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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
  • Develop a student’s confidence and independence
  • 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 continents. 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, linking it to real life issues
  • 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  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.

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 three parts:

  • Readers, writers and texts – Works are chosen from a variety of literary forms. This study includes the investigation of the response of readers and the ways in which literary texts generate meaning.
  • Time and Space – Works are chosen to reflect a range of historical and/or cultural perspectives. The focus is on the consideration of personal and cultural perspectives, the development of broader perspectives, and an awareness of the ways in which context is tied to meaning.
  • Intertextually: Connecting texts – This part focuses on intertextual relationships between literary texts with possibilities to explore various topics, thematic concerns, generic conventions, literary forms or literary traditions that have been introduced throughout the course.

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

Standard Level involves at least 9 texts spread over the two years.

Higher Level involves at least 13 texts spread over the two years.


External Assessment:

There are two written examination papers:

  1.     Commentary on an unseen passage – SL – 35%, and HL – 35%
  2.     A comparative essay based on any two works studied during the course     – SL – 35% and HL – 25%

Internal Assessment (Oral): – SL – 30% and HL – 20%

Students on the Higher Level course submit an essay on one literacy text or work studied during the course – HL – 20%

junior and middle school girls