The IB has stipulated several suggested topics for Part 2, which you can find on pages 19-20 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide. You may want to cover a few of them in depth or more of them in passing. For guidance on selecting texts, see the 'selecting texts' page in the section on 'the course'.

The following pages provide examples of lessons on Part 2 'topics'. They explore the relationship between medium and message. They help you achieve the learning outcomes for Part 2. See the menu on the left for lessons on each topic.

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Comments 5

Chris Korb 10 March 2017 - 17:14

Good afternoon,

With the advent of concepts such as "fake news" and "post truth," I would feel remiss as a language teacher if I didn't address this with my students. At the same time, I don't want to potentially jeopardize their IB performance by choosing a topic that is not well-established.

In your opinion, is this a viable Part 2 topic? If so, do you have any recommendations for resources or texts? My first idea is simply to analyze Donald Trump's speeches, the media reaction to them, etc. However, I am afraid these kinds of sources may not be substantial enough.

On a related note, I already do a unit on propaganda, and one of our current Part 3 works is 1984, so my students already will have a basis for this line of inquiry.

I would greatly appreciate your option.

All my best,

PS You are probably sick of such praise, but I can't in good conscience post without thanking you for all your work. This site is extremely helpful.

David McIntyre 12 March 2017 - 06:56

Hi Chris,

I think this sounds like a good unit of work. Writing now, I wonder if we are at the beginning of something, or if this is just a 'passing phase'. I'm rather hoping for the latter. Of course, media literacy isn't new, but recent times do trouble me (I hope I can write this without appearing too political).

I would suggest that you speak to your TOK teacher(s), if that is not you. How can you build on and extend what students are doing or have done in TOK? In this current exam session (M17) there was a TOK essay question which asked (I'm paraphrasing), given access to the same facts, why do experts disagree? I think the nature of expertise is interesting to explore. Scott Pruitt denies the established science of climate change. Is he an expert? Does it matter? Richard Dawkins challenges the referendum on Brexit. Does the opinion of a scientist matter much in the realm of politics? And so on.

One of our subscribers - Bradley Locke - recently sent me this: It's a good read, I think.

And, Chris, we'll take your praise. That's okay.



Chris Korb 16 May 2017 - 14:58


Wow, thank you so much for the thoughtful response!

I don't think this is even a question of politics anymore; it is a question reason versus madness. I too hope this is just a trend, but as an American living in self-imposed exile in Morocco, I'm not sure!

I took your advice and spoke to the TOK teachers, and the discussions were very fruitful. In fact, even though I was creating this unit as I went along, I think it was one of our best successes. This is in part thanks to your resources and suggestions, so I will send you praise once again!

All the Best,

Aslom Ullah 11 October 2017 - 05:59

Hi everyone

I have started teaching students about speeches, looking at speeches by Trump, Hilary Clinton, Obama, Martin Luther King, and so on. Then I am thinking of getting my students to write an Written Task 1 as a speech to be delivered at the UN on equality, either gender or race...their choice? How does that sound?

Tim Pruzinsky 11 October 2017 - 08:47

Hi Aslom,

The key to this is making sure students understand what part of the course this connects to (Part 1 or 2) and what learning objectives you want to see in the WT1. They need to clearly articulate this in the rationale.

If they can do this, and they can not only explain the purpose of their speech, but explain why a speech was the best text type to use for their purpose, then the assignment will work. It's important that they have that clarity before they write.


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