Below are the three learning outcomes that should be met while studying Part 3 of the English A: Language and Literature course. For each outcome a brief explanation is offered, together with links to supporting activities. The learning outcomes in bold are taken from the IB guide for Langauge A: Language and Literature
Consider the changing historical, cultural and social contexts in which particular texts are written and received.
Students are asked to understand the context of the production of a given text, and compare that context to the way the text is understood today, or at another time. Choice of texts is extremely important. Contentious works, plays and roman a clef works are good for Part 3, as they demand a contextual understanding in order to appreciate the author's intentions. Students should learn to identify both differences and similarities. Surprise leads to questioning that may bear fruit. Consult the lessons on Black Boy of The Crucible.
Demonstrate how form, structure and style can not only be seen to influence meaning but can also be influenced by context.
A novel written in the second half of the twentieth century does not often resemble a novel written in the mid-nineteenth century. Developments in psychology, for example, changed the way writers depicted the human mind. Considerations such as this can provide useful inroads into reaching this learning outcome. Students need to put themselves in the writer's position and ask how context determines the range of options open to the author. Comparing texts from the same genre makes it easier to explore issues related to this learning outcome.
Understand the attitudes and values expressed by literary texts and their impact on readers.
Recognizing difference is often a good starting point for defining our own attitudes and values in relation to those presented in a text. In addition to the pages listed above, you may want to look at The Crucible pages as an illustration of how to explore changing attitudes and impact. Related pages with brief definitions and suggested readings related to a few movements in critical theory may also be helpful while thinking about how to teach Part 3 texts. These are postcolonial criticism, stylistics, and new historicism. These pages are intended to provide different lenses through which teachers of the course may want to approach their texts to help students achieve the above aims. They are also implicit in some of the lessons in this section.
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