IB English Language B

Language B is a language acquisition course designed for students with some previous learning of that language. It may be studied at either SL or HL. The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development of language skills. These language skills are developed through the study and use of a range of written and spoken material. The aim of this course is to enable students to communicate effectively in English, in a wide range of authentic situations and to a range of audiences, in both spoken and written form. They will also be able to understand a wide range of written texts and spoken material and respond accordingly. The cultural context of Anglophone countries will provide exposure to the ideas and attitudes of these nations by means of texts and recorded material, creating an appreciation of cultural and international diversity. The topics chosen will be related to the students’ interests and concerns in a changing world.

English Language B and CAS

There are excellent opportunities for students to make links with a range of CAS activities through writing and production of visual texts such as

  • involvement in the student magazine
  • the production of material related to school events such as publicity material, posters, programmes, reviews and interviews
  • participation in writing competitions
  • participation in creative activities outside school


English Language B and TOK

In group two there are two language courses, Language B SL and Language B HL. The outcomes of each are different but each is a course that seeks to enhance intercultural understanding. Learning an additional language involves linguistic and metalinguistic, sociolinguistic, pragmatic and intercultural skills and competencies. Links between TOK and group 2 courses encourage consideration and reflection upon these skills. What follows are some questions that could be used in the language classroom to investigate the link between the four ways of knowing (reason, emotion, perception and language) and additional language acquisition.

• Do we know and learn our first language(s) in the same way as we learn additional languages?

• When we learn an additional language, do we learn more than “just” vocabulary and grammar?

• The concept of intercultural understanding means the ability to demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity and/or similarity between the target culture(s) and one’s own. To what extent is this true?

• “Those who know nothing of an additional language know nothing of their own” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, playwright, poet, novelist, dramatist, 1749–1832). By learning another culture are we able to enrich our own?

• Do you understand the world differently when you learn another language? How (for example, time, humour, leisure)?

• How are values encoded differently in different languages (for example, family, friendship, authority)?

• What is the relationship between language and thought? Do you think differently in different languages? If so, does it make a practical or discernible difference to how you interpret the world?

Course content

The course is very flexible and can be orientated around the interests of the students. 

It comprises five themes : Identities, Experiences, Human Ingenuity, Social Organisation and Sharing the Planet. Within each theme students will explore various topics, for example:

  • Identities – Lifestyles, Health and Well-being, Beliefs and Values, Subcultures, Language and Identity
  • Experiences – Leisure, Holidays and Travel, Rites of Passage, Customs and Traditions, Migration
  • Human Ingenuity – Entertainment, Artistic Expressions, Communication and Media, Scientific Innovation
  • Social Organisation- Community, Education, Social Engagement, Law and Order, The Working World
  • Sharing the Planet – Human Rights, Globalisation, Urban and Rural Environment, Peace and Conflict


Additionally, at HL students must read at least two works of literature. Recent texts chosen have included, The Kite Runner ( Khalid Hosseini )  Rabbit Proof Frence ( Doris Pilkington)  Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)  Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro) 



Both HL and SL are assessed by a combination of externally graded work and internally marked work that is moderated by IBO.

 External (75%)

  1. Paper 1 25% ( SL Ihr 15 mins/ HL I hr 30 mins)                                                                                      One written task from a choice of three. (SL 250-400/HL 450-600 words) Each task is based on a course theme.
  2. Paper 2  50% ( SL I hr 45mins/HL 2 hours .)                                                                                            There are two sections : Listening (SL 45 mins/ HL 1hr) 3 audio passages. Reading (I hr) 3 reading texts based on the themes.

Internal Assessment (25%)

  1. Individual oral: At SL based on the course themes. The student chooses one of two visual stimulus.

At HL based on an extract taken from one of the literary works studied in class.

The language B HL individual oral assessment is divided into three parts, preceded by a timed period of supervised preparation.

Supervised preparation time  - 20 minutes

The student is shown two extracts of up to approximately 300 words each: one from each of the two literary works studied during the course. The student chooses one of the extracts and prepares a presentation focused on the content of the extract. During this time, the student is allowed to make brief working notes ( a maximum of 10 bullet points)

Part 1: Presentation  3-4 mins

The student presents the extract. The student may place the extract in relation to the literary work, but must spend the majority of the presentation discussing the events, ideas and messages in the extract itself.

Part 2: Follow-up discussion  4–5 minutes

The teacher engages with the student on the content of the extract that the student has presented, expanding on observations that the student has provided in the presentation.

Part 3: General discussion 5–6 minutes

 The teacher and student have a general discussion using one or more of the five themes of the syllabus 
















English B Overview

Year 1

Autumn Term  - Identities

Literature: – The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini

Novel and Film

  • Citizens of the World

Spring Term  - Human Ingenuity

Literature: Never Let Me Go -  Kazuo Ishiguro  Novel and Film

  • Future Humans


Summer Term  - Social Organisation

Literature: Rabbit Proof Fence – Doris Pilkington Novel and Film

  • Minorities and Education



Grade 11 Internal Exams


Literature: The Perks of Being a Wallflower-  Stephen Chbosky  Novel and Film

  • Belief and Identity

Human Igenuity

Literature: Flowers For Algernon - Daniel Keyes Novel and Film Extracts from Frankesnstein

  • Technology and human interaction

Social Organisation

Literature: Room - Emmma Donoghue

  • Partners For Life
  • The Future of Jobs



Autumn Term - Experiences

Literature: Maus: A Survivors Tale Art Spiegelman

The Great Gatsby – Scott FitzGerald


  • Migration

Spring Term  


Grade 12 Mock exams

Sharing the Planet  Ending Poverty

Climate Change/ Power to the People  


Individual oral ( HL & SL)


  • Pilgrimage
  • Extreme Sports


Revision (Paper 1 -Text Types Paper 2 Listening and Reading Comprehension skills)