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Identity is one of 7 concepts that underpin teaching and learning in the English A: Literature Course. Linking to the 3 areas of exploration, these ideas allow students to make points of connection and comparison between works studied, as well as facilitating narratives that can take us from one work to another. It is important to introduce students to the seven concepts early on in the course so that they become familiar with them and begin the process of exploring, discussing and connecting them in the context of specific texts.
It is important to introduce students to the seven concepts early on in the course so that they become familiar with them and begin the process of exploring, discussing and connecting them in the context of specific texts. The activity below is designed to do just this and uses short poems as a relatively quick and accessible means of getting students to apply the concepts to literary works. Alongside the poems, students work with three questions for each concept, designed to provoke thought and discussion; these are available to download as a handout below.
One way of thinking about the seven defining concepts on the course is to see them as different lenses through which we can look at literary works; while it can be valuable and interesting to look at a text through one lens, it is when we combine lenses that we really start to deepen what we see in literature. These ideas also present the means to make points of connection and comparison between works studied, as well as to facilitate narratives that might take us from one work to another. In other words, alongside the areas of exploration with which they interact, they structure the teaching and learning on the course.
As stated on the main page, one way to organise your course and to develop the sense of a course narrative, is to structure it around a series of questions. This could lend a sense of coherence and development to your programme of study, as well as encourage independent engagement with the texts and their ideas on the part of your students. The example below is for a Higher Level course and demonstrates how key inquiry questions could be related to particular texts and also to units of work more generally.
The new course invites consideration of literary works in a way that will be important to establish from the beginning. Traditional reading models locate the meaning of the work inside the text itself and encourage readers to 'find sense' in the text in front of them. More modern ways of thinking show that meaning is far less fixed and determined - existing in the space/s between the text,...
Probably the most exciting aspect of the new course is the freedom it gives to teachers in terms of planning their course, with texts no longer organised according to parts or linked to specific assessment tasks. However, this freedom also presents a challenge and, whether you are in a department of two or twenty teachers, you have probably started thinking and talking about how you might organise your course, and also possibly started to feel a little overwhelmed by the range of choices the new course presents.
Rather than giving students the whole poem straight away, the following approach - whereby students are given the poem bit by bit - encourages readers to pay closer attention to the details of how an author is constructing meaning; it is a strategy that also gives students time to consider significant turning points and shifts within a poem that they might miss or overlook if given the whole poem at once. As such, the approach is also designed to guide them to a more heightened awareness of how they are reading and constructing meaning, and how this might differ from others reading the same poem.
One challenge with designing your course is making sure that all the requirements are met; this is particularly true as we start this new course (first teaching 2019) because there have been significant changes made to the course structure (no more parts) and to the nature of the assessments, as well as the new PRL where some authors previously on the IB lists have been removed, while many more have been added. These changes are all exciting and open up new possibilities for course and unit planning, which is another reason we need to make sure that we take time to stop and check we have fulfilled the IB's expectations in terms of texts studied.
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.
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.
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.
I was very impressed with the site. It is very user friendly, gives students (and teachers) easy access to excellent resources. I also enjoyed the opportunity to be able to check my marks (and my students peer marking) for tasks against IB criteria and...
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.
9 June 2019
As those of you in May session schools bring the year to a close and look forward to a well-deserved holiday, we know you will also have an... more
18 Aug Kitty Fogliano
Internal AssessmentThe description above identifies a possible global issue: "how authors portray freedom of thought and conscience (or lack thereof), and how their choices lead us to consider what this means in different contexts". I am lost at understanding...
14 Aug Kimberly Caruso
Overview of the new courseThank you very much for your suggestion.
14 Aug Mark Beverley
SL exemplar 2: proseHi Gina: copyright issues make this diffiult for us to do. As an IB school, you should be able to gain access to past papers, however - this one from May 2013.
14 Aug Gina Mc Carrel
SL exemplar 2: proseWould it be possible to have the option to download the texts?
13 Aug David White
Example Course Outline 1 (HL)Hi Glenn. It is fine to have all choices from the PRL; the 4 free choices are there if you do want to use authors not listed but it is not a requirement.
13 Aug Glenn Flood
Example Course Outline 1 (HL)Hi. We are finalizing our choices for our HL Literature syllabus. The requirements indicate 4 free choice literary works. Is it compulsory to have 4 free choice works, or is it possible to construct a syllabus that has fewer than 4 free choices,...
12 Aug David White
Overview of the new courseHi Kimberley. I think either approach can work, or - my preference - a combination of both - so, one central question or SOI with further questions (inquiry, conceptual, provocative) used to structure the learning in the unit. There is a...
12 Aug David White
Course Requirements TrackerYes, Robert - only authors and their associated literary forms are on the PRL now, not specific texts. So this means you can do any text by that author in that literary form if they are listed. As for your Shakespeare question you are correct...
12 Aug Kimberly Caruso
Overview of the new courseDavid, what are your thoughts about using inquiry questions to guide units? For example, should we use one central question, similar to an Essential Question or MYP Statement of Inquiry, but aligned with an area of exploration and concept?...
11 Aug Robert Munson
Course Requirements TrackerAlso, in the past you couldn't repeat an author within a part, but in year 1 we had Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice) and year 2 we had Shakespeare (Hamlet), but if I'm reading the guide correctly, we can repeat any other at all (unless it's...
10 Aug Robert Munson
Course Requirements TrackerKafka is on the PRL, but I don't see The Metamorphosis actually listed. Is this still a work that is acceptable?
10 Aug Mark Beverley
Stage 4: The Written AssignmentHi Gina - no the title isn’t counted. I presume by ‘world cited’ you mean a bibliography..? If so, then no - that doesn’t count either. The word count relates to any text that appears in the main body of the essay only.