New Zealand mother tongue

13th June 2008 at 01:00
The inclusion of Maori words in the listening section of the Higher exam for Gaidhlig speakers may have thrown some pupils, but otherwise it was a fair exam, according to Ruth Graham, a Gaelic teacher at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway
The inclusion of Maori words in the listening section of the Higher exam for Gaidhlig speakers may have thrown some pupils, but otherwise it was a fair exam, according to Ruth Graham, a Gaelic teacher at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway.

"I thought the papers were fine - it was quite a good year. A slight concern was that the listening contained Maori language because it was about New Zealand, and that may have put some of them off."

Ms Graham liked the reading paper which featured an extract from an Iain Crichton Smith short story, Ann am Bosnia, about a sniper fighting in the Bosnia conflict.

The literature questions, she felt, were narrower in range than last year's. This might have posed difficulties for pupils who had concentrated on only one poem or short story, but if they had revised a reasonable range they should not have struggled, she said: "The reading and writing were fair and there were some good literature questions."

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