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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

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

The Learner Portfoliofree20 May 2019

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... more

Inquiry questions11 May 2019

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.... more

The Learner Portfolio - a guide for students20 May 2019

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... more

Internal Assessment 6 May 2019

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,... 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

Course Requirements Tracker free17 June 2019

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... 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

Readers, Writers and Texts: 'It is Dangerous...'2 April 2019

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... more

The new course11 February 2019

It is here! The Subject Guide for the new course was sent to schools last week and you should now be in possession of a copy. If not, please ask your IB Coordinator or download it from My IB, where... more

Intertextuality: 'It is Dangerous...'4 April 2019

The title of this poem, It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers, suggests the power and influence of texts in our lives, and on one level the poem is about how no one, perhaps least of all writers, can live... 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

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 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

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

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

SL exemplar 1: poetry12 March 2017

The following Standard Level Guided Literary Analysis was written in response to this poem: Guiding Questions questions... 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time and Space: 'It is Dangerous...'1 April 2019

After students have explored the poem through the lens of the Readers, Writers and Texts area of exploration (see activities and questions from Readers, Writers and Texts: It is Dangerous...), the following... more

Character 11 May 2017

Scripts contain bones“We're actors — we're the opposite of people!”Rosencrantz and Guidenstern Are DeadWe encounter characters in drama very differently to how we encounter them in novels or short... 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

The Extended Essay16 November 2016

Writing the Extended Essay is (or should be) a very important part of a student's diploma experience, and certainly one that prepares them as well for elements of study at university level. It is a good... more

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

WA lesson ideas: writing good introductions3 October 2016

Effective introductions are typically another hallmark of stronger essays. From the first sentence, examiners will be given a strong clue as to how perceptive the essay is going to be, and how confident... 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

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

SL Paper 2 exemplar: Prose, novel and short story (1984 and The Handmaid's Tale)12 December 2017

This sample Standard Level response uses 1984 by George Orwell and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood to respond to a Paper 2 question on prose: novel and short story. The question used was from the... 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

Dialogue8 November 2016

Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 2So starts Hamlet's advice to the group of visiting players as he seeks to outline the importance of what is said in drama and the importance of this being heard and enjoyed by the... more

The Higher Level Discussion4 April 2017

As its name would suggest, the second part of the oral assessment is more interactive; the teacher is expected to assume a more active presence in it, and the type of questions asked, as well as the way... more

Part 2 Detailed Studyfree4 April 2017

In Part 2 of the course, students study a range of texts from different genres. The focus of the 'part' as its title suggests, concerns detailed analysis of the language and style of the works chosen.... more

The IOC: advice for students10 December 2016

Preparing for the Commentary and (if you are HL) Discussion is often seen by students as one of the more stressful parts of the literature course. This is understandable as you are working against the... 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