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Listening exam #1free28 May 2019

This is a complete exam, following the pattern of the new Listening Component. I would immediately point out that it is in no way an 'official' example. I have not seen the specifications in instructions... more

Listening question types6 February 2018

Listening comprehension is not really the same as reading comprehension, and so the question mechanisms by which listening is tested have to be not quite the same.The difference between reading and listening... more

Text types, sorted for use6 February 2018

The list of text types in the Guide is very long - although we must never forget that the Guide introduces the list by stating "The examples shown are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive": in other words,... more

Identity unit: Beliefs & values14 February 2019

This is one of a series of pages designed to illustrate how to go about developing plans for teaching the Themes. These should not be seen as complete downloadable packages, but rather as drafts or explorations.... more

Orals: what's expected?free8 February 2019

What exactly will be involved in the new Oral Interviews, for first examination in 2020? Many teachers are wondering about this, particularly because of deciding how exactly they should be preparing their... more

Reading question types2 April 2018

Testing reading comprehension has a long history, and many different types of question have been tried. The challenge is to find question types which are both efficiently reliable in objective terms and... more

NEW Grade boundary chartfree25 September 2018

Until the first examination session for the 2018 Subject Guide, in May 2020, we will not know with any precision what the grade boundaries will be. These will only be decided properly once the senior... more

Oral IA Criteria, unpacked7 May 2019

Here are the Oral IA Criteria organised by bullet-point, in order to make the range of values as clear as possible. Note that:HL and SL distinctions - In Criterion A Language, there is mainly a 'one-step'... more

Social organisation unit: access to education9 April 2019

This is one of a series of pages designed to illustrate how to go about developing unit plans for teaching the Themes. These should not be seen as complete downloadable packages, but rather as drafts... more

Listening sample #519 March 2019

This is a pretty simple recording. Unsurprisingly, because it is from the BBC' s Learning English service: specifically, from the series of short programmes called 'The English we speak' - click on the... more

Exam list of text types12 March 2019

The IB has published the promised list of text types which will be used in the new Paper 1 Writing.You can find it by going to the Programme Resource Centre (PRC), and then...> Diploma Programme > Language... more

Text type expectations free18 March 2019

What should we be teaching our students about the text types required under the new Subject Guide (2018, for first assessment in 2020)? To put it another way, how will they be expected to handle each... more

Social organisation22 July 2018

In a way, the Theme 'Social organisation' overlaps with all the other themes - for without social organisation, how would we form our identity? ... how would our experiences be reduced? ... in what ways... more

Themes21 March 2018

The concept of 'Themes' in the 2018 Subject Guide replaces the concept of 'Topics' in the 2011 Subject Guide. The word 'Topics' is still used, but in the sense of aspects or areas within the the overall... more

Text types, explored6 February 2018

The 2018 Subject Guide provides a larger list of text types ... but this does not represent such a great change as might be imagined, since most of these exist in the current systemFrom 2018, text types... more

New OUP Course Bookfree7 May 2018

Author Kevin Morley and Author Kawther Saa'd AldinPrice: £44.99 +VAT ISBN: 978-0-19-842232-7Pack: 456 pagesVisit the OUP website pageClosely following the publication of the new Language B Subject Guide... more

Literature11 February 2018

The 2018 Subject Guide requires, at HL, that students should study two literary texts - and their grasp of these texts is assessed in the internal assessment Individual Oral.The requirements for the study... more

Human ingenuity unit: Innovation in technology21 February 2019

This is one of a series of pages designed to illustrate how to go about developing unit plans for teaching the Themes. These should not be seen as complete downloadable packages, but rather as drafts... more

Paper 2 HL, marked28 June 2015

This section contains samples of HL Paper 2s, marked as an entirety.The value of this is to provide a benchmark of marking standards, against which everyone can calibrate. These standards are based on... more

New CUP Course Bookfree11 December 2018

Author: Brad PhilpotPrice: $ 54.30ISBN: 9781108434812Format: Paperback386 pagesVisit the CUP website The Cambridge coursebook English B for the IB Diploma is now published, and represents a valuable addition... more

Human ingenuity10 August 2018

The area of 'Human ingenuity' is pretty vast. The most obvious and common interpretation is 'technological cleverness', but arguably you can be ingenious in practically any area - poetry, in politics,... more

Reading Good Reads4 August 2018

This part of the site deals with books (mainly, but not exclusively, novels) aimed at seducing students into extended reading.Not an easy task, of course, as far as many students are concerned ! In a... more

Eng B Skills, reviewedfree16 February 2014

English B for the IB Diploma ... Kawther Saa'd AlDin, Jeehan Abu Awad, Tiia Tempakka, Kevin Morley OUP; Oxford IB Skills and Practice series Price: £22.00 ISBN: 978-0-19-839284-2 Paperback:... more

Links - Experiences6 February 2018

Here are a wide range of links to pages which contain material relevant to 'Experiences':-Nationalist myths ... a lively, accessible account of conversations with nationalists, evoking how they see... more

Print versus internet10 January 2018

.Arguably, the last 30 years or so have seen a fundamental change in the whole structure of our literate culture - easy access to computers, and to the services of the internet, have changed the entire... more

Skim reading...new normal22 May 2019

The evolution of ingenuity ... The use of language is ingenuity in action. The selection of words, the organisation of ideas, the adjustment to audience and context - all of these require the constantly... more

Proposal, modelled21 July 2018

.Writing a proposal is actually quite a complex process... well, writing a good proposal is complex: any idiot can dream up crazy, no-hope fantasies (look at certain politicians). It's also quite a challenging... more

Themes, 2018 onwards8 May 2018

The Themes required by the 2018 Subject Guide are wider than the Topics of the 'old' Subject Guide - but in fact, they cover much the same ground as the old Topics. So, how do we deal with them? more

Technological change 8 May 2018

The ingenuity of humour ... this little video is witty: it makes a serious point (about the failure to be ingenious in adapting to change) in a humorous way. But what do we mean by 'humour'? Surely humour... more

Conceptual understandings12 February 2018

The conceptual understandings specified by the Subject Guide are easy enough to understand in general terms - but what do they mean in practical teaching terms? What do we actually focus on in order to... more

Subject Guide 20187 February 2018

The 2018 Subject Guide is to form the basis for English B teaching for at least the seven years from September 2018. To be more precise:-This section of the site sets out to provide an overview of the... more

The qBankfree20 July 2017

The qBank feature is a data-base of question items for exercising and drilling specific points of grammar. The software that this site provides makes it possible to > produce quickly and easily grammar... more

Audience6 February 2018

..That language is used to communicate to an audience is obvious - but given that basic idea, tricky questions arise. Which audience? How do texts relate to an audience? And how do we identify an 'audience'?... more

Specific Oral skills31 May 2015

By 'specific skills', I wish to define the kind of approach required for each text type, and the kind of language expected. These can be seen as 'transfer goals' - the term used in the IB's unit plan... more

Links: texts for writing free30 May 2018

** Texts to encourage students to write occur all over the site, but particularly in :-> Teaching writing ... a wide range of models, organised by (i) text type; and (ii) purpose** Basic ground rules... more

Burka Avenger 20 October 2018

How fiction may create and debate identity ... this page features a Pakistani animated series about a heroine who fights for women's rights while disguised with a burka. This raises all sorts of issues,... more

The English are best 25 January 2019

Identity as caricature ... As individuals, we take part of our personal identity from the public identity of the group to which we are attached, to which we belong. But do we really 'belong' to a group?... more

The Migrant's Tale5 December 2018

First-hand experience ... We think we know what we are experiencing, minute by minute, now - but how could we actually write it down and retain it? The moment we start doing so, our experience of our... more

Science & technology, explored2 May 2018

Unlike the 'Health' and 'Leisure' Options, the Subject Guide explicitly states that this topic should be concerned with "impact on a community of the target language", which seems a little curious, perhaps,... more

Meaning6 February 2018

.That language has 'meaning' we can all agree easily, so why is this a 'conceptual understanding' that we should concentrate on? The key issues are that (i) language can have multiple meanings, or perhaps... more

How to write goodfree11 June 2019

I found the following witty little list on the internet, in the form of an anonymous photograph of something found "on a fridge in Hull". I have shortened the original list slightly, dropping out items... more

Language & TOKfree30 March 2017

The most usual meaning of 'make sense' is the intransitive usage of 'be sensible, convincing, understandable' - as in "It makes sense to leave as early as we can". If we add 'of', and use it transitively,... more

P2 sample 128 June 2015

This sample was written under Mock exam conditions, and is based on questions adapted from two real IB papers.The handout Sample 1 gives the original script, clean and without annotations. more

Cat.2 clarifiedfree7 April 2015

The Coordinators Notes of September 2013 contained a clear statement defining what is, and what is not, acceptable as a 'cultural artifact' - the term which is the basis of Category 2 B for acceptable... more

English in India 24 November 2018

Identity & language ... The language you speak obviously has a major role in defining who you think you are. In turn, this means that social groups coalesce around each language. However, language is... more

Sharing the planet10 August 2018

This is perhaps the most 'objective' of the Themes, since it must deal with physical facts and large-scale processes which may be little concerned with the subjective experiences of individuals. This... more

Context6 February 2018

.That communication happens in a context would seem to be a truism - language, like all human behaviour, happens within an environment. The issue is to be more precise about what we mean by 'context'.... more

Class, jokes, and linkers 5 November 2018

Identity and class ... one of the standard ways of defining identity, both of others and of ourselves, is through categories of class - but what do we mean by 'class' ... how do we recognise class differences?... more

Literary study tasks22 September 2015

When I first started writing this site, my approach to the 'Reading good reads' section, addressing books for literary study, was to deal with each book in great detail and depth, with worksheets on every... more

On writing reviews20 April 2014

Judith Goebel teaches English at Frankfurt International School I've always thought of The Review as one of the more interesting text-types to teach. One can allow a certain amount of freedom of choice... more