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Marking Paper 211 May 2017

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... more

Marking Paper 13 December 2016

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... more

Introducing the new course: an activity23 March 2019

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... more

The Commentary: a rough guide21 January 2017

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... more

Example Course Outline 1 (HL)2 March 2019

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... more

Written Assignment Exemplar 126 April 2017

In the Interactive Oral we looked into subjects varying from the history of the book 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' to the conditions in the labor camps that Shukhov was imprisoned in. This... more

An overview of the Written Assignment5 December 2016

Part 1 is assessed through the submission of one 1500 word coursework essay, and is assessed externally. However, the syllabus asks all students to approach the final essay through a particular series... more

HL Paper 2 exemplar: Drama (The Glass Menagerie and Amadeus)2 May 2017

This sample Higher Level response uses The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and Amadeus by Peter Shaffer to respond to a Paper 2 question on drama. The question used is number two from the May 2014... more

HL exemplar 2: poetry10 February 2017

This poem was set for the May 2012 Paper, in Time zone 2. Have a read of the poem by clicking on the link above and then read the student's response to it below. You can download the commentary via... more

Written Assignment Exemplar 210 February 2017

The interactive oral covered a range of issues relevant to the novel’s cultural context. The emergence of the scientific method and positivism as a way of acquiring knowledge was introduced as a key... more

Stage 4: The Written Assignment6 February 2017

The final stage of the process is of course to start writing the actual assignment. As the supervisor of the essay, your role is to provide guidance and support - but to keep in mind at all times that... more

HL exemplar 1: prose7 February 2017

The passage on which the following commentary was written is in response to an extract set in the May 2012 paper.Having read through the comments provided for the two SL Guided Literary Analysis responses,... more

Practise Paper 1 Skills: poetry3 December 2016

Poetry is typically seen by students as something 'difficult', abstruse or even indecipherable. It is not unusual, for this reason, to hear students say that they approach Paper 1 determined to choose... more

SL exemplar 1: poetry12 March 2017

The following Standard Level Guided Literary Analysis was written in response to this poem://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/mar/16/saturday-poem-gillian-clarke-mothers-dayThe Guiding Questions questions... more

Paper 1: the basics21 January 2017

The first of two external examination papers is referred to as: Guided Literary Analysis Literary CommentaryIn this first of two exams, students are expected to demonstrate skills in critical analysis... more

SL exemplar 5: prose4 February 2019

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.... more

'Seeing' the unseen4 April 2017

Whether it is literature, music, painting, dance, architecture, or indeed any kind of art, the response you have when you see a work for the first time is a vital part of the way you 'see' it finally.... more

SL Paper 2 Exemplar: Drama (Othello and Waiting for Godot)23 March 2017

This sample Standard Level response uses Othello by William Shakespeare and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett to respond to a Paper 2 question on drama. The question used was from the May 2016 paper... more

Stage 3: Supervised Writing21 January 2017

Stage 3 of the process that leads towards the writing of the Written Assignment is marked by a movement away from direct focus on elements of culture and context to address the literary qualities of the... more

Paper 1: practise!3 December 2016

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... more

Marking the Written Assignment9 May 2018

The criteria, located on page 49 of the Subject Guide, are the same for both Higher and Standard Level. They are divided up as follows:A: Fulfilling the requirements of the Reflective Statement more

Exemplar IOCs5 July 2017

When examiners (which in this case is your teacher) mark the Individual Oral Commentary, they are of course on the look out for some key elements, as defined by the marking criteria:STANDARD LEVEL: more

Part 1: Works in Translationfree4 April 2017

The IB Programme is of course defined by a number of core principles. One of these is an holistic approach to education - an interest in the development of different aspects of a student's intellectual,... more

Course Design3 March 2019

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... more

Written Assignment Exemplar 55 July 2017

This sample written assignment, on the function of clothing in Madame Bovary, is a good example of how a precise and pertinent focus can allow a student to explore a complex, challenging text in some... more

Stage 1: the Interactive Oral16 February 2018

The first stage of the process that culminates in the writing of the 1500 word assignment focuses on the preparation and administration of an in-class 'interactive oral'. This discussion is prepared and... more

Written Assignment Exemplar 326 February 2017

Prior to the class discussion on the cultural and historical context of Broken April, as well as debating the significance of different aspects such as the setting and different frames of narrative used... more

Properties of language21 January 2017

Although the course in no way demands close analysis of the linguistic properties of literary language, a fairly 'scientific' examination of the linguistic means through which texts are constructed can... more

HL Paper 2 exemplar: Prose, Novel and Short Story (The Power and the Glory and Atonement).13 May 2017

This sample Higher Level response uses The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene and Atonement by Ian McEwan to respond to a the following Paper 2 question on prose: novel and short story:Discuss the importance... more

Reading unseen passages4 April 2017

Elsewhere in this section of the site is the (repeated) recommendation that skills in responding to unseen texts are improved when students learn to break down the various means through which they are... more

Marking the IOP20 September 2018

Marking the IOP can sometimes present difficulties, not least because there tends to be a lot less exemplar material 'out there', and also because it is often a task that individual teachers complete... more

Sl exemplar 3: poetry11 June 2018

This poem was set for the May 2016 SL exam. The student's response below is a rather average one. S/he engages with the poem in a relatively accurate way but the analysis tends towards the somewhat... more

SL Paper 2 exemplar: Drama (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and A Streetcar Named Desire)23 March 2018

This sample Standard Level response uses Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams to respond to a Paper 2 question on drama. The question used... more

WA lesson ideas: the importance of meaningful planning7 December 2016

It hardly needs pointing out that planning the Written Assignment carefully is an essential component in the development of a strong essay.Any piece of written work that seeks to promote the development... more

Stage 2: the Reflective Statementfree12 May 2017

Once the Interactive Oral has been completed, all students must answer the question above, as prescribed by the syllabus. Before writing the RS, however, it is important to discuss with students the kind... more

HL exemplar 3: poetry27 November 2017

The poem, Blaze, by Christine West was set for the May 2017 Paper, in Time zone 2. Read the poem by clicking on the link below and then read the student's response to it underneath. Have a go at grading... more

IOC Procedural requirements20 October 2017

There are often practical problems, such as failing to make the recording clear, procedural issues such as allowing the student to talk beyond the allocated time or failing to ask questions after the... more

Reading for Character19 June 2017

It is almost a certainty that the unseen passage will contain reference to, or even focus entirely on, particular people - or characters. If it is a prose extract then you will have little or no context... more

Teaching Part 1: lesson strategiesfree2 May 2017

Beneath them all is a reliance on the notion of developing personal responses to texts; this does not mean recording how a student feels about a particular character (although that can sometimes be interesting... more

HL exemplar 5: prose9 May 2018

The following commentary is a response to the May 2017 HL Time Zone 2 prose extract. It is a good example of a student responding in an intelligent and coherent way to a passage that - by their own admission... more

Written Assignment exemplar 419 March 2017

In our interactive oral our class is discussed in what ways Murakami's short stories are works of post modern-fiction, how he makes use of magical realism and in what ways there is a conflict between... more

Written Assignment Exemplar 628 July 2017

This sample written assignment is focused on one of Neruda's best known poems, Walking Around. When it comes to the study of poetry for Part 1, while students need to study a collection of 15 to 20 poems... more

Practising Paper 1: Prose (fiction)3 December 2016

In many respects, of course, working with an unseen prose text requires very much the same skills demanded by a poem. However, it may well be that certain elements come to the foreground more quickly... more

Example Course Outline 2 (SL)2 March 2019

This Standard Level course design offers a more straight-forward approach than the HL sample (example outline 1). It is built around the areas of exploration, with each year following a sequence of four... more

Written Assignment Exemplar 813 July 2018

This HL Written Assignment is a response to Yukio Mishima's dark and disturbing novel, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea. It is a great text for this part of the course as it is short and accessible... more

Prose: novel and short storyfree5 April 2017

Along with drama, the novel and short story is a popular choice of genre for Part 3 of the course. For most students novels are their path into literature and remain their preferred genre for independent... more

HL exemplar 4: prose2 May 2018

The following commentary is a response to the May 2014 HL Time Zone 2 prose extract. It might be a useful one to show to your students because there is a fairly obvious problem with it in its lack of... more

Written Assignment Exemplar 75 November 2017

This is another example of a Written Assignment where a clear and purposeful literary focus has allowed a student to explore a vast and complex text with an impressive degree of precision and depth. more

The Literary Conventions of Prose: novel and short story5 April 2017

While the novel and the short story share literary conventions, it is also important to note that the two forms are different and writers of each will often use the conventions quite differently. more

IOC Teaching Strategies12 May 2017

Although it is important not to drive the teaching of all aspects of the course towards the final assessment task, it is worthwhile keeping in mind nevertheless the fact that knowledge and understanding... more