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Spelling, grammar and punctuation are problems for Irish students

A report from the SEC also found that Shakespeare’s Macbeth is still the most popular text among Higher Level English students.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE STATE EXAM COMMISSION’s report into last year’s Leaving Certificate English examination reveals that Irish students’ attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation can be poor at times.

The Commission said the management and control of language continues to pose problems for some candidates.

“In particular, poor attention to the formal aspects of language, such as spelling, grammar and punctuation, was noted in some responses.”

However, the report also said that students who displayed a capacity to communicate fluently and effectively were rewarded.

The most popular Single Text for those taking Higher Level papers was Shakespeare’s Macbeth, while Jennifer Johnston’s How Many Miles to Babylon? was the book of choice for Ordinary Level pupils.

About 98 per cent of Higher Level and 96 per cent of Ordinary Level students passed the exam.

While Higher Level candidates scored best the Studied Poetry Section, some of those taking the Ordinary Level paper “did not appear to be sufficiently familiar with the poems”.

The SEC, the body responsible for setting and marking the Leaving Certificate, recommended that candidates ensure they elect to take the most suitable paper for their standard.

They also advise students to read more and not to be afraid to challenge the questions – they do not have to agree with the premise put forward in the question.

Teachers were also told to avail of all the opportunities offered by the exam to develop their students’ critical thinking skills.

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(GIF: etudiantendroit/Tumbler)

Read: Oops! There was a mistake in last year’s Junior Cert science paper…and engineers are not happy

More: More boys are staying on in school to do the Leaving Cert

Related: English, Irish, Maths… Politics: The Leaving Cert to get a new subject

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