Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Kick IB Language A: Literature Part 1: Written Assignment's Butt -- Step 2

School goes on, and if you're in IB Literature, you're probably working your way through the Written Assignment.  Go HERE for step 1.  By now you should be ready for:

Step 2: The Reflective Statement

This is an in-class assignment, so naturally, most students panic at the thought of it. But it's not that difficult, really. You have your notes from the Interactive Oral to guide you.  So do some deep-breathing exercises and have at 'er!
THE INTERACTIVE ORAL: More than just a chance
to laugh at your classmates' funny pronunciation!  

A couple points to remember:

1. Stick to the guiding question: “How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?” -- Let's analyze this. 
  • Look at the essential question: "How was your understanding... developed...?" So in your reflective statement, you have to describe the process by which your personal understanding was developed, or changed/improved. Understanding of what? "of cultural and contextual considerations of the work..."
  • Cultural: You're dealing with a work written in translation. Think about the place, time, society of the character and/or author's culture. For example, if you read Perfume by Patrick Süskind, you need to think about 18th century France. Will it help you to know about Germany in 1985? Considering that was Suskind's culture, perhaps. It might give you some insight to consider the political environment Suskind was writing in.  Which brings us to...
  • Contextual: Think about the background of the author and characters and the themes of the work. Perfume is about filth, smell, class division, and, obviously, perfume. What do you know about these things? What do your classmates know? 
  • The last part of the question is "...through the interactive oral." That's why you had to really listen to your classmates' ideas and take good notes. Now explain how your discussion enhanced your understanding.

2. This will be assessed by IB examiners. Use the writing process to develop it. Make full use of the time you are given. Remember the word count: 300 - 400 words. That's not very many words, really. One or two pages, depending on the size of your handwriting. You've written Facebook comments longer than that. Just think of it as writing around 25 Tweets. You can do that in your lunch break. The point is, you have plenty of time to think about and plan out exactly what you're going to write, and then to re-read what you wrote several times, revising and editing it to perfection. That's how you're going to get the awesome marks on your Reflective Statement.

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