IB Group 2
Language B
Chinese, French, 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 for non-native speakers of the language who have successfully completed NCEA Level 1, or equivalent. It is offered at Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) in exceptional circumstances.

Aims of the Language B course at Standard Level

  • Develop students’ intercultural understanding
  • Enable students to understand and use the language they have studied in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes
  • Encourage, through the study of texts and social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of the different perspectives of people from other cultures
  • Develop awareness of the role of language in relation to other areas of knowledge
  • Develop students’ awareness of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which they are familiar
  • Provide students with a basis for further study, work and leisure through the use of an additional language
  • Provide the opportunity for enjoyment, creativity and intellectual stimulation through knowledge of an additional language.


The course comprises at least two aspects of the three mandatory core topics:

  • Social Relationships
  • Communication and Media
  • Global Issues

It also includes at least two aspects of two options from the following list:

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Health
  • Customs and traditions
  • Leisure
  • Science and Technology

Assessment at Standard Level

External Assessment:                        

Written Component                                                                                                                       70%

Paper 1 (1 hour 30 minutes): Receptive skills (25%)

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

Paper 2 (1 hour 30 minutes): Written productive skills (25%)

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

Written Assignment: Receptive and written productive skills (20%)

Inter-textual reading followed by a written exercise of 300-400 words plus a 150-200 word rationale, based on the core.  Executed in the second year, carried out in the student’s own time with guidance from the teacher, externally assessed.

Internal Assessment:                         

Oral Component.  Internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IBO                                30%

  • Individual Oral (8-10 minutes): 20%
    • Based on the options: 15 minutes preparation time and a 10-minute (maximum) presentation and discussion with the teacher.
  • Interactive Oral Activity: 10%
    • Based on the core:  Three classroom activities assessed by the teacher

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
  • Japanese:  IB Kanji book $80, 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
Language B – Chinese, French, Japanese, Spanish