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IB Spanish AB Initio, Spanish B, Chinese AB initio and Chinese B

The language ab initio course is designed for students with little or no prior experience of the language they wish to study. Language B course is offered for students with some previous experience of Chinese or Spanish. The school will work with the student to determine what is the most appropriate level for the candidate.


The language course is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. This process encourages the learner to go beyond the confines of the classroom, expanding an awareness of the world and fostering respect for cultural diversity. The language course is organized into three themes. Each theme has a list of topics that provide the students with opportunities to practise and explore the language as well as to develop intercultural understanding. Through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills, students should be able to respond and interact appropriately in a defined range of everyday situations. Language is available at SL only. Texts chosen from themes allow students to compare the language and culture(s) to other languages and cultures with which they are familiar.

Syllabus Component: Themes

Guiding principle


Explore the nature of the self and how we express who we are


Explore and tell the stories of the events, experiences and journeys that shape our lives.

Human ingenuity

Explore the ways in which human creativity and innovation affect our world.

Social organization

Explore the ways in which groups of people organize themselves, or are organized, through common systems or interests.

Sharing the planet

Explore the challenges and opportunities faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.


Standard Level:

Internal Assessment: (25%) Individual oral assessment a conversation with the teacher, based on visual stimulus and at least one additional course theme (30 marks)

External Assessment: (75%) Examinations at the end of the second year. Paper 1: Written task (1 hour) (30 marks) (25%)

Paper 2: Separate sections for listening and reading (1 hour 45 mins) (65 marks) (50%)

  • Listening comprehension (45 mins)

  • Reading comprehension (1 hour)

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