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Exam file
Épreuve compréhension orale et expression écrite : 1h
Épreuve compréhension écrite et expression écrite : 1h30
Préparation aux épreuves communes de contrôle continu

Exam file

Document A
Only Wounded: Stories of the Irish Troubles, Patrick Taylor, 1997.

[...] Gerry was trying—and failing—to find work. It had been several months since his last job, and the boredom of enforced idleness made the hours hard to fill. He placed a few hopeful bets at the bookie’s, killing time between races in a pub across the street. He took his pint with spiritless men, long unemployed, who sat on rough benches, drank from straight pint glasses of watery porter, reminisced, swore, spat in the sawdust, resignedly tore up losing tickets, and selected more runners from dogeared copies of the local paper.

Gerry rose from his seat. He’d had enough of the cramped room. The cigarette fug made his eyes water. He might as well go home. None of his horses had come in. [...] Gerry felt the unspoken, subdued feeling of his apprehension the moment he arrived home. His father, naturally inarticulate, was even less communicative.

“What’s up, Da?”
“Yard’s going to lay off more men.” No wonder the old man was tight-lipped. Liam, one of his younger brothers, had been given his cards last week.

“What about them bosses that went to London?”
“There’s a rumour out they done no good.”
“Have you not seniority, Da?”

A derisive snort. “Served my time before you were born. Fat lot of good it’ll do me if they close the graving dock.”

“Maybe the rumours is wrong?”
“Aye. Maybe.” Da’s eyes held little hope.
The blow fell three days later.

“Twenty-seven fucking years at the Big Yard.” Da stood looking out the kitchen window, his back to Gerry. “D’you know that song, ’Belfast Mill’? ’... I’m too old to work but I’m too young to die.’ That’s me, Gerry.” Da turned. “I’m not saying it’s because I’m a Catholic but a brave few of the Protestants got kept on. I just don’t know how we’re going to get by.”

Gerry soon saw how strapped the family was. He tried desperately to find work. He and Da went down together on Friday to collect their dole. Da counted the few notes. “Ach, to hell with it, Gerry. Come on. I’ll buy you a jar. Just the one.”

On the way to the pub they passed the army office. The recruiting poster still hung in the window. Gerry stopped and stared. “Come here a minute, Da.”

His father turned back. “What?”
“I could join up.”
“Not at all. England’s always fought her wars on the backs of the Irish. Come on.”

Only Wounded: Stories of the Irish Troubles, Patrick Taylor, 1997.

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Document A

a) What is Gerry doing?

b) Where does the scene take place?

c) Who are the characters? How are they related?

d) What happened to Da?

e) What does Da reproach his employers at the Big Yard with?

f) What does Gerry consider doing? Why?

g) What is Da’s reaction? Why?

Document B

Satow’s Diplomatic Practice, Ivor Roberts, 2017

“Back-channel diplomacy, another phrase for secret diplomacy, was used in helping to bring the ’troubles’ in Northern Ireland to an end. Since 1973, a Northern Irish businessman with strong links to the IRA, and Michael Oatley, his SIS (MI6) case officer, had maintained a channel of communication between the IRA leadership and 10 Downing Street, as Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff, revealed. ’It is very hard for democratic governments to admit to talking to terrorist groups while those groups are still killing innocent people. Luckily for this process, the British government’s back channel to the Provisional IRA had been in existence whenever required from 1973 onwards.’ In other words, one of the advantages of back-channel diplomacy is its deniability, particularly appropriate when the other party is neither another government nor even an NGO, while another is the ability to talk to those with whom it is official policy not to engage in negotiation. The secret link was only used on three major occasions: to negotiate an IRA cease-fire in the mid-1970s; during the first IRA hunger strike in 1980; and in the early stages of the peace process in the 1990s.”

Satow’s Diplomatic Practice, Ivor Roberts, 2017.

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Document B

a) Answer basic questions: who, what, where, when?

b) List the different people mentioned. Who are they?

c) How is negociating with terrorists considered by public opinion?

d) What is the asset of the “back channel”?

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher was UK’s prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and took part in negotiations with the IRA, notably during the 1981 Hunger Strikes.

Compréhension de l’écrit

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Document A

Draw a portrait of the two main characters.

“What about them bosses that went to London?” (l.15): make guesses about the meaning of this sentence.

Document B

Explain in your own words what the “back channel” was and how it was used.

How important was Michael Oatley? Why?

Document A
Document B

What are the common points between the two texts?

What are the means used to try and put an end to the Troubles?

How can the relationship between Britain and Northern Ireland during the Troubles be described? Why? Use examples from both texts.

Expression écrite

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Choisissez un sujet et répondez-y en anglais.

SUJET A The narrator writes a letter to his cousin to tell her about his day and how he feels about it.

SUJET B “It is very hard for democratic governments to admit to talking to terrorist groups while those groups are still killing innocent people”. Do you agree? To what extent is this still relevant today?


Utilisez ce que vous avez appris dans cette unité pour définir le contexte et faire référence aux événements et aux personnes que vous avez étudiés.

Exprimez vos sentiments et expliquez-en les causes.

Indiquez comment vous voudriez que la situation évolue.

Méthode Je m’exprime à l’écrit p. 247 et 250


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