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IB English A: Language and Literature

There are no formal pre-requisites for students undertaking the Literature courses. It is recommended that students have had experience of writing critical essays about texts.


The English A: Language & Literature course aims at studying the complex and dynamic nature of language and exploring both its practical and aesthetic dimensions. The course will explore the crucial role language plays in communication, reflecting experience and shaping the world, and the roles of individuals themselves as producers of language. Throughout the course, students will explore the various ways in which language choices, text types, literary forms and contextual elements all effect meaning. Through close analysis of various text types and literary forms, students will consider their own interpretations, as well as the critical perspectives of others, to explore how such positions are shaped by cultural belief systems and to negotiate meanings for texts.

Syllabus Component


Readers, writers and text

  • Non-literary texts are chosen from a variety of sources and media.

  • Study of the non-literary texts and literary works focuses on the nature of language and communication.

  • Study includes the investigation of how texts themselves operate, the contexts and complexities of production and reception.

  • Focus is on the development of personal and critical responses.

Time and space

  • Non-literary texts reflect a range of historical and/or cultural perspectives.

  • Study focuses on the contexts of language use and the ways literary and non-literary texts might both reflect and shape society at large.

  • Focus is on the consideration of personal and cultural perspectives, and an awareness of the ways in which context is tied to meaning.

Intertextuality: connecting texts

  • Study focuses on intertextual relationships with possibilities to explore various topics, thematic concerns, generic conventions, modes or literary traditions.

  • Focus is on the development of critical response grounded in an understanding of the complex relationships among texts.


Standard Level:

Internal Assessment: (30%) Individual oral presentation (15 mins)

External Assessment: (70%) Paper 1: Guided Textual Analysis (1 hour 15 mins) (35%) Paper 2: Comparative Essay (1 hour 45 mins) (35%)

Higher Level:

Internal Assessment: (20%)

Individual oral presentation (15 mins)

External Assessment: (80%)

Paper 1 (2 hours 15 mins) (35%)

Paper 2 (1 hour 45 mins) (25%)

HL Essay (1200 to 1500 words) (20%)

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