IB DP LANGUAGE ACQUISITION HL/SL

French, Spanish, German, Arabic

Nature of the subject

Group 2 consists of two modern language courses—language ab initio and language B—that are offered in four languages:  Arabic, French, German and Spanish.  Language ab initio and language B are language acquisition courses designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. This process encourages the learner to go beyond the confines of the classroom, expanding an awareness of the world and fostering respect for cultural diversity.

The two modern language courses—language ab initio and language B—develop students’ linguistic abilities through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills.

The degree to which students are already competent in the language and the degree of proficiency they wish to attain by the end of the period of study are the most important factors in identifying the appropriate course.

A. Language ab initio

The language ab initio course is organized into three themes.

• Individual and society

• Leisure and work

• Urban and rural environment

Each theme has a list of topics that provide the students with opportunities to practise and explore the language as well as to develop intercultural understanding. Through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills, students should be able to respond and interact appropriately in a defined range of everyday situations. Each language ab initio course has a language-specific syllabus. Language ab initio is available at SL only.

B. Language B

Language B is an additional language-learning course designed for students with some previous learning of that language. It may be studied at either SL or HL. The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development of language skills. These language skills should be developed through the study and use of a range of written and spoken material. Such material will extend from everyday oral exchanges to literary texts, and should be related to the culture(s) concerned. The material should be chosen to enable students to develop mastery of language skills and intercultural understanding. It should not be intended solely for the study of specific subject matter or content.

 

Aims

There is a single set of group 2 aims, which are common to all the courses, but the assessment objectives are differentiated according to what the students are expected to be able to demonstrate at the end of each course.

The aims of group 2 are to:

1. develop students’ intercultural understanding

2. enable students to understand and use the language they have studied in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes

3. encourage, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of the different perspectives of people from other cultures

4. develop students’ awareness of the role of language in relation to other areas of knowledge

5. develop students’ awareness of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which they are familiar

6. provide students with a basis for further study, work and leisure through the use of an additional language

7. provide the opportunity for enjoyment, creativity and intellectual stimulation through knowledge of an additional language.

 

1. Language ab initio

Aims

The aims of the language ab initio course reflect those of group 2 listed above but are to be defined within the parameters of the language ab initio syllabus. The use of appropriate language and the breadth of intercultural understanding to be demonstrated are also defined within the syllabus content.

Assessment objectives

There are five assessment objectives for the language ab initio course. Students will be assessed on their ability to:

1. demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the intercultural elements related to the prescribed topics

2. communicate clearly and effectively in a range of situations

3. understand and use accurately the basic structures of the language

4. understand and use an appropriate range of vocabulary

5. use a register and a format that are appropriate to the situation.

 

Syllabus content

Each language ab initio course has its own language-specific syllabus. The three common elements in each language-specific syllabus are:

• vocabulary lists under topic headings

• a list of prescribed grammar

• a list of the instructions for the written examination papers.

The language ab initio syllabus comprises three interconnected areas: language, themes and texts.

Language

Language acquisition will be achieved through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills and competencies. Elements of language include vocabulary, grammatical structures, register, pronunciation and intonation.

Receptive skills: the ability to comprehend straightforward written and spoken language. Receptive skills entail not only understanding the message but also its cultural and contextual connotations.

Productive skills: the ability to write and speak the target language effectively. Productive skills entail producing and delivering a message or text that is not only coherent but also appropriate to context and purpose.

Interactive skills: the ability to understand and respond effectively to written and spoken language. Interactive skills entail not only conveying messages and responding to written and spoken language but also demonstrating an awareness of social context.

 

Themes

The three themes (individual and society, leisure and work, urban and rural environment) are made up of a series of 20 topics. These serve as the foundation for the acquisition of the language and the study of different text types . Through the study of the three interrelated themes, students will develop the skills necessary to fulfill the assessment objectives of the language ab initio course.

 

Prescribed topics

Individual and society

Leisure and work

Urban and rural environment

Daily routines

Employment

Environmental concerns

Education

Entertainment

Global issues

Food and drink

Holidays

Neighbourhood

Personal details, appearance and character

Media

Physical geography

Physical health

Sport

Town and services

Relationships

Technology

Weather

Shopping

Transport

 

 

Texts

During the course, students must be taught to understand and produce a variety of texts. In the context of the language ab initio course, a text can be spoken, written or visual. For the purposes of language ab initio, a visual text is one that contains an image, a series of images, or is a film. It is expected that teachers, where possible, use and adapt authentic texts for use in the classroom.

 

Assessment outline

External assessment

75%

Paper 1 (1 hour 30 minutes): Receptive skills

Understanding of four written texts. (40 marks)

Text-handling exercises.              

30%

Paper 2 (1 hour): Productive skills

Two compulsory writing exercises. (25 marks)

Section A (7 marks): One question to be answered from a choice of two.

Section B (18 marks): One question to be answered from a choice of three.

25%

Written assignment: Receptive and productive skills

A piece of writing, 200–350 words, demonstrating intercultural understanding and written in the target language. (20 marks)

20%

Internal assessment (10 minutes): Interactive skills

25%

Individual oral (25 marks)

Three-part oral internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB towards the end of the course.

• Part 1: Presentation of a visual stimulus (from a choice of two) by the student.

• Part 2: Follow-up questions on the visual stimulus.

• Part 3: General conversation including at least two questions on the written assignment.

 

 

 

Formative assessment

The students are expected to show their understanding of the language as well as the development of all the skills taught throughout the two-year course. Thus, they are assessed through a wide range of assignments inside and outside the classroom, such as essays, grammar and vocabulary tests, oral commentaries, debates, listening comprehension and reading tasks.

 

2. Language B

Aims

The aims of the language B course reflect those of group 2 listed above but are to be defined within the parameters of the language B syllabus. The range of contexts, purposes, language skills and texts to be taught are listed in “Syllabus content”. The use of appropriate language and the breadth of intercultural understanding to be demonstrated are also defined within the syllabus content.

 

Assessment objectives

There are six assessment objectives for the language B course. Students will be assessed on their ability to:

1. communicate clearly and effectively in a range of situations, demonstrating linguistic competence and intercultural understanding

2. use language appropriate to a range of interpersonal and/or cultural contexts

3. understand and use language to express and respond to a range of ideas with accuracy and fluency

4. organize ideas on a range of topics, in a clear, coherent and convincing manner

5. understand, analyse and respond to a range of written and spoken texts

6. understand and use works of literature written in the target language of study (HL only).

 

Syllabus outline

Language B is a language acquisition course developed at two levels—standard level (SL) and higher level (HL)— for students with some background in the target language. While acquiring a language, students will explore the culture(s) connected to it. The focus of these courses is language acquisition and intercultural understanding.

The language B syllabus approaches the learning of language through meaning. Through the study of the core and the options at SL and HL, plus two literary works at HL, students build the necessary skills to reach the assessment objectives of the language B course through the expansion of their receptive, productive and interactive skills. SL and HL are differentiated by the recommended number of teaching hours, the depth of syllabus coverage, the study of literature at HL, and the level of difficulty and demands of assessment and assessment criteria.

The core—with topics common to both levels—is divided into three areas and is a required area of study.

• Communication and media

• Global issues

• Social relationships

In addition, at both SL and HL, teachers select two from the following five options.

• Cultural diversity

• Customs and traditions

• Health

• Leisure

• Science and technology

Also, at HL, students read two works of literature.

 

Assessment outline – Standard level

External assessment

70%

Paper 1 (1 hour 30 minutes): Receptive skills

Text-handling exercises on four written texts, based on the core.

25%

Paper 2 (1 hour 30 minutes): Written productive skills

One writing exercise of 250–400 words from a choice of five, based on the options.

25%

Written assignment: Receptive and written productive skills

Inter-textual reading followed by a written task of 300–400 words plus a 150–200 word rationale, based on the core.

20%

Internal assessment

Internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB.

30%

Individual oral (8–10 minutes)

Based on the options: 15 minutes’ preparation time and a 10 minute (maximum) presentation and discussion with the teacher.

20%

Interactive oral activity

Based on the core: Three classroom activities assessed by the teacher.

10%

Assessment outline – Higher level

External assessment

70%

Paper 1 (1 hour 30 minutes): Receptive skills

Text-handling exercises on five written texts, based on the core.

25%

Paper 2 (1 hour 30 minutes): Written productive skills

Two compulsory writing exercises.

Section A: One task of 250–400 words, based on the options, to be selected from a choice of five.

Section B: Response of 150–250 words to a stimulus text, based on the core.

25%

Written assignment: Receptive and written productive skills

Creative writing of 500–600 words plus a 150–250 word rationale, based on one or both of the literary texts read.

20%

Internal assessment

Internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB.

30%

Individual oral (8–10 minutes)

Formative assessment

Based on the options: 15 minutes’ preparation time and a 10 minute (maximum)

presentation and discussion with the teacher.

20%

Interactive oral activity

Based on the core: Three classroom activities assessed by the teacher.

10%

 

The students are expected to show gradual progress in their understanding of the language as well as the development of all the skills taught throughout the two-year course. Thus, they are assessed through a wide range of assignments inside and outside the classroom, such as various types of written production, advanced language activities and quizzes, oral commentaries and debates, reading comprehension on a variety of text types focused on the course topics, practice on past exam papers.

ATL SKILLS

I. Communication skills

How can students communicate through interaction?

Exchanging thoughts, messages and information effectively through interaction

•             Give and receive meaningful feedback

•             Use intercultural understanding to interpret communication

•             Use a variety of speaking techniques to communicate with a variety of audiences

•             Use appropriate forms of writing for different purposes and audiences

•             Negotiate ideas and knowledge with peers and teachers

•             Collaborate with peers and experts using a variety of digital environments and media

•             Share ideas with multiple audiences using a variety of digital environments and media

How can students demonstrate communication through language?

Reading, writing and using language to gather and communicate information

•             Read critically and for comprehension

•             Read a variety of sources for information and for pleasure

•             Make inferences and draw conclusions

•             Write for different purposes

•             Preview and skim texts to build understanding

•             Take effective notes in class

•             Make effective summary notes for studying

•             Find information for disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiries, using a variety of media

•             Organize and depict information logically

•             Structure information in summaries, essays and reports

 

Social

II. Collaboration skills

How can students collaborate?

Working effectively with others

•             Use social media networks appropriately to build and develop relationships

•             Practise empathy

•             Delegate and share responsibility for decision-making

•             Help others to succeed

•             Take responsibility for one’s own actions

•             Manage and resolve conflict, and work collaboratively in teams

•             Build consensus

•             Listen actively to other perspectives and ideas

•             Negotiate effectively

•             Encourage others to contribute

•             Exercise leadership and take on a variety of roles within groups

•             Give and receive meaningful feedback

•             Advocate for one’s own rights and needs

Self-management

III. Organization skills

How can students demonstrate organization skills?

Managing time and tasks effectively

•             Plan short- and long-term assignments; meet deadlines

•             Create plans to prepare for summative assessments (examinations and performances)

•             Set goals that are challenging and realistic

•             Plan strategies and take action to achieve personal and academic goals

•             Bring necessary equipment and supplies to class

•             Keep an organized and logical system of information files/notebooks

•             Select and use technology effectively and productively

IV. Affective skills

How can students manage their own state of mind?

Managing state of mind

•             Mindfulness

– Practise focus and concentration

– Practise strategies to develop mental focus

– Practise strategies to overcome distractions

– Practise being aware of body–mind connections

•             Perseverance

– Demonstrate persistence and perseverance

•             Emotional management

– Practise strategies to overcome impulsiveness and anger

– Practise strategies to prevent and eliminate bullying

– Practise strategies to reduce stress and anxiety

•             Self-motivation

– Practise analysing and attributing causes for failure

– Practise managing self-talk

– Practise positive thinking

•             Resilience

– Practise “bouncing back” after adversity, mistakes and failures

– Practise “failing well”

– Practise dealing with disappointment and unmet expectations

– Practise dealing with change

V. Reflection skills

How can students be reflective?

(Re) considering the process of learning; choosing and using ATL skills

•             Develop new skills, techniques and strategies for effective learning

•             Identify strengths and weaknesses of personal learning strategies (self-assessment)

•             Demonstrate flexibility in the selection and use of learning strategies

•             Try new ATL skills and evaluate their effectiveness

•             Consider content

•             Consider ATL skills development

•             Consider personal learning strategies

•             Consider ethical, cultural and environmental implications

Research

VI. Information literacy skills

How can students demonstrate information literacy?

Finding, interpreting, judging and creating information

•             Collect, record and verify data

•             Access information to be informed and inform others

•             Make connections between various sources of information

•             Understand the benefits and limitations of personal sensory learning preferences when accessing, processing and recalling information

•             Use memory techniques to develop long-term memory

•             Present information in a variety of formats and platforms

•             Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on their appropriateness to specific tasks

•             Understand and use technology systems

•             Use critical-literacy skills to analyse and interpret media communications

•             Understand and implement intellectual property rights

•             Create references and citations, use footnotes/endnotes and construct a bibliography according to recognized conventions

•             Identify primary and secondary sources

VII. Media literacy skills

How can students demonstrate media literacy?

Interacting with media to use and create ideas and information

•             Locate, organize, analyse, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media (including digital social media and online networks)

•             Demonstrate awareness of media interpretations of events and ideas (including digital social media)

•             Make informed choices about personal viewing experiences

•             Understand the impact of media representations and modes of presentation

•             Seek a range of perspectives from multiple and varied sources

•             Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats

•             Compare, contrast and draw connections among (multi)media resources

Thinking

VIII. Critical-thinking skills

How can students think critically?

Analysing and evaluating issues and ideas

•             Practise observing carefully in order to recognize problems

•             Gather and organize relevant information to formulate an argument

•             Recognize unstated assumptions and bias

•             Interpret data

•             Evaluate evidence and arguments

•             Recognize and evaluate propositions

•             Draw reasonable conclusions and generalizations

•             Test generalizations and conclusions

•             Revise understanding based on new information and evidence

•             Evaluate and manage risk

•             Formulate factual, topical, conceptual and debatable questions

•             Consider ideas from multiple perspectives

•             Develop contrary or opposing arguments and synthesize them to create new understanding

•             Propose and evaluate a variety of solutions

•             Identify obstacles and challenges

•             Identify trends and forecast possibilities

IX. Creative-thinking skills

How can students be creative?

Generating novel ideas and considering new perspectives

•             Use brainstorming and visual diagrams to generate new ideas and inquiries

•             Consider multiple alternatives, including those that might be unlikely or impossible

•             Create novel solutions to authentic problems

•             Make unexpected or unusual connections between objects and/or ideas

•             Make guesses, ask “what if” questions and generate testable hypotheses

•             Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes

•             Create original works and ideas; use existing works and ideas in new ways

•             Practise flexible thinking—develop multiple opposing, contradictory and complementary arguments

•             Practise visible thinking strategies and techniques

•             Generate metaphors and analogies

X. Transfer skills

How can students transfer skills and knowledge across disciplines and subject groups?

Using skills and knowledge in multiple contexts

•             Use effective learning strategies in subject groups and disciplines

•             Apply skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations

•             Inquire in different contexts to gain a different perspective

•             Compare conceptual understanding across multiple subject groups and disciplines

•             Make connections between subject groups and disciplines

•             Combine knowledge, understanding and skills to create products or solutions

•             Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

•             Change the context of an inquiry to gain different perspectives