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Requirements25 June 2019

While there is much freedom in the teaching of the IB Language A: Language and literature course, it’s not a free for all. The IB does list specific requirements for both the study of literary works... more

Explaining the Learner Portfolio to Students25 April 2019

Some students struggle with IB requirements - and having a learner portfolio is a must for all students. Those struggles can sometimes be alleviated when students understand the purpose behind the concept. more

Global issues31 July 2019

The IB has defined global issues in the following manner: (a) they have significance on a wide/large scale; (b) they are transnational; (c) the impact is felt in everyday contexts (55). It is imperative... more

Learner Portfolio25 April 2019

The learner portfolio is a wonderful opportunity for your students to chart their growth and their learning over the two year Language and Literature course. It is meant to act as a tool to aid in their... more

"I, too, sing America": 5 Significant Michelle Obama Speeches23 May 2019

When the Obama era came to a close in the United States, much was made - and rightly so - about his abilities as an orator. Websites and newspapers were ranking his top speeches, comparing them to J.F.K.,... more

Formatting the Learner Portfolio25 April 2019

There are many ways to format the learner portfolio and you will find there is no single right way. Instead, InThinking is suggesting a wide variety of options, from analog to digital to a combination... more

Principles of course design26 June 2019

There are four guiding principles the IB wants you to think about when designing your course: variety, integration, autonomy, and accountability. While there are restrictions and requirements – you... more

Artists: Barbara Kruger (Body of Work)4 July 2019

This body of work comes from Barbara Kruger, a renowned artist known for her visuals with short superimposed text that questions the viewer's ideas about identity, women, power, materialism, and more. more

The Individual Oral, Global Issues, The Great Gatsby, and Generation Wealth (with Bodies of Work)8 August 2019

A social media post written by a language and literature teacher suggested that teaching global issues is a waste of time and not something to be concerned about. There is, arguably, some merit in this... more

Identities and the Power of Naming14 May 2019

The Language and Literature course can be constructed in a variety of ways. Eight examples of course construction can be found here. A successfully designed course is likely to show a good degree of cohesion... more

P1 Sample work28 February 2012

One of the best ways to learn is by example. In order to become familiar with the expectations of Paper 1, you will want to look at how student work has been assessed in the past. Both poor and good... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 1 (How to Attract Women Without Even Trying)7 May 2019

This analysis responds thoroughly and effectively to the advertisement ‘How to attract women without even trying’. Arguably, the somewhat sexually explicit nature of the advertisement makes it a rather... more

Creating student accountsfree3 April 2019

Allowing students to access to InThinkingMany of the pages on this site are accessible to students. The information below explains how to provide your students with the means to use the site; if there... more

Introducing Intertextuality7 March 2019

Intertextuality: connecting texts is one of three areas of exploration that provide a framework for the English A: Language and Literature course. Intertextuality is a complex and contested term. It was... more

Written tasksfree8 February 2013

Throughout this course, you will build a portfolio of written tasks. There are two types of written tasks, known as written task 1 (WT1) and written task 2 (WT2). These are very different in nature. more

Multivocality and International Mindedness18 April 2019

The Language and Literature course is all about texts and their meanings. A fundamental understanding – arguably the main understanding – of the course is that students come to appreciate that the... more

Textual biasfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 in the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'textual bias'. Perhaps you have read a text and thought: 'This has been written with a particular agenda.'... more

Generation Z - #memyselfieandifree16 May 2019

We have arrived at Generation Z. It is this so-called iGeneration that we currently teach. For them, familiarity with the Internet and social media started from a young age. They grew up in the early... more

Requirementsfree18 July 2013

Part 1 - Language in cultural context is the study of non-literary texts. We look at how culture and context both shape texts and their interpretations. The nature of this part of the course will largely... more

Advertising techniquesfree24 February 2012

We live in a world of visual stimulation. In the car, on the metro, or strolling through town, we absorb the invitations to look, buy, do, react, often unconsciously. Because we are so accustomed to... more

Getting startedfree4 October 2012

After reading the Language A: Language and Literature guide, you may ask yourself: 'Where do I begin?' These pages help you get started. First of all it is important to recognize your own strengths.... more

Use of persuasive languagefree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is the 'use of persuasive language'. Persuasive language runs through mass media, from advertisements to political... more

Paper 2free28 February 2012

The Paper 2 exam consists of six essay questions, only one of which must be answered during the timed period. The essay is to be written about the Part 3 literary texts. Therefore, it is a test of understanding... more

Requirementsfree6 November 2013

Part 3 - Literature: texts and contexts focuses on how context influences both the composition and the interpretation of literary texts. Here are several requirements to keep in mind when planning or... more

Gender & sexualityfree16 February 2012

This topic asks us to become more aware of language as an expression of gender identities. When we talk about gender in reference to language, we are referring to the way language embodies, reinforces... more

Media institutionsfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'media institutions'. Here we study the role of organizations and businesses in determining the messages that... more

Stereotypesfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'stereotypes'. For this topic, we look at how various ethnic or gender stereotypes are created in the media.... more

WT2 Questions & samplesfree8 October 2012

Higher Level students must write at least one critical response (written task 2) to a text. These responses, which in fact are essays, answer one of six prescribed quesitons from the Language A: Language... more

Don't Eat That! The Language of Nutrition - Part 128 September 2017

Tom Brady, a famous quarterback for the New England Patriots (an American football team), has released a new book titled The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance. In it,... more

P2 Sample workfree28 February 2012

One of the best ways to learn is by example. In order to become familiar with Paper 2, you will want to look at how student work has been assessed in the past. Both poor and good samples are presented... more

Text typesfree20 December 2011

The Language A: Language and Literature guide suggests we study a range of text types. 'Deconstructing texts', as we call it, is one way of exploring the structural conventions of various text types.... more

Topicsfree6 May 2013

The IB has stipulated several suggested topics for Part 1. You may want to cover a few of them in depth or more of them in passing. When studying a particular topic, it is important that we have many... more

Criteria27 February 2012

When preparing for the Paper 1 exam, you should familiarize yourself with its assessment criteria. If you know what examiners are looking for, then you are more likely to write effectively and score... more

Literature: Challenging Perspectives14 May 2019

Texts offer a range of perspectives. These perspectives may or may not reflect those of its author, and writers bring their own perspectives on the texts they read. In the activities that follow, students... more

Representing the Other: How to Write About Africa15 May 2019

Understanding the reader’s response to a text requires students to fundamentally appreciate that they already have established and evolving preconceptions. They are not blank slates. This is a critical... more

IOC Sample workfree5 March 2012

This section contains several sample individual oral commentaries from former students. You will want to look at sample work for several reasons, depending on who you are and what your aims are. Teachers... more

Language and campaignsfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 from the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'language and presentation of speeches and campaigns'. As we explore how various media are used to persuade... more

Individual oral commentaryfree28 November 2011

The individual oral commentary (IOC) is a test on Part 4, a critical study of literature. By the time students take this oral exam SL students will have studied two works from the PLA, and HL students... more

Outcomesfree12 July 2012

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... more

Selecting textsfree16 February 2012

For this course you will want to become a connoisseur of texts, meaning that you will want to collect, compile and study a range of text types in hopes of appreciating their qualities. Assembling a reader... more

Criteriafree23 June 2012

Before you write written tasks, you should look at the assessment criteria. This way you know what the examiner is looking for. The best way to become familiar with the criteria is to use them regularly.... more

Language and the individualfree27 December 2011

One of the suggested topics in the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'language and the individual'. For this topic we are concerned with how an individual identity is constructed through... more

Connecting, Comparing and Contrasting in Paper 2free14 August 2019

Teachers familiar with the IB Language and Literature course for last examinations in 2020 will know that the Paper 2 examination does not require students to compare and contrast their literary works.... more

Popular culturefree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'popular culture'. "What's current creates currency," Marshal McLuhan once said. This mantra holds true for... more

#MeToo - Gender and Power18 January 2018

In October of 2017, the New York Times and the New Yorker published damning reports about the atrocious behavior of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Multiple women accused him of sexual assault and... more

Single mothers23 February 2012

Bias can be very subtle, and subtle bias can be more dangerous than overt prejudice. In February 2012, an article appeared in the New York Times on the growing numbers of single-parent families, with... more

Crazy Rich Representations27 September 2018

The movie Crazy Rich Asians received huge press in the lead up to and following the release of the film in August of 2018. For the first time in 25 years, a Hollywood movie featured an all Asian cast... more

The Big 523 February 2012

At the heart of the English Language and Literature course is textual analysis. In order to prepare for Paper 1 and the individual oral commentary, you will want to learn how to analyze various texts.... more

Representing the World: Understanding Modality15 May 2019

There is a story. George Orwell, the famous writer, shot an elephant whilst serving in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. This event forms the basis for Orwell's essay 'Shooting an Elephant'. Not everyone,... more

Texts to go28 May 2013

Teachers may find it useful to have a range of texts and text extracts relevant to Parts 1 and 2 of the course that are readily accessible. The point, in this section of the website, is not to be prescriptive... more