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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

Assessment 27 September 2019

The table below gives an overview of the assessment components for both the Standard and Higher Level Literature courses. While there are familiar elements for those who have taught the previous iterations... 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

Higher Level Essay23 September 2019

It is clear from the guidance on the Higher Level essay that this assignment should be set up and conducted as an independent inquiry, with students developing ideas from their learner portfolio into... 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

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

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 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

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

Inquiry questions: course example8 July 2019

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... more

SL exemplar 1: poetry12 March 2017

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

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

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

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

Concepts22 July 2019

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... 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

The Learner Portfolio20 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

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 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

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

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

SL exemplar 2: prose6 February 2017

This passage was set for the SL May 2013 exam, which you should be able to get hold of quite easily. It is a good one to explore because it is non-fiction, and therefore a useful reminder of the different... 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

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

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

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

IOC HL Sample 4: Carol Ann Duffy and Othello13 January 2018

This Higher Level commentary and discussion focuses on War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy and Othello by William Shakespeare. Carol Ann Duffy is a great poet to teach as students generally find her... more

A thinking sequence3 December 2016

When it comes to Paper 1, many teachers provide students with different kinds of 'advice' sheets, each designed to present them with some kind of structural or procedural architecture, which can be learned... 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

SL exemplar 4: poetry2 July 2018

This poem was set for the May 2015 exam. The candidate's response below is of a generally good quality, although there are a number of things your students might find the means to critique. One of these,... more

The IOC: a student guide to literary art2 May 2017

Sound ​Poetic metre ​Diction and Syntax (1) ​Imagery ​Metaphor ​ 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

Perspectivefree12 October 2019

Perspective 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... 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

20 lesson starters...5 February 2019

There can be little doubt that the opening few minutes of any lesson make a big difference to the quality of learning that will subsequently take place. Opening moments are vital to establish an atmosphere... more

Course Requirements Tracker 17 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

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

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

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

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

Different kinds of readings30 November 2016

In addition to thinking about literature in different ways, talking and writing about it can vary accordingly. So called 'reading practices' invoke different methods we might adopt in relation to literary... 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

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

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

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

Identity 26 August 2019

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... 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