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IB English Language & Literature HL

IB Language and Literature Higher Level course is part of the intensive IB diploma program, and is usually taught over two years. The IB LaL HL curriculum focuses on the study of six literary texts and six non-literary texts, usually called Bodies of Work, from different periods and cultures (Time and Space). Through critical analysis and interpretation, students in the Eng LL HL develop an extensive understanding of the connections between texts (Intertextuality) and their role as both readers and writers (Readers, Writers, and Texts).
The IB LaL HL course explores both Language and Literature in more depth than the SL course. It is, however, less focused on literature than the Eng Lit course, but offers more breadth in terms of the exploration of language and its relationship to culture. The Eng LL Higher Level course is a highly demanding course that requires strong analytical skills, very good usage and understanding of language, and detailed knowledge and understanding of literary, linguistic, and stylistic features.

Course Structure and Content

The Higher Level course requires students to study six literary texts and six non-lit texts or BOWs. The time devoted to the study of each of these works should be divided equitably.

At the end of the program, all English Language and Literature HL students sit papers 1 and 2. Paper 1 consists of two non-literary texts for analysis. Each text has a guiding question that serves as an entry point for the analysis. HL students must complete both written pieces in two hours and 15 minutes. Paper 2 is a comparative essay of two literary works. The paper offers four different questions and should be completed in 1 hour and 45 minutes. The third component HL students complete is an oral assessment, the Individual Oral, which consists of two parts: a 10-minute oral analysis by the student, where the student presents two extracts (one from a lit text, and one from a non-lit text) examining how a global issue is presented both in the extracts and the complete works. This part is followed up by a 5-minute conversation about the extracts and the global issue led by the teacher.

Finally, English LaL students complete a fourth component, the HL essay, which is completed in class and consists of the exploration of a literary or linguistic aspect of a literary or non-literary work by the same author. The works must have been studied in class. The essay must be between 1200-1500 words.

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