Gaelic (learners) - Tough time with accents

30th April 2010 at 01:00

The standard of responses in Higher exams was described as "satisfactory" with some "very good", although exams written by this year's candidates did not compare well with previous years, even though they were of a similar difficulty.

The listening section proved challenging for many Higher students, with "misunderstandings of quite a basic nature" in evidence. The assessors were also concerned that some answers did not reflect the marks available for the question, and urged teachers to make sure pupils knew that "marks offered for questions reflect the number of points (or breadth of area) sought in responses, which are needed for the award of full marks".

Answers in the literature section were "generally well done", but assessors were disappointed to see that texts chosen were "somewhat narrow in nature" and would like to see students exposed to "a wider variety of the richness of Gaelic literature, both for their own enjoyment and for the satisfaction which the literary tradition is able to bestow on them".

Only 14 candidates took Advanced Higher, but their performances were still "worthy of expectations at this level".

At Standard grade, candidates struggled in listening to different voices and accents, but reading and writing papers were generally answered well. In writing, those from traditional Gaelic-speaking communities showed off their advantage by writing naturally and humorously.

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