Group 2: Second Languages (B language)

English, French, Spanish, German

English B

English B is a language acquisition course designed for students with some previous experience of the target language (B1/B2). In the language B course, students develop their ability to communicate in the target language through the study of language, themes and texts. In doing so, they also develop conceptual understandings of how language works, as appropriate to the level of the course.

The course is offered at HL only, 6 hours a week, and is based on a variety of topics connected to five prescribed themes: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organisation, sharing the planet. While exploring the topics connected to the themes, students exercise all the skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The English B course exposes students to a wide range of non-literary texts in a variety of media (advertisements, speeches, news and feature articles, films, reports, essays). Students are also required to read and discuss two literary texts, which are then a basis for one of the assessment tasks.

There are 3 assessment components:

Paper 1 – (1 hour 30 minutes) Productive skills—writing (30 marks). One writing task of 450–600 words from a choice of three, each from a different theme, choosing a text type from among those listed in the examination instructions.

Paper 2 – (2 hours) Receptive skills—separate sections for listening and reading (65 marks): Listening comprehension (1 hour) (25 marks) and Reading comprehension (1 hour) (40 marks). Comprehension exercises on three audio passages and three written texts, drawn from all five themes.

Internal assessment – This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course. Individual oral assessment – A conversation with the teacher, based on an extract from one of the literary works studied in class, followed by discussion based on one or more of the themes from the syllabus. (30 marks)

French B, Spanish B, German B HL/SL

The IB DP language B course provides students with the opportunity to acquire or develop an additional language and to promote an understanding of other cultures through the study of language. Language B is designed for students who possess a degree of knowledge and experience in the target language. Those learning a language B at higher level should be able to follow university courses in other disciplines in the language B that is studied.

The aims of the language B higher level course are to:

  • 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 through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of the different perspectives of people from other cultures
  • develop students’ 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.

Adapted from: www.ibo.org