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Paper 1: Sample Response 13 (Watches)11 March 2021

As the May 2021 exams approach, many of us are trying to find a variety of texts to help prepare students for their Paper 1 exam. Working with past exams and modifying them is one great approach to... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 14 (Aspen Trees)25 March 2021

This sample response comes from the November 2020 examination session. It is - like Sample Response 13 - a modified version of an "old" exam to fit the new Paper 1 requirements. A guiding question was... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 6 (Men's Health i)24 December 2020

The following Paper 1 is a response to the front cover of Men’s Health, and is the first of several Paper 1 responses to Men’s Health front covers that we are publishing. The students who wrote these... 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

Paper 1: Sample Response 5 (Wine)1 October 2020

The Paper 1 response published on this page is written with a good degree of understanding for the ways in which language works. In its execution it shows a knowledge of language that is uncommon among... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 7 (Men's Health ii)7 January 2021

Recently (in December 2020), we published a Paper 1 response to the front cover of the lifestyle magazine, Men's Health. Subscribers can find the response here. We marked it. It was a strong response,... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 4 (Four-Letter TV Poem Fury)17 September 2020

This page contains a sample response to a news story, 'Four-Letter TV Poem Fury', published in the British daily newspaper The Daily Mail. Although we suggest it is a sample response - because it is -... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 8 (Men's Health iii)10 February 2021

This is the third of our Paper 1 samples on Men's Health front covers. To date, we have published two other samples, one which is excellent, see this link, and one that is somewhat less successful, see... more

Bodies of Work - A Curated List31 December 2020

Bodies of work can be a tricky beast to figure out. To help you in all of this, we’ve created a working list of all of the bodies of work you can find on the site. They are organized by text type.... more

The Individual Oral: Exemplar 3 (The Great Gatsby and Generation Wealth)22 August 2019

This is out third Individual Oral exemplar. The first can be found here, and the second can be found here. On an earlier page - see here - we provided lesson ideas for teaching the global issue of inequality.... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 10 (Justin Gatlin) 28 January 2021

In many respects, this second of four sample Paper 1 exemplars based on an online article from The Sun, is quite strong. It does everything right. And yet, it's also missing something across the board.... 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

Paper 1: Sample Response 3 (George Monbiot, Embarrassment of Riches)6 February 2020

This is the second Paper 1 response we have published written about one of George Monbiot’s polemical essays, often published in The Guardian, and available on Monbiot’s excellent website. In this... more

Paper 1: Sample Response 12 (Justin Gatlin) 25 February 2021

This is the final in a series of four Paper 1 responses to an online article about Justin Gatlin's 2017 100 meter final win in the World Championships in Athletics. You can access online article here.... 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 11 (Justin Gatlin) 11 February 2021

This is the third of four sample Paper 1 exemplars based on an online article from The Sun. The very first post in this series explains the entire exam process in detail. To summarize that process in... more

HL Essay: Exemplar 5 (Small Axe)18 March 2021

Students, increasingly, write Higher Level Essays and Extended Essays on film and television. They also discuss these things in their Individual Orals. Presumably, in part, this is because teachers are... more

Guided Textual analysis: Why not be a writer?12 November 2020

A few years ago – I cannot say exactly when – I remember reading about a meeting between two writers. One of those writers was a young Jonathan Franzen. Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was a young... more

Introducing the Individual Oral to Students (a PowerPoint)4 June 2020

The IB Language A: language and literature guide is a dense document. It’s vital for teachers; it’s much less friendly for students. And yet, how do we make sure students do what the guide says... more

HL Essay: Exemplar 1 (Women's Health)5 September 2019

Here is our first HL Essay exemplar. In the coming weeks and months, we will publish more. This one derives from the study of 'Women's Health', a non-literary body of work. The text type is 'front covers'... more

How to Prepare for Your Individual Oral22 October 2020

This page is directed at students. The aim is to help them prepare for their Individual Oral. We've listed six stages with various steps for students to do in order to succeed on their IO. This isn't... more

Bodies of work3 December 2020

This page was updated on December 4th, 2020. It will be updated again if the IB provides more information about “bodies of work.” As of now, this is our understanding of it.In the Language A: Language... more

HL Essay: Exemplar 2 (White Noise)3 October 2019

Ask a teacher whether we should teach critical theory to IB Language and Literature students and the answers you receive are as wide ranging and diverse as the theories that exist. It is worth reflecting,... 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

Practicing the Individual Oral: Working with Lauren Greenfield's Photographs14 May 2020

Practice may not make perfect, and 10,000 hours may not result in world-class expertise. Still, few would suggest practice is worthless. Certainly for the Individual Oral (IO) most teachers and students... more

Q&A For Students: Paper 1 and Paper 225 June 2020

Put yourself in the the shoes of your students. They are studying English A: Language and Literature, five other subjects, studying TOK, doing CAS, writing an Extended Essay, negotiating life and perhaps,... more

A Language for Discussing Film8 October 2020

The content for this post comes from my colleague Joe Jasina. He put together the definitions, the clips, the screenshots, the exemplar and more. As a Language and Literature teacher as well as a teacher... more

Paper 2 Sample Examination Papers31 October 2019

This page provides teachers with a range of sample Paper 2 examination papers. Feel free to use them for everyday classroom use or for summative purposes such as mock examinations. 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

Concepts: An Introductory Activity28 May 2020

With the revised Language and Literature study guide, introduced for first assessment in May 2021, concept-based learning has become an explicit requirement for teaching and learning. Many of you may... more

Preparing for Paper 1: Sportswriting 19 October 2020

In Richard Ford’s excellent 1986 novel The Sportswriter readers were introduced for the first time to the fictional character of Frank Bascombe. Frank would reappear, to date, in three subsequent novels,... more

HL Essay: Exemplar 4 (Szymborska Poetry)10 September 2020

When writing a Higher Level Essay on poetry, it's hard to determine how many poems to use. One is clearly not enough, but it would be difficult, perhaps, to write about five different poems. So what... more

Asking Questions of George Monbiot (A Body of Work)12 December 2019

This page provides lesson activities that introduce the writing of English journalist and writer, George Monbiot. More pages will follow. Monbiot's essays are engaging and polemical. They are accessible... more

Preparing for Paper 1: More Sportswriting 29 October 2020

This page provides straightforward extension opportunities for students who have already completed the lesson on Preparing for Paper 1: Sportswriting. After the earlier lesson, teachers may like to use... more

Creating student accountsfree2 April 2021

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

HL Essay: Exemplar 3 (George Monbiot)free30 April 2020

At the time of writing (April 2020), we have published a range of materials on the work of George Monbiot. Put his name into the website's search engine and up they will pop. Just like that. We have also,... more

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

Analyzing tone2 February 2013

Writers communicate a message to us through a particular tone. Tone is the choice of vocabulary, syntax and verb tense, all of which place the reader in a particular mood. As we analyze the language... more

Sample essays16 February 2012

As you prepare the extended essay, you will want to study several sample essays. This will help give you an impression of the final product and an understanding of what is expected. You can do a lot... more

Preparing for Paper 1: The Orator - 21 Questionsfree15 April 2021

On the 21st of January 2009, I drove my car into my yard, and parked it just outside my house. Typical for northern Sweden in January, it was cold and snowy outside, and so I left my car engine running... more

Q&A For Students: The Higher Level Essay and the Individual Oral14 July 2020

Q&A: The Higher Level EssayQ&A: The Individual Oral more

Small Axe (A Body of Work): 4 Lovers Rock2 April 2021

In the first page of our materials written for Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology we considered Mangrove, the first of five films about the British black (mainly West Indian) community over a period... more

Extended Essay13 January 2012

The extended essay is an IB core requirement, where students explore a subject in depth. The subject must relate to one of the courses offered in Groups 1 - 6 of the IB Diploma Programme. The extended... more

The Sun Says (A Body of Work)28 November 2019

For students approaching their Individual Oral (IO) there can be some advantages in working with text types that are more or less conventionalized. Where ideas and their linguistic construction overlap... more

Part 3 - Michelle Alexander Opinion Columns (a Body of Work)30 July 2020

In this third Black Lives Matter post, students will read and analyze the opinion columns of Michelle Alexander from the New York Times. The Times state, “Michelle Alexander is a civil rights lawyer... more

Paper 1 (HL) Visual Texts7 March 2014

It is entirely possible that students may be expected to comment on visual texts or visual aspects, including graphology, of multimodal texts in their Paper 1 examination, both at Standard and Higher... more

Preparing for Paper 1: Rewriting 26 November 2020

A creative way to encourage students to become interested in the choices writers make is to ask them to rewrite a text or text extract. This could be done by substituting one genre for another. However,... more

Opinion column30 August 2012

Newspapers and magazines often have columnists who write for them. Generally speaking newspapers or magazines want there to be a cult of personality surrounding these columnists to generate good sales... more

2019 Paper 1 (SL) - Smartphones2 January 2020

Text 1 of the 2019 Paper 1 Standard Level exam is "adapted from a comic strip by Gabby Schultz" from July 11th, 2013. You can find a link to the comic strip here, but do note that the penultimate panel... 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