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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

Sample Rationales9 January 2015

NOTE : This page has been revised to incorporate the May 2015 new Criterion A: rationale and task..As I have suggested elsewhere ( Written Assignment ) , it seems that the Rationale will prove to be the... more

Listening sample #328 October 2018

by Anne Height, IB English B, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Melbourne, Australia.The Listening Task “Camel Milk” includes each of the 5 different question types students will be given for Listening. However,... more

Listening sample #210 October 2018

This sample is designed to concentrate on one particular question type - Identify true statements.The difficulties that students may find in handling this question type fall into two areas:- more

Oral IA Criteria, unpacked6 February 2018

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

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

Writing criteria, unpacked7 February 2018

Here are the Paper 1 Written Production 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... more

The 'creative' HL WA?29 September 2014

The HL Written Assignment requires 'creative writing'. Fine ... but what do we mean by 'creative', and more to the point, what advice do we give to students so that they shall be as 'creative' as possible? 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

3 Rationales, compared6 December 2016

Using samples of students' work is always a very sound way to teach ideas about writing. Apart from anything else, students seem to feel less intimidated in analysing, and especially criticising, work... 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

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

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

The Migrant's Talefree5 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

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

P1 question types25 August 2017

The questions used in Paper 1 Texthandling are, in essence, standard types as used in many other exam systems.This page offers a guide to the standard types. The examples are taken from the May 2011 English... 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

About blogging4 May 2014

The blog is a relatively new type of text, and it is evident that there are no formal rules for blogs - as yet, at least, and since blogs are as anarchic as the rest of the internet, perhaps never! We... 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

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

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

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

Orals Criterion A10 March 2013

HL Orals Criterion A Keyterm Diagram SL Orals Criterion A Keyterm Diagram These Notes draw on the Notes for Criterion A Language in the written Paper 2 - inevitably, since command of language... more

Anorexia story 15 November 2018

Experiencing anorexia ... empathising with anorexics must be very difficult, since the condition depends profoundly on the person's subjective perceptions. In one sense, though, this is just an extreme... 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

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

Respecting cultural diversity? 15 November 2018

The impact of culture on identity ... we would all accept that our sense of who we are is influenced by the culture(s) in which we live - but how do we negotiate with other cultures ... and therefore... 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

Expanded Criteria10 February 2013

The writing of Criteria, as I've commented elsewhere, is a tricky job of finding a compromise between 'too big to use' and 'too short to mean anything'. The old, out-gone Criteria tended a little towards... more

2018 Criteria, analysed18 August 2017

Students submitting Extended Essays from May 2018 onwards will have to submit their Extended Essay according to the new Extended Essay Subject Guide. In other words, students starting the Diploma from... more

An HL WA model24 August 2014

It is always a good idea for teachers to attempt, themselves, tasks that they set to students. This seems particularly applicable in the case of the HL Written Assignment, which requires writing defined... 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

Migration, facts & fictionfree21 August 2016

Migration is a global issue ... but this is nothing new. Throughout recorded history (and before, presumably), there have been waves of migration. And, frankly, current concerns about migrants are insignificant... 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

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

An excellent EE16 October 2016

The Extended Essay that provides the basis for this page was awarded an A. This means that it pretty well fulfilled the expectations that the IB has for how to handle the EE task. It can, therefore be... 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

P2 sample 216 August 2015

This sample was written under Mock exam conditions, and is based on questions adapted from two real IB papers. Marking Notes from those papers have been similarly adapted for guidance.The handout Sample... more

The Handmaid's Talefree12 November 2018

The empty vessel… Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is a unique, eye-opening narrative that chronicles the story of an future dystopian society where fertility rates amongst women have... 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

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

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

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

Leaflets & pamphlets21 September 2014

Brochures, handouts, fliers, pamphlets, leaflets, call them what you will ... what they all have in common is that they should be concise and communicate efficiently. The ability to write succinctly and... more

EE checklists12 January 2014

Being an Extended Essay supervisor can be a tricky job. I offer some practical techniques to focus and organise the support that can be offered to students. The point of a checklist is to provide a... more

Criminalising clothes 29 October 2018

Organising social respectability? ... there have been rules about who can wear what throughout human history. Such rules have always have much to do with social hierarchy, but also ideology and religion.... 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

PR as blog6 April 2015

The student sample that forms the basis of this page is pretty well written, but more significantly it is a double model - it is both a good handling of the conventions of a Section A blog text type,... more

Speeches by students9 April 2014

The speech is a popular text type in English B exams, both for examiners and for students. This is because : It is worth noting that the Language B Subject Guide's list of text types (SL p.31; HL p.40)... 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