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        So-Shan Au, our Senior Publisher for the International Baccalaureate (IB), looks at the newly released Language B guide and     
        showcases our new publishing to help you teach the new course.


The new Language B guide

First teaching 2018 (First assessment 2020)

In the language B course, students develop the ability to communicate in the target language through the study of language, themes and texts. In doing so, they also develop conceptual understandings of how language works. Communication is evidenced through receptive, productive and interactive skills across a range of contexts and purposes. 

What has changed in this new Guide? 

1. There are now five prescribed themes, instead of focusing on core topics and options. These themes provide relevant contexts for study at all levels of language acquisition in the DP, and opportunities for students to communicate about matters of personal, local or national, and global interests. 

The five prescribed themes are: 

  • Identities (Explore the nature of the self and what it is to be human)
  • Experiences (Explore and tell the stories of 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)

How does our series help you teach this?

✔ Our chapters follow the five prescribed themes, with three chapters for each theme to ensure that we have covered the theme in detail, including covering the optional recommended topics. 

2. Conceptual understanding takes centre stage. Conceptual understanding of language is fundamental to successful communication. Students are asked to think about language and culture in the context of conceptual understandings of communication, connections, creativity and culture, and through the related concepts such as audience, purpose, meaning and context

How does our series help you teach this?

✔ Throughout the chapters, we have incorporated activities, tasks and rubrics which enable students to think about language and culture as part of their study, and in doing so, become more effective and knowledgeable communicators. 

3. Listening comprehension will be a component of the assessment. It now forms part of the receptive skills in Paper 2 (45 minutes – 25 marks). Students listen to three audio passages and students are expected to show their understanding of the passages in the exam. It does not test knowledge of any factual content of a specific topic. It is in the target language and all answers must be provided in the target language.

How does our series help you teach this?

✔ Listening passages and comprehension already featured in the current editions of our language B titles as we believe that training in listening skills is essential for the modern linguist. Our recordings use native speakers and include necessary background noise for authenticity. We also include links to authentic podcasts, videos and other recordings so that students can practice their listening comprehension using real-life examples. 

4. New assessment 
  • Paper 1: Writing will offer three text types, based on three of the five prescribed themes. This is a reduction from the current exam (which had five questions on topics) 
  • Paper 2: Listening, new to the assessment, and reading comprehension are assessed separately.
  • Oral exam: HL  students will have a stimulus extract to react to (they will be given a choice from tow by their teacher) from one of the literature works studied in class. 
  • Literature will continue to be offered at HL only. 
  • The written assignment has been discontinued and the interactive oral is no longer part of the internal assessment oral exam. 

How does our series help you teach this?

✔ Free audio is provided and authentic links to podcasts, videos and other recordings ensure students have plenty of opportunities to practice using real-life and authentic examples.

✔ HL Literature extracts are retained in our new editions so that students have experiences of reading literature in the target language and go on an enjoyable journey into cultures, and to develop their receptive and productive skills, and progress from comprehension to interpretation and inference.


Find out all about our new series for IB Diploma Languages B, publishing in 2018. 

Find out first
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