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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.
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.
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.
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 eye on the next academic year and, in particular, the start of the new Language A Literature course. You may well have done a great deal of thinking and planning for this already, or you may have identified this term as the time to get this done but, as is so often the way, not done as much as you had hoped as other things came in and demanded your time!
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.
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.
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.
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...
I wish I'd had something like this when I first started teaching IB Lit!
10 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
16 Jul David White
Intertextuality: 'It is Dangerous...'Hi Andrew. For the old and the new syllabus, it is enough to use poetry from a single poet - it does not need to all be from the same work.
16 Jul Andrew McKee
Intertextuality: 'It is Dangerous...'Hi David, I am posting this here as it seems to build upon Kitty's question. I was under the impression (for the old syllabus) that when studying a particular poet, all works must be from the same 'work.' For instance 'Ariel' by Plath or 'Rapture'...
14 Jul Joshua Viau
Overview of the new courseHi. Just checked the PRL, and Márquez is on the list. The accent matters for the search, apparently.
11 Jul David White
Intertextuality: 'It is Dangerous...'Kitty, you're right and this is a new specification. It is a requirement that is still being debated and discussed, especially amongst Language and Literature teachers where it is more restrictive (if they want to study advertising, for example,...
11 Jul David White
Sample text selections for DramaHi Kathleent. It's certainly a combination that could work well as there are plenty of ways to connect those three texts, not least the genre of comedy and its conventions, which would be interesting to explore in those three plays.
10 Jul Kitty Fogliano
Intertextuality: 'It is Dangerous...'Adding to the above comment, the guide states that "Where more than one text is studied as part of a work, texts must be from the same author." I am really confused at how a study of "War Poetry" would work within the constraints of course...
10 Jul Kitty Fogliano
Intertextuality: 'It is Dangerous...'Question about the suggestion of studying "War Poetry". How would this work in terms of a body of work? My understanding is that one must study 15-20 poems by a single poet as a body of work. Could one study 15-20 "war poems"?
10 Jul Kathleent Wallerk
Sample text selections for DramaHi! I've not used this forum before, and am not even sure if it's still active, but, if so... I'm planning to do The Taming of the Shrew, Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Earnest, and would be interested in any comments on this... Thanks,...
2 Jul David White
Example Course Outline 1 (HL)Hi Victoria. Yes, many texts could work well for all 3 areas, so as you say it is more about how you want to teach that text and what the focal learning will be, while also ensuring that you have a balance of all 3 areas across the 2 year...
1 Jul Victoria Burnett
Example Course Outline 1 (HL)Hi Mark (or David), I've started to work on choosing works for next year and I'm having difficulty deciding which works are best suited for which area of exploration. For example, The Things They Carried seems perfect for inter-textual connections,...
29 Jun David White
Overview of the new courseWell, first thoughts would be to connect to another magical-realist novelist, like Marquez or Allende or Kundera, but now we can mix genres, we also need to think differently/more expansively about Paper 2 - so you could put it with Oedipus...
29 Jun Flavia Marin-Drews
Overview of the new courseHi David, Yes, I am. If you have any suggestions, I'd be very grateful. I've already used my free choices and have included Marquez and Kafka. Thanks!