Below are the three learning outcomes that one should aim to meet while studying Part 1 of the English Language and Literature course. For each outcome brief explanation is offered. The learning outcomes in bold are taken from the IB guide for Langauge A: Language and Literature.
- Analyze how audience and purpose affect the structure and content of texts.
Here we focus on how a text is inseparable from its context. By looking at an array of texts from children's stories to brochures, we learn not only about various types of texts, but also how they target different audiences and achieve different purposes. Besides asking questions like: "What makes a speech a typical speech?" we should ask: "What makes a speech unique to its context?" You may find yourself looking at several newspaper articles covering the same current event and discussing how and why they are different.
- Analyze the impact of language changes.
Language does not stand still. Every day people are using old words in new ways. People are coining words and reshaping the language. They do this in order to express their identity, to fit in with a group or stand out from a crowd. Language is a social, regional and historical phenomenon. We cannot avoid the discussion on linguistic decay, especially when talking about things like 'netspeak' or texting. Typical lessons that meet this learning outcome will present old and new texts, such as Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and samples of text messages.
- Demonstrate an awareness of how language and meaning are shaped by culture and context.
Imagine you are an archeologist collecting artifacts. Each time you pick up an artifact you wonder what it says about its once-existing culture. We would like to foster the same attitude in English A: Language and Literature. Each time we pick up a text, we ask what it says about the English-speaking world. Therefore we should examine texts from the cultures of South Africa, North America, Australia, India, and the UK, just to mention a few. By analyzing texts from these cultures, we gain some understanding of their traditions, histories and values.