Anne Knox, a modern languages teacher at Greenock's Notre Dame High, recalls discouraged pupils trooping out after a paper that had used a piece about trekking in Nepal, complaining they didn't know where Nepal was.
There were no complaints this year as Paper 1 threw up topics known to teenagers: the internet and blogging. The familiar scenarios of foreign study trips and part-time jobs were also used in the exam.
Mrs Knox said staff were "very pleased" with the exam. Paper 1 did not require too much leafing through dictionaries. There was a minor concern in the translation section, where an unfamiliar construction was used that had never been seen by teachers. "Etqu'ai-je fait ...?" ("What have I done?"), staff are assuming, is a modern colloquialism employed by young people. Another "sticking point" came when candidates were asked if they had been to their twin town before - an invitation to use the tricky pluperfect tense.
Paper 2, which includes a listening exercise, also impressed her: "The dialogue was well recorded and the pace good - it was very clear. Frequent questions helped direct the candidates to all the right answers."