IB Group 2
Language Ab Initio – SL
Chinese, French, Spanish

From this group, students choose a second language. The IB philosophy stresses the importance of students having at their command more than one language in order to assist them to think internationally. The apprenticeship of learning a foreign language is both a training for other language acquisition and a testing ground for tolerance, in that it will, by its very nature, teach new ways of thinking and looking at the world.

Entry Requirements

This is a two-year course for non-native speakers of the language who have no prior formal training in this language.


  • To encourage positive attitudes to the learning of other languages and to their speakers and countries
  • To develop the students’ ability to communicate in the chosen language, in order to deal adequately with familiar and practical needs
  • To introduce the students to a different culture through the study of the chosen language


This course comprises of three theses and a total of 20 topics.

Individual and society:

– Daily routines

– Education

– Food and drink

– Personal details, appearance and character 

– Physical health

– Relationships

– Shopping 

Leisure and work 

– Employment 

– Entertainment 

– Holidays

– Media 

–  Sport

– Technology

– Transport

Urban and rural environment 

– Environmental concerns 

– Global issues

– Neighbourhood 

– Physical geography

– Town and services

– Weather 

Assessment at Standard Level Ab initio

External Assessment:

Written component    –    75%

Paper 1:  Receptive skills – 30%

Understanding of four written texts (40 marks).

Text-handling exercises 

Paper 2:  Productive skills – 25%

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

Written assignment: Receptive and productive skills    –    20%

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


Internal Assessment:

Oral component: 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: Presnetation of a visual stimulus (from a choice of two) by the student

– Part 2: Follow-up questions on the visual stimulus

– Part 2: General conversations including at least two questions on the written assignment 


Assessment Criteria at Standard Level

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Communicate clearly, fluently, accurately and effectively in a range of situations, demonstrating linguistic competence and intercultural understanding (language)
  • Organise and express ideas on a range of topics, in a clear, coherent and convincing manner (message/content)
  • Use language appropriate to a range of contexts and text types (format)
  • Understand, analyse and respond to a range of written and spoken texts

Costs:  All costs are approximate

  • French:  IB revision booklet $60, Language Perfect $30, Assessment in Language Competence (ALC exam) $20
  • Chinese:  Learning Chinese Steps $50, Language Perfect $30, Assessment in Language Competence (ALC exam) $20
  • Spanish: IB revision booklet $60, Language Perfect $30, Workbook $10, Assessment in Language Competence (ALC exam) $20
Ab Initio Chinese, French, Japanese, Spanish