected at that level), but nevertheless interesting and accessible.

Candidates had to choose one topic from a choice of six discursive essays and Ms Fisher felt there were at least three with which her pupils would have been comfortable. Topics ranged from "Live to eat or eat to live - what is the attitude of our society?" to environ-mental destruction, and whether school prepares pupils for the world of work.

"It was a good paper, although parts were challenging, but it's supposed to be, at Advanced Higher. There were problems with some of the listening, but pupils always find that difficult," said Ms Fisher.

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