Language B subject outline
First examinations 2013
This document explains the major features of the course, and outlines the syllabus and assessment requirements.
More detailed information about the course can be obtained by referring to the guide for this subject, which is available
on the subject page of the IB online curriculum centre (OCC) website(http://occ.ibo.org) and can also be purchased
from the IB store (http://store.ibo.org).
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2011
Nature of the subject
Language B is an additional language-learning 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 languageskills. These language skills should be developed through the study and
use of a range of written and spoken material. Such material will extend from everyday oral exchanges to
literary texts, and should be related to the culture(s) concerned. The material should be chosen to enable
students to develop mastery of language skills and intercultural understanding. It should not be intended
solelyfor the study of specific subject matter or content.
Many factors determine the group 2 course that a student should take: the student’s best language, the
language(s) spoken at home and at school, and any previous knowledge of the language of study. The most
important consideration is that the language B course should be a challenging educational experience
for thestudent, offering not only the opportunity to learn an additional language but also the means of
learning, appreciating and effectively interacting in a culture different from the student’s own. All final
decisions on the appropriateness of the course for which students are entered are taken by coordinators in
liaison with teachers using their experience and professional judgment to guide them.Links to the Middle Years Programme
In the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), the study of an additional language—language B—is compulsory
and the course is designed to encourage the student to gain competence in a modern language other than
their first language, with the long-term goal of balanced bilingualism. The IB acknowledges that learning
additional languages greatly contributes to theholistic development of students. The MYP language B
course aims to encourage the student to develop a respect for and understanding of other languages
and cultures, and is equally designed to equip the student with a skills base to facilitate further language
The aims of the MYP language B and the Diploma Programme group 2 courses have much in common
and share the intentions ofencouraging students to develop an awareness and understanding of the
perspectives of people from other cultures as well as harnessing linguistic competence.
Language B subject outline
Group 2 aims
Group 2 consists of three language courses accommodating the different levels of linguistic proficiency that
students have when they begin. There is a single set of group 2 aims,which are common to all the courses,
but the assessment objectives are differentiated according to what the students are expected to be to able
to demonstrate at the end of each course.
The aims of group 2 are to:
develop students’ intercultural understanding
enable students to understand and use the language they have studied in a range of contexts and for
a variety of purposes3.
encourage, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation
of the different perspectives of people from other cultures
develop students’ awareness of the role of language in relation to other areas of knowledge
develop students’ awareness of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which they
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