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 depend on which texts are studied and how they are studied. There are a few basic requirements that will determine the nature of the classroom experience. Here are several aspects to consider when exploring Part 1.
For Part 1 you will explore a great range of text types, from brochures to blogs. As Part 1 is used to prepare for the Paper 1 exam, you will want to practice close-reading skills with these texts. Furthermore, you will study how culture and context affect the composition and interpretation of texts. For this reason, it is interesting to study texts that express cultural values from all over the Anglophone world. This is to say that throughout the course, we should become enlightened on the cultures and histories of countries like South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, India, Liberia, Australia and New Zealand, just to mention a few.
The Language A: Language and Literature guide suggests we explore several type of non-literary texts, such as the following (follow links to pages that deconstruct various text types):
Remember: A text, as defined by IB, is anything that carries meaning. Having said this, you will only want to explore meaningful texts in the classroom. Grouping non-literary (and literary) texts into themes or 'topics' will help make lessons more meaningful.
On page 18 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide, you find a list of 'suggest topics' that you can explore for Part 1. On IB documentation, such as written task rationale forms, you will have to communicate which 'topics' you have studied. Your lessons may be organized around a particular theme or subject, but it is important that several of these 'topics' relate to the texts that you explore. How many do we suggest by 'several'? There is no exact requirement, but you may consider covering three to seven different topics. HL students may cover more 'topics' that SL students. Here is a list of the 'suggested topics' as they appear in the guide (see pages in the left column for lessons on these topics).
gender (inequality, constructions of masculinity and femininity)
sexuality (its construction through language)
language and communities (nation/region, subcultures)
language and the individual (multilingualism/bilingualism, language profile/identity)
language and power (linguistic imperialism, propaganda)
history and evolution of the language (disappearing and revival languages, creoles)
translation (what is added and what is lost)
language and knowledge (science and technology, argot and jargon)
language and social relations (social and professional status, race)
language and belief (religious discourse, mythology)
language and taboo (swearing, political correctness)
How much time should we spend on Part 1 - Language and cultural context? These are the required amount of hours at Standard and Higher Level for a two year IB course. Remember that these hours include training for the forms of assessment that correspond to these parts of the course.
There are three forms of assessment that correspond to the learning outcomes and topics in Part 1.
Further oral activities - You will have to conduct at least one further oral activity that relates to Part 1.
Written tasks - Students write several written tasks for their written task portfolio. At both SL and HL students must include at least one written task that corresponds to Part 1
Paper 1 - The kinds of skills required for the Paper 1 exam should be dealt with in Parts 1 and 2 of the course These include: commentary writing, comparatie analytical skills, close reading and the identification of various stylistic features.