The Language Arts Programme is a preparatory course of study for students who will be offering English A as the Group 1 subject at the IBDP level. Designed by teachers of the school, the programme aims to prepare students for the demands of the subject. As such, most of its assessment methods are modelled after the English A syllabus but adjusted in response to age appropriate learning needs of the younger students. The programme endeavours to develop a competent, critical and compassionate reader and writer who is aware of the function and nuances of the English Language in its varied functional and cultural contexts and is able to use it effectively in any communicative situation. The syllabus also takes reference from the MOE EL and Literature syllabi for secondary schools and share in the commitment to develop 21st Century competencies in our students, especially in terms of developing Language and communicative skills, to a more sophisticated level.
Literary concerns and issues will be introduced at the Year 1 level, and they will be explored in greater detail incrementally throughout the course of study. The spiralling curriculum aims to develop student’s understanding in terms of breadth as well as depth. Concurrently, the curriculum will also focus on the student’s acquisition of competent communicative skills in the areas of reading and writing, listening and speaking. Critical thinking, National Education and Affective Education will also be constantly brought to the fore during the teaching of the syllabus. In addition, the course introduces students to the attributes of the IB learner profile which promote academic rigour, self-directed learning and the establishing of a personal value system leading to international mindedness. Apart from offering opportunities for creative and discursive writing, the genres of text encourage the development of close analysis, empathy and critical appreciation.
The subject is concerned with the students’ conceptions, interpretations and experiences of the world through the texts. The teaching of the functional aspects of the language is done with the intention of giving students a tool with which they can use to articulate all the complex pursuits, anxieties, joys and fears that human beings are exposed to in the daily business of living in the 21st Century. As competent users of the language, students will be better able to develop a healthy respect for the imagination, and through that take a perceptive approach to the understanding and interpretation of literary works.
By the end of the course, learners should be able to:
- develop an understanding of the concept of text types as an Empathetic and Global Thinker so as to understand the purpose of communication in context and to be able to use language in an appropriate manner, demonstrated in speech and writing
- deal explicitly with grammar in relation to text types and be a Discerning Reader in terms of how language at the micro-level affects language at the macro-level and subsequently media and ideology
- express a personal empathetic appreciation of literature as a Critical and Discerning Reader and develop a discernment to the techniques involved in literary criticism
- engage as Creative Meaning-Makers on a range of literary works of different periods, genres, style and contexts in preparation for the range of texts that they will encounter at a higher level of education. This includes the engagement and application of the digital medium
- broaden the learner’s perception through the study of works from other cultures to develop the Empathetic and Global Thinker who has an understanding and appreciation of different writing techniques and the subtleties of the language
- develop the Discerning Reader who is also a Convincing Communicator in terms of his ability to engage in close, detailed literary analysis of the written text
- promote in learners an enjoyment of, and lifelong interest in literature and a love for the language
The Nature of Literature
- What is Literature?
- Form and Genre (an overview)
- The elements of storytelling
- Setting: Review and introduce function of setting
- Themes: Examine universal themes relating to the human condition, such as family, friendship, abuse of power, price of progress, alienation and prejudice, oppression and identity, the futility of war, among others
- Characters: Introduce the concept of characterisation in relation to plot, theme and writer’s intention through the examination of role and functions of characters: Protagonist(s), antagonist(s), minor characters, relationship between characters, development of characters, characterisation techniques (speech content, language, action, behaviour, other characters’ views)
Novel / Short Stories
- Form and Genre (e.g. Allegory, Fable, Comedy, Tragedy, Parody, Satire, Science fiction, Epistolary)
- Close study of text – Linking to Man and His World
- Elements of short stories and literary techniques
- Study of stories that seek to understand the complexities of human nature and connections. To bring about an awareness of the nuances of our globalised world, dealing with issues such as discrimination, terrorism, the plight of asylum seekers and refugees, immigrant experiences, modern-day slavery, and the effects of capitalism. It is hoped that these stories will prompt deeper, more empathetic, and layered connections with multiple others in our world.
- Develop understanding of form and elements of poetry through analysis of literary devices used to manifest meaning through words
- Enable examination and comparison of different poetry from various countries
- Analyse different poems from different eras
- Study of dramatic conventions and literary themes in famous plays by William Shakespeare
Guided Literary Analysis of Prose and Poetry
- Development of awareness of different types of poetry (free verse vs structured)
- Development and reinforcement of understanding of point of view and its effect on the reader
- Development and reinforcement of understanding of mood and atmosphere and how they are created and their impact
- Development and reinforcement of understanding of style such as tension, suspense, irony, satire, tone and imagery and how style informs meaning
Communications Skills (Spiral progression with incremental sophistication from Year 1 – 4)
Language in Context
- Text types (writing for a variety of purposes)
- Raising language awareness for text, register, audience, context and culture.
– The function of listening in communication and the attributes of good listening
– The need to listen before speaking
– Assessing audience perception
– When to speak: discerning context, audience and purpose for specific speech register
– Dynamics of speech in communication in both a formal or informal setting
– Reading skills such as intonation and pacing
– Public speaking in formal speech context
– Public speaking in presentation context
– Presentation with technological aids for visual and aural impact (e.g Powerpoint, Video Conferencing)
– Stages in the writing process
– Critical Thinking and Presenting an argument
– Writing to Persuade/Respond/ Compare
– Writing to Analyse/Explicate/Evaluate
– Information Management and Organisational skills
- Critical Literal Analysis of Prose (CLAP) for Year 1 and 2
- Expository Writing for Year 1 and 2
- Guided Literary Analysis (Prose and Poetry)
- Essay writing & literary analysis of Set Texts
- Group and individual oral presentation
- Recording of Video Reflections
- Individual Oral Presentation: Digital Storytelling Task
- Individual Oral Commentary: Online Video Interview (Drama/Poetry)
- Coursework: Diary entries / Fake-News Parody Videos / Persuasive Speech / Opinion Column
TEACHING AND LEARNING APPROACHES
Adopting a spiral curriculum design; the syllabus revisits the breadth of literary and language skills taught in previous years for added depth and skill mastery in an age-appropriate manner. The approaches to teaching Language Arts apply strategies borrowed from both the Language and Literature classrooms; adopting a set of inquiry-based principles. Learners are encouraged to experience the story for personal engagement and to make meaningful connections through dialogue and inquiry. The Language Arts classroom is interactive, focused on the learner’s development of critical appreciation.
With the guidance of the teacher, learners navigate and discover new meaning and connections, and they are given opportunities for application and reflection to facilitate strong consolidation of learning. The art of information management and audience-engagement are reinforced at all stages of learning with increased sophistication.
The assessment tasks are designed to prioritize formative learning, whilst capturing and recognising the learning outcomes. The emphasis on learning from the process helps students cultivate an interest in the subject. The ultimate goal is for students to develop empathy and discernment by building up self-awareness and honing their ability to manage diverse perspectives. Media and digital literacy are meaningfully integrated into the assessment tasks to ensure that students are keenly aware of the possibilities and pitfalls of technologically-enabled communication.