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Language A: Language and Literature

  • IB Language A: language and literature aims to develop skills of textual analysis and the understanding that texts, both literature and non-literature can relate to culturally determined reading practices, and to encourage students to question the meaning generated by language and texts.
  • An understanding of the way in which formal elements are used to create meaning in text is combined with an exploration of how that meaning is affected by reading practices that are culturally defined and by the circumstances of production and reception.
  • Helping students to focus closely to study the language of studied texts and to become aware of the role of wider context in shaping meaning is central to the course.
  • Introduce students to a range of texts from different periods, styles and genres
  • Develop in students the ability to engage in close detailed analysis of individual texts and make relevant connections
  • Develop the students’ powers of expression, both in oral and written communication
  • Encourage students to recognize the importance of the contexts in which texts are written and received
  • Encourage an appreciation of the different perspectives of other cultures and how these perspectives construct meaning
  • Encourage students to appreciate the formal, stylistic and aesthetic qualities of texts
  • Promote in student an enjoyment of, an lifelong interest in language and literature
  • Develop in students an uderstanding of how language, culture and context determine the ways in which meaning is constructed in texts

Part 1: Language in cultural context
Part 2: Language and mass communication
Part 3: Literature – texts and contexts
Part 4: Literature – critical study


    • How does the reader shape the meaning of a text?
    • How are our understandings of texts affected by their various historical, social and cultural contexts?
    • How far do power relationships in society determine what is considered literature and define the canon?
    • If meaning is inherently unstable, conditional on the contexts of the text and reader, how can we ever determine what a text means?

    Paper 1
    A written analysis of unseen texts.

    Paper 2
    In response to one of six questions, an essay based on two texts studied

    Written Task
    Written tasks based on course material, submitting one for external assessment

    Individual Oral Commentary
    An oral commentary on an extract from a literary text studied – two guiding questions are given.

    Further Oral Commentary
    At least two further oral activities. The mark of one is submitted for final assessment.

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