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Sample Paper 1 tasks16 September 2021

This page sets out to provide a range of sample tasks such as may be set in Paper 1 Writing. These can be used for practice in class work, or for use in mock exams.The tasks have been based on real questions... more

Writing criteria, unpackedfree19 February 2020

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

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

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

Text types, explored17 October 2021

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

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

Writing samples,marked19 December 2019

.There is value in seeing how other people mark examples of students' work, so as to calibrate your own marking and check that your standards are more or less 'objective' (whatever that means). It is... more

Orals advice to students30 November 2019

The heading above says it all, really! Some students (and teachers) like to take a melodramatic view of the Individual Interview - as a cross between The Last Judgement and Shoot-out at the OK Corral... more

Paper 1 sample exam #25 January 2020

This sample exam paper is designed and written to reflect the specifications of the Paper 1 Writing from May 2020.Each question contains the following basic elements:a context 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

Paper 1 advice to students18 December 2020

.Here is a presentation to help students deal with Paper 1 confidently and effectively.Make clear to students that they can handle Paper 1 to the best of their ability if they have a methodical approach.... more

HL Sample F8 December 2019

.You can make use of this sample in three ways:Marking standards calibration ... to test whether the way you mark results in the same marks as awardedGuided tour of analysis ... to study the process of... more

Klara and the Sun29 July 2021

Kazuo Ishiguro's most recent novel Klara and the Sun is a masterly work, combining superb story telling with a highly original situation and plot, which delivers a moving and stimulating overall impact.... more

HL Crit.B1 'make use' - advicefree13 December 2020

.Following the first exam session in May 2020, the Standardisation team now agree that, for marking Criterion B1, the most significant basic indicator is how often the presentation refers directly to... more

How to write a pamphlet17 January 2019

.This page is based on a real pamphlet. What struck me about this pamphlet was that it conveyed exactly the sort of information any sensible reader would want to know, precisely, economically, and efficiently... more

May 2021, reviewed12 November 2021

.The Covid pandemic continued to have a significant impact on how the session's assessment was carried out. While more students managed to sit the full assessment procedure (both oral and written exams),... more

Revising for the exam27 March 2021

You will have developed your skills in language and thinking by practising during the course - by reading and listening carefully, and by writing and speaking to complete the various tasks your teacher... more

A love poem25 November 2021

.The word 'love' is vastly important, but also hopelessly vague. As one of the primary human emotions, it must be considered a fundamental part of the concept of 'Experience' - but is there agreement... more

Imagined communities 1 June 2021

The organisation of communities ... social groups don't actually exist, in any absolute sense - they exist and achieve importance to the extent that all the individuals involved agree that they exist.... more

Criterion A25 July 2020

.The analysis of the criterion is organised by bullet-point, in order to make the range of values as clear as possible. Note that:.SL & HL (as indicated)(Wording the same for all mark-bands at both levels) more

Opinion column samples13 August 2020

The term 'opinion column' appears in the list of text types in the Subject Guide (p.22), but what does the term actually mean?This page sets out to define the text type as clearly as possible, to suggest... more

Black Mirrorfree26 May 2020

Varieties of ingenuity ... Human ingenuity comes in many forms: some impressive and useful, some banal and even dangerous. In addition, human ingenuity can be found in very different fields - as shown... more

Links - Experiences7 January 2021

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

SL Sample M6 September 2019

.You can make use of this sample in three ways:Marking standards calibration ... to test whether the way you mark results in the same marks as awardedGuided tour of analysis ... to study the process of... 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

American superiority?29 April 2020

I reckon that everyone in the world has a view about the USA. Usually without ever having been there and seen what the country is, in reality! A very common part of such views is that Americans seem to... more

Covid conspiracy24 November 2020

A side effect of the Covid pandemic has been a parallel pandemic of conspiracy theories, fake news and downright misinformation. It seems important to draw students' attention to all of this, and encourage... more

An excellent EEfree16 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

SL Sample R28 September 2019

.You can make use of this sample in three ways:Marking standards calibration ... to test whether the way you mark results in the same marks as awardedGuided tour of analysis ... to study the process of... 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

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

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

Teenage frictions4 July 2021

Being a teenager can be difficult...Everybody knows this, but the knowing doesn't provide obvious solutions. In an article in The Guardian, the neuroscientist Dean Burnet suggests that part of the solution... 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

Orals: key terms & indicatorsfree28 February 2021

The exam sessions in 2020, the first year of the assessment system introduced by the 2018 Subject Guide, were severely affected by the Covid pandemic. However, this disruption actually increased the importance... 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

Help!9 June 2011

You receive an email like this, and what do you do? This is actually a true story, with names and basic details changed, of course. It is in fact a scam – an attempt to extract money over the internet.... more

Covid rule-breaking21 February 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all human societies. As with all stress-tests, this impact has raised questions, and perhaps reveals truths, about how those societies work. The article... more

Scaffolding skills for the SL Oral 27 March 2019

....Laurie Holden teaches English at Strothoff International School, DreieichAs David Ripley outlines on the recent page titled ‘Orals: what's expected?’: “What exactly will be involved in the new... 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

Exploring Zambia17 November 2020

* Joe O'Callaghan teaches English at the International School of London.Following on from my page The power of projects , this page provides a template for a unit of study within the Anglophone Explorers... more

Emojis28 August 2021

The system of emojis is clearly an example of human ingenuity at work. The site Emojipedia.org states that "...there are 3,521 emojis in the Unicode Standard as of October 2020..." - and that represents... more

Covid metaphors25 July 2021

Language is full of metaphors - but what do metaphors actually do?An effective metaphor communicates by being a vivid comparison - it explains something unfamiliar or unclear through relating it to something... more

TASKS Description of Sydney18 November 2021

The text used in this page comes from Down Under, written by Bill Bryson about his travels in Australia. Bill Bryson writes brilliantly, in my view - his style is straightforward, vivid and clear, but... more

Key terms & indicators12 December 2020

In November 2020, we finally marked a real Paper 1, so there is a clearer idea about how the 2018 marking criteria really work in practice.Here are some suggestions about which are the key terms in the... more

Social media, explored29 September 2020

The Theme 'Social organisation' may be explored through analysing in depth the whole subject of the social media available on the internet. The internet's highly sophisticated technology makes possible... more

Blind date8 August 2019

The experience of discovering people ... all relationships start somewhere, with a first impression, and that is particularly true of first dates. The text that forms the basis of this page comes from... more

Reporting robot rights30 January 2017

We read news reports in order to know what's going on. This, I imagine, is axiomatic ... but it must also be axiomatic that news reports are inherently a selection of what is really going. This is inevitable... more

Choosing visual images6 February 2021

The primary aim in choosing visual images for the SL Individual Interview should be that the image should immediately remind a student of ideas and discussions in class, related to one of the Themes.... 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