IB Group 1
Language A: Literature

This course offers an exciting opportunity to read widely, discuss diversely and to write with passion in response to a stimulating range of texts, from Greek literature to the present day.


The Language A: Literature programme aims to:

  • Develop a student’s powers of expression, both in oral and written communication
  • Encourage a personal appreciation of literature and develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary study and criticism
  • Introduce students to a range of texts from different periods, styles and genres
  • Encourage, through the study of texts, an appreciation of the different perspectives of people from other cultures and how these perspectives construct meaning
  • Develop a close, detailed and critical examination of written text
  • Promote in students an enjoyment of, and lifelong interest in, literature

Language A: Literature will be offered at both Standard Level and Higher Level.

The principal course will be taught in English.

Standard Level and Higher Level

The study of literature is the main focus of the Language A: Literature programme. The course aims to promote an appreciation of the wealth and subtleties of the language and to lead to an awareness of linguistic structures. It seeks to facilitate the clear expression of ideas, to aid clear, precise presentation of argument and to assist in the understanding of both oral and written disclosure.

The Language A: Literature programme encourages the development of an appreciation of literature and knowledge of the culture of the student’s own society and that of other societies. In view of the international nature of the International Baccalaureate, the programme does not limit the study of literature to the achievements of one culture. Through the study of Works in Translation, which is a central and integral part of the programme, the student may gain a broadened and international perspective of literature and human thought.


Areas of Study

Both the Standard and Higher Level programmes are divided into four parts:

  • Works in Translation: where all works studied were originally written in a language other than English;
  • Detailed Study: all works chosen are each from a different genre;
  • Literary Genres: essentially a study of a group of novels, plays or short stories with a similar theme or style;
  • Options: additional selected works to balance the programme.

Details of specific text selection are available from the Head of Faculty English.

Standard Level involves 10 texts spread over the two years.

Higher Level involves 13 texts spread over the two years.



External Assessment:

The written paper has two compulsory sections which are equally weighted:

  1.     Commentary on an unseen passage and an essay question based on Part 3 texts – 45%
  2.     Written assignment based on a works in translation text (internally set and externally assessed) – 25%

Internal Assessment (Oral): – 30%

Part 2 and Part 4 texts will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

One of these activities must be an individual oral commentary and one must be an individual oral presentation.

English SL/HL