Rural Ireland

2018 French Leaving Cert Sample Opinion Piece

 

LEAVING CERT QUESTION – 2018

SAMPLE RESPONSE

Selon le texte de la Section I, Q.1, en France rurale la vie devient de plus en plus difficile. Il faut faire plus pour améliorer la vie en Irlande rurale. Qu’en pensez‐vous ?

According to the text in Secion 1, Q.1, in France rural life is becoming more and more difficult. We must do more to improve rural life in Ireland. What do you think?

In this opinion piece, you would have lost marks if you had written solely about the advantages or disadvantages about rural life in Ireland. The question is “More must be done to improve rural life in Ireland – What do you think?”

When writing an opinion piece in French, I always advise my students to follow the “Rule of five”. Have five paragraphs (they can obviously be shorter than the ones here, which are purely for information and demonstration purposes).  I would advise that students write a general statement, which would be an observation on the question or theme being asked. I then advise that they write 3 points, the 3rd of which should be personal in response to the question. The final paragraph or point should be a concluding summary of their main points, always referring back to the question being asked.

 

GENERAL INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

À l’écart de la bousculade et du remue-ménage des villes et des embouteillages, ceux qui habitent à la campagne mènent une vie paisible où tout est gouverné par les sons de la nature. Malheureusement, vivre en milieu rural en Irlande signifie vivre sans accès aux prestations les plus indispensables, comme les hôpitaux ou des systèmes de transport public sûrs et fiables. Alors qu’est-ce qu’on peut faire pour améliorer le sort des habitants des zones rurales?

Away from the hustle and bustle of cities and traffic, those who live in the countryside lead a peaceful life, where everything is governed by the sounds of nature. Unfortunately, living in a rural area in Ireland, means living without access to the most important services, like hospitals or reliable public transport. So, what can be done to improve the plights of people living in rural areas?

1ST POINT

Je dirais que ceux qui vivent à la campagne sont souvent les oubliés de notre société. Aujourd’hui le fait d’avoir accès à l’internet est devenu essentiel, un peu comme l’électrification rurale dans les années quarante. Cependant nous nous retrouvons à présent avec de vastes zones d’Irlande rurale dotées de connexions lentes et de qualité médiocre. Il faut améliorer cette situation, car cela est inacceptable dans un monde en pleine mutation et toujours plus technologique.

I would say that those who live in the countryside are often the forgotten of our society. Today, the fact of having access to the internet has become essential, a bit like the rural electrification of the forties. However we find ourselves with vast zones of rural areas with sub-standard, slow connections. We must improve this situation because this is unacceptable in a constantly changing and increasingly technological world.

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2ND POINT

La politique du gouvernement irlandais consistait à fermer des bureaux de poste ruraux et certains commissariats ruraux. En plus, la plupart des possibilités d’emploi se trouve dans les centres urbains. Le chômage reste un problème préoccupant pour ceux qui ont choisi de vivre, ou de continuer à vivre à la campagne. Le gouvernement doit faire face à cette triste réalité.  L’Europe a déjà généreusement contribué aux projets de développement rural, mais il incombe à nos dirigeants d’employer une utilisation ciblée des aides financières afin d’avoir un effet économique et structurel notable.

The policy of the Irish government has been to close rural post offices and certain rural police stations. On top of this, the majority of employment opportunities are found in urban centres. Unemployment remains a worrying issue for those who have chosen to live, or to continue living in the countryside. The government must face this harsh reality. Europe has already generously contributed to rural development projects, but it is up to our leaders to exercise a targeted use of financial aid in order to have a significant economic and structural impact.

3RD POINT (PERSONAL)

J’habite dans un village, qui se trouve à 10 kilomètres d’une grande ville. Si je suis malade, l’hôpital est à cinq kilomètres de chez moi. Si je veux aller en ville, je prends le bus, mais le service est loin d’être efficace. Par contre, je ne pourrais pas imaginer comment cela peut être difficile si j’habitais à des kilomètres de nulle part! Après l’école j’ai l’intention de continuer mes études  à l’université. J’ai de la chance de pouvoir rester à la maison tout en faisant cela. La vie campagnarde n’est pas toujours rose.  Beaucoup de jeunes n’ont pas la chance d’habiter  à proximité des campus universitaires, et ils sont obligés de voyager afin de poursuivre des études supérieurs.  Il faut qu’on fasse plus pour rendre la vie plus facile pour ceux qui habitent en milieu rural.

I live in a village, which is located 10 kilometres from a big city. If I am sick, the hospital is five kilometres from my house. If I want to go to town, I take the bus, but the service is far from efficient. However I could not imagine how difficult it would be if I lived miles from anywhere! After school, I intend to continue my studies at university. I am lucky to be able to stay at home while doing this. Life in the countryside is not always rosy. A lot of young people aren’t lucky enough to live near university campuses, and they have to travel in order to pursue 3rd level studies.  We must do more to make life easier for those who live in rural areas.

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CONCLUSION

Toute réflexion faite, je crois que l’amélioration de la qualité de la vie rurale doit être vraiment au coeur de toute stratégie de développement social. Les gens ont besoin de soutien. Il faut essayer de régler des sujets de préoccupation comme le chômage, l’accès à l’internet, les transports en commun et le manque de possibilités d’éducation. Il incombe à notre gouvernement de vraiment écouter ceux qui habitent dans les zones rurales et améliorer la vie rurale en Irlande.

All things considered, I believe that improving the quality of rural life must be central to any strategy for social development. People need support. We must try to resolve issues of concern such as unemployment, access to the internet, public transport and the lack of educational opportunities. It is up to the government to really listen to those that live in rural areas and improve rural life in Ireland.

 

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KEY GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTIONS

À l’écart de – Away from

Tout est gouverné par – all is governed by

Signifier – To signify or to mean

Qu’est-ce qu’on peut faire pour + verb in the infinitive – What can be done to…

Je dirais que – I would say that

Les oubliés de notre société – The forgotten of our society

Il faut améliorer cette situation – We must improve this situation

Être en pleine mutation – To be constantly changing

La politique – The policy

Name of issue + reste un problème préoccupant   – Name of issue remains a worrying problem

Le gouvernement doit faire face à cette triste réalité  – The government must face up to this sad reality

Il incombe à nos dirigeants de + verb in the infinitive – It is up to our leaders to

Par contre – However

J’ai l’intention de + verb in the infinive – I intend to

Avoir de la chance – To be lucky

Être obligé de + verb in the infinive – to be obliged or to have to do something

Il faut qu’on fasse plus pour – We have to do more to

Toute réflexion faite – All things considered

Je crois que – I believe that

Il faut essayer de + verb in the infinitive

Régler des sujets de préoccupation – To resolve issues of concern

Il incombe à notre gouvernement de vraiment  + verb in the infinitive – It is up to our government to really

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