English Language and Literature & English Language Acquisition
At TIS two different English courses are offered: English Language and Literature and English Language Acquisition. Within these courses, there are four levels available for students with different levels of English fluency. English Language and Literature is course that is designed for students who are fluent speakers and writers of the English Language. English Language Acquisition is a course offered at a range of phases for students at different stages of developmental proficiency in English. TIS accepts students with no knowledge of the English language in Grade 6 and 7 and offers courses designed to support the rapid development of English skills required for success in the IB programmes. Students progress through the different levels of English, with all students being expected to undertake an English Language and Literature course within the Diploma Programme (Grades 11 and 12).

MYP English Language and Literature courses:

Students need to develop an appreciation of the nature of language and literature, of the many influences on language and literature, and of its power and beauty. They will be encouraged to recognize that proficiency in language is a powerful tool for communication in all societies. Furthermore, language and literature incorporates creative processes and encourages the development of imagination and creativity through self-expression.

All IB programmes value language as central to developing critical thinking, which is essential for the cultivation of intercultural understanding, as well as for becoming internationally minded and responsible members of local, national and global communities. Language is integral to exploring and sustaining personal development and cultural identity, and provides an intellectual framework to support conceptual development. The six skill areas in the MYP language and literature subject group—listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting—develop as both independent and interdependent skills. They are centred within an inquiry-based learning environment. Inquiry is at the heart of MYP language learning, and aims to support students’ understanding by providing them with opportunities to independently and collaboratively investigate, take action and reflect.

As well as being academically rigorous, MYP language and literature equips students with linguistic, analytical and communicative skills that can also be used to develop interdisciplinary understanding across all other subject groups. Students’ interaction with chosen texts can generate insight into moral, social, economic, cultural and environmental factors and so contributes to the development of opinion- forming, decision-making and ethical-reasoning skills, and further develops the attributes of an IB learner.

IBO MYP Language and Literature brief

Aims of the MYP Language and Literature Course
At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression and social interaction
  • develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts
  • develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analyzing literary and non-literary works
  • engage in literature from a variety of cultures and representing different historical periods
  • explore and analyze aspects of personal, host and other cultures through literary and non-literary works
  • engage with information and communication technology in order to explore language
  • develop a lifelong interest in reading widely
  • apply language A skills and knowledge in a variety of real-life contexts.

MYP English Language Acquisition

This course provides a developmental English language education for students whose first language is not English. The course is divided into three levels – foundation, standard and advanced. Foundation students are taught in a separate class, while standard and advanced students are taught together. The primary focus is to develop the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in English. A variety of materials are used including: literary texts, news and magazine articles, radio programs, films, etc. Students are assessed using MYP criteria appropriate for their level and progress through the different levels of courses as appropriate to their development.
For more information about the English Foundation Programme, you can see the English Language Learning department information.

Aims of the MYP English Language B course:
At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • communicate information, ideas and opinions
  • demonstrate comprehension of specific factual information and attitudes, expressed in spoken and written contexts
  • identify main ideas and supporting details and draw conclusions from spoken and written texts
  • understand and appropriately use structures and vocabulary
  • request and provide information in both spoken and written contexts
  • engage actively in oral production using comprehensible pronunciation and intonation
  • Take part in formal and informal communications.

IB Diploma Programme
At TIS two different English A courses are offered within the IB Diploma; both courses are offered at the standard and higher levels. All students in Grades 11 and 12 are required to study one English A course of the two.

Language A: language and literature
(Excerpted from Course Outlines for Language A: Language and Literature)

The study of the texts produced in a language is central to an active engagement with language and culture and, by extension, to how we see and understand the world in which we live. A key aim of the language A: language and literature course is to encourage students to question the meaning generated by language and texts, which, it can be argued, is rarely straightforward and unambiguous. Helping students to focus closely on the language of the texts they study and to become aware of the role of each text’s wider context in shaping its meaning is central to the course.

The language A: language and literature course aims to develop in students skills of textual analysis and
the understanding that texts, both literary and non-literary, can be seen as autonomous yet simultaneously related to culturally determined reading practices. The course is designed to be flexible—teachers have the opportunity to construct it in a way that reflects the interests and concerns that are relevant to their students while developing in students a range of transferable skills. An understanding of the ways in which formal elements are used to create meaning in a text is combined with an exploration of how that meaning is affected by reading practices that are culturally defined and by the circumstances of production and reception.

In view of the international nature of the IB and its commitment to intercultural understanding, the language A: language and literature course does not limit the study of texts to the products of one culture or of the cultures covered by any one language. The study of literature in translation from other cultures is especially important to IB Diploma Program students because it contributes to a global perspective, thereby promoting an insight into, and understanding of, the different ways in which cultures influence and shape the experiences of life common to all humanity.

DP Language and Literature: Sequence of Course.

Sections of the Course:
The course has four sections over two years:

Year One:

Part 1: Language in cultural context
Texts are chosen from a variety of sources, genres and media.
Part 4: Literature—critical study
HL: Three texts, all of which are chosen from the prescribed list of authors (PLA) for the language A studied.

Year Two:

Part 3: Literature—texts and contexts
HL: Three texts (HL) or two texts (SL) one of which is a text in translation chosen from the prescribed literature in translation (PLT) list and one from the prescribed list of authors (PLA) for the language A studied. The other may be chosen freely.
Part 2: Language and mass communication
Texts are chosen from a variety of sources, genres and media.

Language A: Literature
(Excerpted from Course Outlines for Language A: Literature.)

The course is built on the assumption that literature is concerned with our conceptions, interpretations
and experiences of the world. The study of literature can therefore be seen as an exploration of the way it represents the complex pursuits, anxieties, joys and fears to which human beings are exposed in the daily business of living. It enables an exploration of one of the more enduring fields of human creativity, and provides opportunities for encouraging independent, original, critical and clear thinking. It also promotes respect for the imagination and a perceptive approach to the understanding and interpretation of literary works.

Through the study of a wide range of literature, the Language A: Literature course encourages students to appreciate the artistry of literature and to develop an ability to reflect critically on their reading. Works are studied in their literary and cultural contexts, through close study of individual texts and passages, and by considering a range of critical approaches. In view of the international nature of the IB and its commitment to intercultural understanding, the Language A: Literature course does not limit the study of works to the products of one culture or the cultures covered by any one language. The study of works in translation is especially important in introducing students, through literature, to other cultural perspectives. The response to the study of literature is through oral and written communication, thus enabling students to develop and refine their command of language.

Part One: Works in Translation
In Part One, students study three works that were originally written in a language other than English. The assessment of this part of the course is a literary essay and reflective statement based on one of the studied texts.

Part Two: Detailed Study
In Part Two, students study in depth the work of three writers in three different genres. The assessment for this section of the course is an individual oral commentary and discussion.

Part Three: Literary Genres – Drama
For Part Three, students study four works of drama. These plays become the focus material used in Paper Two of the final examination.

Part Four: Options
In this part of the course, students study three texts/works. The final assessment is an individual oral presentation based on one of the works studied.