Tuesday, April 19, 2016

IB English A: Literature -- Differences between SL and HL Part 2 - Detailed Study (Oral Commentary)

If you're considering taking IB next year, you have to choose three or four courses to take at HL (higher level). Should English Literature be one of your HL choices? 

If you're already in IB LanguageA: Literature, you might be confused about the differences between HL and SL. Are you in a class that has both HL and SL students in it? That can be really confusing. Who mixes dumb kids with smart kids, anyway? That's just a disaster waiting to happen. (Just joking. I don't really think you're dumb just because you choose to take English Literature at standard level. You're probably really smart at something else, like calculus or something, nerd.)

Here are the differences for Part 2 - Detailed Study

Nardvark carefully considers his course selection for next year.


  • If you're in SL, you will do an oral commentary on an extract from one of the two works studied in part 2. If you're in HL, you will do an oral commentary on POETRY you studied in part 2, AND have an oral discussion with the teacher on one of the other two works studied in part 2.
  • If you're in SL, you get two guiding questions on your extract. If you're in HL, you don't.
  • The rubric for SL has four sections: Knowledge and Understanding of Extract (or Poem, for HL), Appreciation of the Writer's Choices, Organization and Presentation, and Language. The rubric for HL has two additional sections: Knowledge and Understanding of the Work used in the Discussion, and Response to the Discussion Questions.
  • If you're in HL, each of the six criteria are marked out of five for a total of 30 possible points. If you're in SL, the first two criteria (knowledge and understanding of the extract, and appreciation of the writer’s choices) are marked out of ten each and the other two criteria are marked out of five each, for a total of 30 points. 
If you're still having trouble choosing between HL and SL, try printing off this handy Venn diagram and filling it in to compare them. 

If you actually finish filling in your Venn diagram before you get distracted by squirrels and go off to raid the fridge, this shows that you're definitely HL IB English-student material. Congrats!