The course

  • These pages offer a quick overview of the course. If you are new to teaching the Language and Literature course, this is a good starting point.
  • The course is intended for native or near-native speakers. Language acquisition is not our 'core business', while the subject-specific, academic language of textual analysis is.
  • The Language and Literature course aims to develop critical literacy skills. This includes close reading and textual analysis.
  • The types of texts in this course range from blogs to poems. The definition of 'text' is extremely broad, as anything that conveys meaning.
  • The course aims to develop one's powers of communication. This includes speaking and writing in different contexts.
  • The course aims to make one aware of the importance of context in understanding texts.

Selected Pages


Getting started Thursday 4 October 2012

After reading the Language A: Language and Literature guide, you may ask yourself: 'Where do I begin?' These pages help...


Principles Saturday 19 May 2012

If you were to look at the English A: Language and Literature course as a building, then you would want to know what...


Sequence Thursday 16 February 2012

There are a lot of factors to consider when putting a course together: assessment, holidays, timetables, course requirements...


Selecting texts Thursday 16 February 2012

For this course you will want to become a connoisseur of texts, meaning that you will want to collect, compile and study...

Skills Wednesday 6 July 2016

The IB Language A: Language and Literature guide points to four assessment objectives, which relate to the skill-set that...

Planning Sunday 30 November 2014

Most teachers are, one way or another, rather new to teaching Language and Literature. Even teachers who have...

  Material Location
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Comments 6

Jane Hazle 20 January 2017 - 17:05

David and Tim,
Our school is new to IB this year. We have set up Eng Lang and Lit so that students complete Parts 1/4 in 11th grade and 2/3 in 12th grade. We are still trying to decide whether it is better to have a single teacher follow a cohort of students through both years and all four parts or to have 11th grade teachers for Parts 1/4 and 12th grade teachers for Parts 2/3.
What are your opinions on these two structural options?
Thank you,

Tim Pruzinsky 22 January 2017 - 12:04

Hi Jane,

I like taking students through a complete 2 year program. Do realize this is my personal opinion based solely on my personal experience in the classroom. I don't have the larger administrative duties to sort out, like scheduling and such, and so I can't comment on it from that point of view.

Staying with them for 2 years allows me to get to know students really well. It also allows me to be responsible for my own mistakes. Let me explain. I mess up when teaching; we all do. But when the class is "mine," I can't blame anyone else (i.e. last year's teacher) for anything that hasn't gone as well as it could have. I always find it difficult taking over for another teacher in 12th grade, which happens when people move, and students can sometimes find it difficult adjusting to a new style and way of doing things.

It also means that I have to know all parts of the course. While specializing in Part 1, for example, has its benefits, I like knowing and teaching it all. As you can tell, I'm a big fan of continuity, even if students do have to change teachers between 11th and 12th grade because of scheduling. I also think continuity means that 12th grade teachers don't feel more exam pressure in comparison to 11th grade teachers and there is an attitude that "we are all in this together." It builds support networks and collaboration.

Again, I'm speaking from personal experience, but I really like following them through the entire two year program; I realize all schools can't or don't do this, and that's okay too. But if I was to choose, I vote for continuity.


David McIntyre 23 January 2017 - 00:44

Hi Jane,

I agree with Tim. On balance, one long discussion is a better option than two shorter discussions. Whilst the course has four parts, they are not exactly or entirely discrete. Coherence and continuity can be best assured with one teacher working with students over a longer period of time.

Like Tim, I express only a personal perspective, but like Tim it is one based on many years of teaching IBDP.

Kind regards,


Troy Witt 28 January 2017 - 16:18

Hi David & Tim
A quick question for you: I know that when selecting texts for parts 3 & 4 one needs to cover at least 2 genre and 2 time periods. However, what I can't determine is whether this applies to EACH of part 3 and 4, or to both parts collectively. Can you help? As well, is there any requirement regarding author gender? Thanks so much.

Kind regards


David McIntyre 29 January 2017 - 03:00

Hi Troy,

Both parts (i.e. 3 and 4 together).

There is no prescription on gender.

All the best,


Troy Witt 30 January 2017 - 09:50

Thank you!!

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