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As well as being a requirement for the Literature course from 2019, the Learner Portfolio is an opportunity for students to create a ‘space’ where they can analyse, explore, inquire and imagine in a variety of ways when responding to literature. It is also a place where students can record and chart their learning over the two years of the course.
While students will have experience of keeping a record of their work for English, whether in note books or on computer, the concept of the learner portfolio will be a new one for them and will require some careful explanation at the start of the course. While it is important students understand that it is a fundamental and mandatory aspect of the course, this information needs to be framed with a clear rationale for its centrality: if students understand the purpose of the learner portfolio then they are more likely to engage with it and approach it with care, rigour and creativity.
One of the exciting elements of the new course relates to the fact that you have considerable freedom to organize it in a way that makes the most sense for you and the context in which you are teaching. One approach you might consider relates to the idea of inquiry questions. MYP teachers will probably be familiar already with this notion - as a means to develop a sort of course narrative, as well as encourage the notion that literary analysis engages curiosity and discovery that can lead in many different directions, and connect readers with texts and the world in all sorts of surprising ways.
Replacing the IOP and IOC, the individual oral combines aspects of both previous assessments into one internal assessment task, which is the same for SL and HL students in terms of the nature of the task, the time allocation and assessment criteria. Like the old IOC, it is delivered and recorded as an oral examination, while it also gives students a degree of choice, control and preparation time more akin to the old IOP. This page gives an overview of the essential information and requirements for this assessment in response to some of the questions teachers and students may have as they prepare for the assignment. Click on the icon below each question to see the guidance.
Assessment of Paper 1 is broken up into 4 strands of criteria, each weighted equally. The strands are divided in a very similar way to other parts of the course - being split more or less equally between elements that reward the content of student writing, and elements that are more technically focused. Criterion A assesses understanding of the passage, Criterion B response to elements of literary...
Rather than just adopting one organizing principle - concepts or areas of exploration, for example - this approach seeks to integrate and interleave the three areas of exploration, the seven concepts and the conceptual questions associated with each area of exploration. It also includes possible texts and links to assessments. Each unit is built around two or three connected concepts, linked to one, two or three of the areas of exploration, with the associated conceptual questions from the guide (pages 22 - 24) also included. We welcome your feedback on this model and your own thoughts on course design as you start to discuss this within your departments.
The Commentary – a rough guide for students What is a ‘commentary’? A commentary is a close analysis of a passage or a short work. More than a summary, it must investigate both the content and the language, i.e. WHAT the passage/poem achieves and HOW it achieves it, and the relationship they have with each other. It describes the writer’s intentions, effects and how he or...
This is an example of a strong SL Paper 1 response, written in response to the prose extract on the May 2017 TZ2 examination paper. The extract can be downloaded or seen by clicking on the icon below.
The guiding questions for this extract were:
(a) Comment on the interactions between the teacher and the children, and what these interactions imply about life and learning.
(b) What techniques does the author use to create humour while also conveying ideas implied in the passage?
Assessment of Paper 2 is broken up into five strands of criteria each weighted equally. The strands are similar to other parts of the course although for Paper 2 there is a little more weighting on elements that reward the content of student writing over elements that are more technically focused. There is also a strong emphasis on a student's ability to answer the question: this is a Criterion...
It may be a slightly obvious thing to say, but progress in this course depends more on the acquisition of a set of skills than the accumulation of a body of knowledge. And recognition of this carries particular weight in reference to Paper 1 - not least because success in the component derives from elements that underpin all parts of the course. Fundamentally, it is where students' sensitivity...
The site offers an engaging and imaginative approach to IB English - clear and informative it would be of use to both new and experienced teachers alike.
An excellent and invaluable site that will make the teaching of IB Literature both fun and engaging for students and teachers. The quality and quantity of material, tips and resources is impressive.
It's easy to navigate, straightforward, and helpful. Even for an experienced IB teacher, the website provides helpful ways to reconsider curriculum and lesson plans.
12 April 2019
This is a question most English teachers have heard, probably most years, as many students seem to find it hard to see English as a subject... more
24 May Blythe Williams
Overview of the new courseThanks, Mark. Looking forward to the new course Workshop in Berlin this August.
24 May David White
Analysing Graphic NovelsHi Bora I think for the new course Persepolis can be classified as non-fiction. When I asked the IB a few years ago for the old course (last exams 2020) I was told no, it was just classified as a graphic novel, but my understanding is that...
23 May David White
The Extended EssayIt is although you need to be careful - the examiner's report has cautioned against this, saying YA is not always "rich enough" to support in-depth literary analysis. However, I have seen exceptions to this so it can depend on the text and...
23 May David White
Extended Essay: the basicsThat's ok, Anna - that's what we're here for! A Category 2 essay is a comparison between a text originally written in English and a translated text. There are different approaches to comparison in terms of how an essay is structured; to...
23 May Anna Knowles
The Extended EssayThank you David! I also have a student who is writing about the literary merit within a YA novel. Is this allowed under the Literature curriculum?
23 May Anna Knowles
Extended Essay: the basicsIf a student is classified now as Category 2, does this mean that the essay needs to be comparative or may they use the translated text(s) to inform the progress of their arguments? I apologize for the questioning, it's my first year with the...
23 May David White
Analysing Graphic NovelsYes, or as a footnote is also fine.
23 May Paul Welch
Analysing Graphic NovelsThank you, David. Should the students put the citation under the panel as a caption, e.g. (Satrapi, 35)?
22 May Bora Rancic
Analysing Graphic NovelsOn another note and in regard to Persepolis 1 by Satrapi - in terms of literary form some believe there is an argument to classify it as prose non fiction as well as a graphic novel/prose fiction. Would this be allowed do you think? A different...
22 May David White
Analysing Graphic NovelsHi Paul. As you say, the IB state that appendices are to be avoided and so there is no guarantee a marker will look at them. The best approach is to embed the panels in the body of the essay where necessary, which is what Film essays do with...
22 May Paul Welch
Analysing Graphic NovelsWe've had a question at our school about how to refer to graphic novels in EE's and Written Assignments. If the student is referring to graphic elements as part of the analysis, is it advisable to attach a scan of those panels as an appendix....
22 May Mark Beverley
Stage 1: the Interactive OralAnna: there is no need to think that the RS will relate in any way to the WA. It is more likely, in fact, that there will be a complete separation between the discussion and RS and then the SW and the WA. The only place where a connections...