Language & Literature Home

Please scroll down for information on this course, course units, subject guide and assessment criteria.

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While following this course, please work harder to improve your handwriting, unlike Ben Jonson (above). He was always playing second fiddle to Shakespeare and it was probably the state of his handwriting that held him back.


Browse this site for content and resources related to courses in this subject area. Across the top are grade level links, with sub-links to specific units.

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To access curriculum plans, please log in to Rubicon Atlas.


English Language & Literature is a new course that began in 2011, with the first exams held in 2013. This course focuses on the meaning generated by language in a variety of texts, both literary (novels, short stories, plays, poems) and non-literary (media sources, essays, opinion pieces etc.). The course looks at how meaning is created, and how it is interpreted in different contexts by different readers. It is a demanding course that requires reading, analysis, discussion and writing skills. To succeed, the student also needs a detailed awareness of what is going on in the world around him/her, and an inquiring mind that is able to look behind the language that we take for granted to see how it works and what it is capable of.



Imagine yourself as the driver of a car instead of the reader of a text. This course teaches you that it is not enough just to drive the car; you need to look inside the engine, take it apart, find out how it works, understand how all the parts belong within the context of the whole car, and then put it together again. You’re the man with the spanner!


You can find the course guide published by the IBO below:

DP Lang & Lit Guide (Feb11)

(Don’t read it all, but we will be using specific pages at times to help us to understand the course requirements.)

For a simpler summary of what we’re trying to achieve here, see this document. Note how many times the words ‘culture’ and ‘cultural’ are repeated.

Summary of Aims


All details about assignments, student work and homework can be found on Veracross (link at the bottom of this page).

Teaching Schedule

This is the current plan for the Language & Literature course – all four parts, covering Grade 11 and 12. This is only a general guide; it is subject to change at any minute, depending on what seems appropriate at the time!

Lang & Lit Syllabus Overview (draft)


There are four parts that comprise the Language & Literature course. Below, these are listed in order of study.

Part 1. Language & Cultural Context (Grade 11)

Part 2. Language & Mass Communication (Grade 11)

Part 4. Literature: Critical Studies (Grade 11)

Part 3. Literature: Texts & Contexts (Grade 12)


On Paper 1 you need to write a commentary on a single text (Standard Level) or a pair of texts (Higher Level). We will practice this throughout the year. Texts will be sent to you via email before any lesson that focuses on commentaries.

Writing Tips

Know what to say but don’t know how to say it? Use this list of literary criticism terms to help you. You will not need all of them (many of them are, for example, specifically for criticism of poetry) but refer to this list anytime you write a piece of literary criticism and use them as you need them.

Chart of connectives and conjunctions

Grammar Check Sheet

Formal and Informal Language

Glossary of Literary Terms

Literary Terms (for prose texts)


Found a literary device? Not sure what it is? Check Literary Devices here!

Assessment Criteria

It’s important to understand the assessment criteria for each task type on the English Language & Literature course, as you will be assessed according to these criteria throughout the year. Here they are, for both Standard and Higher Level.


Higher                                                                                        Standard

Lang & Lit (H) Assessment Criteria (CompComm)         Lang & Lit (S) Assessment Criteria (Comm)

Lang & Lit (H) Assessment Criteria (Essay)                     Lang & Lit (S) Assessment Criteria (Essay)

Lang & Lit (H) Assessment Criteria (Oral)                       Lang & Lit (S) Assessment Criteria (Oral)

Lang & Lit (H) Assessment Criteria (Written Task 1)    Lang & Lit (S) Assessment Criteria (Written Task)


If you need to contact me at any time, here’s my email: