Prepare for the 2018 IB Language B syllabus
The new Language B syllabus will come into effect in September 2018 - explore the key changes here
Teaching Language B
Teaching Language B is the most enjoyable experience, for not only are we helping students acquire and use a foreign language, but we are also exploring the culture of that language and facilitating international-mindedness. The additional and reviewed elements in the Language B guide have been included to help foreign language learners become better able to use that language in different contexts and for different purposes.
How has the course changed?
- Instead of focusing on core topics and options, the new course is based around 5 general themes that are not connected to specific assessment components. Those themes are: Experiences, Identities, Human ingenuity, Sharing the planet, and Social organization. The studying of these themes should help students develop intercultural awareness and international-mindedness by focusing on the target culture while developing their linguistic competence in the target language.
- Conceptual understanding has been brought to the forefront as students will be asked to consider five concepts throughout the course: Audience, Context, Purpose, Meaning and Variation. Students should recognize how these concepts shape any written and/or spoken piece, and demonstrate understanding of different concepts when determining the overall purpose of a text, for example, or choosing a text type to respond to a written production prompt.
- Listening comprehension will be officially tested; it will be included as part of the assessment of receptive skills in Paper 2. Students at both Higher and Standard level will listen to 3 spoken texts and be required to answer listening comprehension questions.
- The Higher Level internal assessment will be based on a literary extract of approximately 300 words, taken from one of the two literary works studied in class. Students are required to focus their presentation on the content of the extract itself, discussing the event(s) in the extract, and focusing on the main idea(s) or message(s).
- Interactive oral activities will no longer form a part of the internal assessment. However, they are good learning tools and should be used in the classroom to help students improve their speaking skills.
- The written assignment has been discontinued at Standard and Higher level.
The spirit of the course
When teaching the new Language B course, it is important to address these changes while staying true to the nature and spirit of the course: as part of the language acquisition group, Language B should not be taught in a silo. Instead, we should draw on, and encourage, the development of international-mindedness, the attributes of the learner profile, the skills associated with the approaches to learning, and connections to the Diploma core: Creativity, Activity and Service, the Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge.
Oxford’s new print and digital Course Book packs for English B, Spanish B and French B have been comprehensively re-developed to address the new IB Language B syllabus.