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

Standard Level

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 designed for students who have no previous experience of learning a language. Courses are dependent on numbers.


  • 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


The language ab initio course is designed around three main areas: language, texts and cultural awareness, and three themes: individual and society, leisure and work and urban and rural environment.

Within language, special attention is paid to the four primary language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), accuracy and fluency, and the areas of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and intonation.


The assessment for this course includes external and internal assessment as follows:

External Assessment:

Written component                                                                                                                 75%

Paper 1:  Text handling, text handling questions, and a written response.

Paper 2:  Written production, short writing task and an extended writing task.

Written assignment: A piece of writing 200-350 words in the target language demonstrating intercultural understanding.


Internal Assessment:

Oral component: Interactive skills                                                                                         25%

The internal assessment consists of oral work that comprises both listening and speaking.

Approximate Costs:  Language Perfect $30, Workbook $20, Assessment in Language Competence (ALC) $20.

Ab Initio Chinese, French, Japanese, Spanish