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IB English

IB English is a set of demanding courses taught over two years. Through the exploration of a variety of texts IB English students learn to discover how language is used in different settings and for different purposes. There are three different Language A courses available. The most popular ones: Language and Literature, and Literature are available at Standard and Higher levels. In all the English courses, students explore the nuances of literature, covering a broad spectrum of novels, plays, poems, and other literary works. All three courses focus on the interplay (relationship) between texts and also consider time and place and the relationship between readers and writers.

Course Structure and Content

IB English students have three different options for courses. English Language and Literature (SL or HL), English Literature (SL or HL), or Literature and Performance (SL).
The most popular choices are Eng Lang and Lit and Eng Lit.

Language and Literature Courses

In the IB Language and Literature courses (Higher Level & Standard Level), students engage with a wide array of texts, both literary and non-literary (Bodies of Work), across various forms of media. Their exploration goes beyond just reading; it involves analyzing how language works and its impact on identity, culture, and communication. Through the conceptual understanding of how language works across the Areas of Exploration (AoEs), IB LL HL/SL students make significant connections between their own experiences and their knowledge of other languages and cultures.

The IB Eng LaL course is designed to equip students with a holistic set of skills and insights. By exploring the formal and aesthetic qualities of texts and understanding their connections to various perspectives, cultural contexts, and global issues, students develop a nuanced appreciation for multiple interpretations. Moreover, the course highlights the interdisciplinary nature of language and literature studies while promoting confident and creative communication and collaboration.

Differences between Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL)

While the basic framework for Language A: Language and Literature remains the same for SL and HL, there are notable differences. Standard Level students study four literary works and a corresponding number of non-literary Bodies of Work. In contrast, HL students delve deeper, covering six literary works and an equivalent number of non-literary texts. In paper 1, both SL and HL students analyze unseen non-literary texts, but HL students must analyse two different texts. Paper 2 and the Individual Oral (IO) are the same for both courses. However, their weight in the final grade is different.

IB English Guys - Andrew Cohen & Dave Giles

Additionally, HL students have an extra component, the HL Essay. This coursework task involves exploring a line of inquiry related to a previously studied non-literary or literary text, resulting in a 1200-1500 word essay that demonstrates a profound understanding of linguistic or literary study.

Literature Courses

In the IB Literature courses (Higher Level & Standard Level), students set their sights on delving into the diverse facets of literature that have evolved across cultures and throughout history. It strives to foster an understanding of the factors shaping the creation and reception of literature – from the creativity of authors and readers to their interactions with different contexts and literary traditions. The course dives into the ways language generates meaning and effect and explores the performative and transformative potential of literary creation and response. Through critical thinking and the study of a variety of literary texts spanning various forms, time periods, and geographical origins, students not only contemplate their personal interpretations but also critically assess the perspectives of others. Students also make explicit connections between texts, as intertextuality is a vital underpinning of both SL and HL courses. This process reveals how viewpoints are shaped by cultural values and perspectives, enabling dynamic interpretations of the text’s meaning.

Differences between Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL)

While the basic framework for Language A: Literature remains the same for SL and HL, there are notable differences. Standard Level students study nine literary works. In contrast, HL students delve deeper, covering thirteen literary works. In paper 1, both SL and HL students analyze unseen literary extracts, but HL students must analyze two different texts. Paper 2 and the Individual Oral (IO) are the same for both courses. However, their weight in the final grade is different.

Additionally, HL students have an extra component, the HL Essay. This coursework task involves exploring a line of inquiry centered around a linguistic or literary aspect of a literary work or BoW studied in the course, resulting in a 1200-1500 word essay that demonstrates a profound understanding of the selected enquiry.

Tips for success

IB English courses require students to develop close reading, analysis, and interpretation skills. Successful students in the course will have a command of key concepts and terminology, as well as an understanding of how authors make deliberate choices to shape meaning. Revision Village’s extensive resources will help learners develop the advanced academic writing and speaking skills needed for success.

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