Having English as a second language proved to be a struggle for the first few years. I caught up with slang and formal language during 8th grade and my first year of high school in Switzerland. For the last 3 years I have worked on improving my grammar and writing style, and in the process, my grades. An example of an assessment where I truly pushed my limits in order to achieve a better grade was my English FOA. This activity consists of making a 15 to 20 minute presentation on a certain area or unit covered during the course. During the 2 years of IB, I had to make 2 of these presentations. The first one was on the topic of language use, and how it has evolved into what it is today with the use of slang and abbreviations such as LOL, LMAO, etc. This one was done over a short period of time and had minimal planning, it was short of the time limit, even though a lot of effort was put into it, it was creative, entertaining, and covered serious aspects of the topic. This assignment rewarded me and my partner with a 6 out of 7. This is a high grade when it comes to the IBDP, but it wasn’t high enough. The next year came along, and me and my partner did the same assignment together, this time on the topic of advertisements, and the techniques used in advertisements that were old fashioned and sexist, this subtopic was called the sexualization of ads. We got an early start and put hours of work into this assignment, choosing every word and break carefully. We did hours of research and very selectively chose our sources, we rehearsed repeatedly to the point where we knew most of each other’s scripts. We acquired deep knowledge outside of the curriculum to make sure this presentation would stand out, and exceed the requirements mentioned in the criteria. On the day we got into character, and we went through the whole thing. After all of this work that was put in, we achieved a 7 out of 7, a grade that is rarely heard of in the IBDP as a whole. As much as this is the case for the FOA, I have also pushed myself in all other assignments in the English Language and Literature course, and have exceeded my past grades by continuing to put in work that will exceed the criteria, or at least my previous grades. I improved my Written Task grade by getting feedback as much as possible and adding as much of it as possible, while also keeping the text type I chose as genuine as possible since this is a creative task.
To achieve this improvement, I built on the work I had previously done and took into account all the feedback I could get. I did in-depth research and built my knowledge past what was expected. Through this I achieved highly in English, and this led to the gradual improvement of my writing skills and language.