Language provision is an essential component of the Diploma Programme and is in keeping with the aim of the International Baccalaureate Organization to provide pre-university students with a broad-based international curriculum. Language A2 is one of the language courses available to IB students. It is designed for students with a high level of competence in the target language, and can be studied at either higher level or standard level. The language A2 syllabus and assessment provide students with the opportunity to study language, texts and culture, and to develop their analytical skills.
In the language A2 course students develop and refine their language skills. To do this they need to become familiar with a wide range of vocabulary and complex grammatical structures. At the end of the course they are expected to understand and use the target language accurately. Language development and refinement include the analysis and use of language appropriate in particular contexts.
Students are exposed to a wide range of texts in the target language: in the main these will be texts that they encounter in their everyday lives (for example, short stories, speeches, cartoons, advertisements and news reports). They learn how to compare and contrast how the target language is used in different texts, and how language and style affect the presentation of theme and topic. Once they have become familiar with the style and language used in different types of texts, students are required to write tasks that relate to the course content, in an appropriate register and style.
Within the framework of the cultural options (language and culture, media and culture, future issues, global issues and social issues), students study particular topics such as bilingualism, advertisements and racism. The purpose of this study is to become more familiar with the target language and its associated culture(s). Different types of texts, both literary and non-literary, can be read as part of this study.
In the literary options students consider how writers use language and style to present ideas, themes,feelings and attitudes. They also explore what aspects of a literary text are specific to the target language and its associated culture(s) and what aspects cut across cultural and linguistic boundaries. It is this exploration of the specific and the universal, in the literary as well as the cultural options, that links the language A2 course to the broader aims of the IBO: to provide an education that enriches the international awareness of students and develops in them the attitudes of tolerance, empathy and a genuine respect for perspectives different from their own.
LANGUAGE A2 OBJECTIVES
At the end of the language A2 course higher level candidates are expected to:
- communicate clearly, fluently and effectively in a wide range of situations
- understand and use accurately the oral and written forms of the language, in a range of styles and situations
- understand and use an extensive range of vocabulary and idiom
- select a register and style that are consistently appropriate to the situation
- express ideas with clarity and fluency
- structure arguments in a focused, coherent and persuasive way, and support them with relevant examples
- assimilate and make use of complex written and spoken texts
- engage in detailed, critical examination of a wide range of texts in different forms, styles and
- appreciate the subtleties of technique and style employed by writers and speakers of the language
- show sensitivity to the culture(s) related to the language studied.