Language and literature updates

The new Diploma Programme (DP) studies in language and literature courses are in their last stage of development and are due to be taught for the first time in 2019, with the first assessment in 2021.

Language A: literature and language A: language and literature have been designed to have a common syllabus structure and set of assessment components. There will be an increased emphasis on conceptual understanding with seven key concepts at the heart of both syllabuses. The new courses will no longer feature a one-to-one correspondence between the parts of the syllabuses and the assessment components. This will mean a greater flexibility in the way the syllabus content can be organized and more freedom for teachers and students in the choices they can make.


The six pedagogical principles of approaches to teaching

The new courses will embed the six principles that form the foundation of IB pedagogy into the learning, teaching and assessment of studies in language and literature. There will be more choice about the organization and sequencing of the curriculum, which will result in a greater variety between courses.

To an extent, the added flexibility will also allow students to make more autonomous decisions and to follow their own lines of inquiry into texts and into how they relate to one another. Students will be able to use a learner portfolio to critically explore the texts being studied. This new tool has been developed to help foster a more meaningful and personal interaction between students and the texts they study.

As a result of the changes to the studies in language and literature courses, teachers and students will be able to establish more profound connections between different texts and across the different parts of the syllabus.

New assessment

The new learner portfolio offers a place in which students will be able to assess themselves, including their understanding of the texts being studied and the progress they are making in connection with the assessment objectives. It will provide a valuable opportunity for ongoing self-assessment and therefore will be an instance of formative assessment which can inform both learning and teaching.

The new assessment components, in particular for the internal assessment, will emphasize the relevance of literary and language studies to local and global issues. Students will be required to establish points of comparison between texts based on a global issue of their choice. This has been designed to help students become aware of how their study is relevant to their lives, the communities to which they belong and the wider global context.

Increased collaboration

The new curriculums for studies in language and literature rely heavily on the spirit of collaboration. This is evidenced in collaboration between the teacher and students, and among the students themselves so that they can make informed decisions on how to prepare and organize their study to meet the requirements of the assessment components.

Overall, the new studies in language and literature courses address the perception that the parts of the syllabus and the texts can be dealt with in isolation and without a need for interaction. The parts of the new syllabuses are now interconnected and this contributes to enriching the student’s experience of understanding and interpreting the texts they study.

To find out more about these curriculum changes, download our FAQ and read the community blog post.