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Third of Leaving Cert pupils want English optional

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The survey suggests students are reading fewer books

The survey suggests students are reading fewer books

The survey suggests students are reading fewer books

More than a third of Leaving Certificate students think that English should be an optional subject, a survey has found.

The Irish Independent/Studyclix.ie survey for the written word, part one of which is free in today's Irish Independent, questioned students about their attitudes to learning English and the current structure of exams.

Time pressure which stifles creativity during exams emerged as a key issue in more than 1,090 responses received.

The survey also reveals students are falling out of love with reading books, with 64pc saying they never read a book before going to sleep and 64pc read fewer than three books a year for pleasure.

Bard

However, students retain a love for William Shakespeare and 60pc believe The Bard should still be on the Leaving Certificate syllabus.

Other key findings include: 29pc of students bank on learning an essay by heart for the English exam; 51pc don't believe studying English at Leaving Cert level has increased their love of literature, and more than half of students feel predictive texting has made their spelling worse.

Time pressure remains one of the big issues for students, with 81pc saying they do not think there is enough time given to complete the two English papers.

Many students feel limited in what they can produce. Some said the English papers didn't reward talented writers who struggled to write within a specific timeframe.

"I enjoy English class and I read for pleasure. However, Leaving Cert English sucks all pleasure out of the subject," said one.

"The time limit dulls creativity instead of cultivating it."