Junior Cert French: a teacher concerned about the question of a girl with Down syndrome

A question on the French junior cycle newspaper about a girl discussing her sister with Down syndrome has raised concerns, teacher Ann Bruddell said.

s Bruddell said, “While it is good to see inclusion front and center, to do so in a modern junior cycle foreign language article is problematic.”

“In 2022, courses, including language courses, are more inclusive. It is very likely that some students with Down syndrome or other specific learning difficulties have taken this exam,” she said.

She added that “from a pragmatic point of view, although most students will have heard of Down syndrome, many will not know exactly what it is. Apart from the introductions in English and French, there is no information about this in the article”.

Ms Bruddell is the Subject Representative of the Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) and the President of the Association of French Teachers in Ireland.

Although there was some concern and uncertainty ahead of the first of the new junior cycle French exam, the paper was fairly fair and in line with what was expected, she said.

“The clarity, pacing and questions from the listening section were very on point,” Ms. Brudell said.

Ms Brudell said the written section allowed more able students to push themselves further.

Most of the questions in the reading section were fair and of an appropriate level of difficulty, but it was the section with the magazine featuring an interview with a 14-year-old talking about her life with her 16-year-old sister who has Down Syndrome.

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