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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

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

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

Annotating an Individual Oral (Brave New World and Sara Rahbar)free2 September 2021

Recently (writing in September 2021), we published an excellent Individual Oral (IO), scoring 36 out of 40 possible points. That oral is available to subscribing teachers here. In addition, we have published,... 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For Studentsfree6 May 2021

This section of the InThinking website - "For Students" - is just that: a section for currently enrolled students in the IB Language A: Language and literature course. The primary goal of these pages... 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

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

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

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

Political Cartoons 19 January 2020

The specific resources and lesson ideas come from a blog post in the New York Times titled “Drawing for Change.” There is also an excellent video about the making of a political cartoon that is... 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

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

What are global issues?5 July 2021

In your individual oral, you must address this prompt: "Examine the ways in which the global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of one of the works and one of the bodies of... 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

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

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

A Wildly Successful Advertising Campaign (body of work)9 April 2020

Many are familiar with Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” that began back in 2004. Although it is now known as the “Movement for Self-Esteem," it has the same key message: empower women to feel... more

A 30-Minute Activity on Intertextuality in the Time of COVID-192 April 2020

As any experienced teacher tends to know, good teaching involves, among many other things, recognising and seizing an opportunity presented in a moment of time. That is a pretty vague assertion, but it... 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

Writing About Photographs: Geoff Dyer Meets Garry Winogrand11 December 2020

After a time when I was already bored with much that travel writing books seemed to offer, or no longer offer – often with fatuous titles like Around Loch Lomond on a Pogo Stick and an accompanying... more

Glasgow/Poverty Safari (Bodies of Work): 2 Connecting Photography to Writing22 July 2021

On an earlier page, here, we started to develop materials for the study of Darren McGarvey’s non-literary book, Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Working Class (2017). On this page,... 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

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

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

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

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

Part 4 - Protesting13 August 2020

In the spring and summer of 2020, protests erupted across the United States and in the rest of the world in response to the killing of George Floyd and the larger systemic racism that continues to exist... 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

The Pitch: Introducing Advertising10 June 2021

The following lesson activities provide for a stimulating introduction to advertising. The lesson begins by asking students to consider the pervasive role of advertising in the contemporary social world.... 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

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

Criteria (first exam in 2018)10 November 2016

The assessment criteria for the extended essay are both general to all subjects and specific to each subject. The criteria given below are the specific to the Language A: Language and Literature course.... more

Course Construction: Q&A11 June 2020

A few weeks ago (writing in June 2020) I was completing the first broad outline of a two-year course construction in, for me, a new school. The outline required lots of 'fleshing out', I knew, but I was... more

A beginner's guide to the course8 April 2021

Welcome to InThinking and welcome to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme English A: language and literature course! This page – and the subsequent sub-pages – are designed for teachers... more

Advertising techniques24 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 Familiar with George Monbiot (A Body of Work)9 January 2020

In an earlier post, we introduced the writing of the British journalist, George Monbiot. This previous page, was intended to introduce students to the journalism of Monbiot and the myriad global issues... more

Small Axe (A Body of Work): 5 Red, White and Blue13 May 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

Creating student accountsfree22 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

Part 1 - The Language of a Movement14 July 2020

Our Language and Literature course offers us the opportunity to tackle difficult, complex, and relevant current issues. We have the opportunity to address, discuss, dissect, and analyze the language... more

Sports Columns (a Body of Work)28 March 2020

Love him or hate him, the sports columnist Rick Reilly has had a prolific career. He wrote the “Life of Reilly” column—appearing on the back page of Sports Illustrated from 1997-2007—and then... more