“Witch Hunts” Introducing our new unit on ‘The Crucible’

This week we began our exploration of Arthur Miller’s text, ‘The Crucible.’

This unit continues our work on part 3 of the IBO DP language and literature course, entitled ‘Literature: texts and contexts.’

We will use this unit to continue working toward two of the learning outcomes for this part of the course:

  1. Consider the changing historical, cultural and social contexts in which particular texts are written and received
  2. Understand the attitudes and values expressed by literary texts and their impact on readers.

Of key importance are the following literary devices / concepts: allegory, roman e clef, parable, context (production and interpretation).

We hope you enjoy the unit!

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Written task 2

The following site has some important information about written task 2:


When choosing a question, you could choose material from any part of the course – this could include:

– a text
– subject matter (key concepts etc…) applied to an individually chosen text

You must complete a written task for part 3 of the course – literature in context.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 8.38.19 AMResource accessible at:


G12 Language and Literature: Preparing for Paper 1…

Next week we will have our final summative assessment for part one of the course: an in-class paper 1 comparative analysis practice exam.

To prepare, complete the following activities:

1) Read pages 56-57 and 61-66 if your textbook (Philpot, B’s ‘English Language and Literature for the IB Diploma’).

2) Complete activity 2.10 on page 67.  Make a note of these cohesive ties / linking terms – they will definitely help you to write a successful analysis essay.

3) Look at the example texts on the photocopy (handed out in class on Monday 18 November).  Analyse, annotate, make notes.  If you were going to compare and contrast these texts in an exam, what aspects would you talk about?  Which parts of the text would you use as illustration?  How would you structure your piece?  Make all necessary highlights and notes.

4) Have a go at writing a practice essay.  Normally, you would get a whole 2 hours.  However as we will be completing this in class next week you will only have 90 minutes.  (Pre-reading and analysis done for homework).

5) Look at a sample essay (available from me) and assess using the rubrics.  Then compare your assessment with that of an examiner.

Preparation complete!  As we are completing FOAs this week in class preparation time will be limited so you will need to start this process as homework this week.  Next Tuesday we will do step number 5 as a class (feel free to start as soon as you are ready though!), and we will do the exam on Wednesday morning.

Good luck!

Unit 1 – Further oral activity (FOA) stereotypes in advertising ‘playlist’

Here is a suggested framework for completing this activity.

1. Choose a primary source (an actual piece of text to be studied – in this case an advertisement) that is rich and relevant to the topic (stereotypes – does it reinforce or challenge them?).  It could relate to gender, ethnic, religious, social or other stereotypes.

2. Analyse the source using the ‘Big 5’ and persuasive techniques in advertisement resources, found in the class Google share folder.

3. Think about the best form for your presentation – persuasive speech, informal oral presentation or create skit/campaign pitch?  Watch the following to get some ideas:

4. After completing this initial work, fill out the Google doc ‘FOA Proposal

5. Get to work analysing, compiling, writing and practising your speech.

6.  Present!  (Due Thurs 14 November)

Paper 1: Textual analysis (SL) information and outline

I have cut and paste the information relevant to this assessment from the DP Language A: language and literature guide.  The full guide is available in the class share folder on Google docs.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Weighting: 25%

Paper 1 contains two previously unseen passages from non-literary texts for analysis, of which you select one. You are to write an analysis of one of the texts, including comments on the significance of any possible contexts, audience, purpose and the use of linguistic and literary devices.

In addition, two guiding questions are provided, encouraging you to focus your response on aspects of the passage. A passage for analysis may either be a complete piece of writing or visual text, or an extract from a longer piece. The texts for analysis are not necessarily related to specific parts of the syllabus. Different non-literary text types are included, for example:

 – advertisement
– opinion column
– extract from an essay
– electronic text (such as social network sites, blogs)
– brochure (such as a public information leaflet)
– extract from a memoir, diary or other autobiographical text

You will be required to analyse and comment on the text in the light of their understanding of its possible audience and purpose. In order to achieve this, you need to analyse structure, language and style in addition to aspects such as text type, context, bias and/or ideological position.

There are many acceptable ways of approaching the analysis of a text. Regardless of the approach taken the analysis should be continuous and structured, and should include relevant examples from the text. Rather than simply listing formal aspects, students should focus on how such aspects are used to create particular effects, the recognition of which may contribute to a reading of the passage.

The paper is assessed according to the assessment criteria published in this guide. The maximum mark for paper 1 is 20.

This information is taken from the Language A: language and literature guide (for first examinations in 2013), available at: http://occ.ibo.org/


Analysing Texts – ‘The Big 5’

To analyse means to break down in order to bring out the essential elements or structure.

 1. Audience and Purpose
Context of composition

– Describe the time and place that this text was produced in.
– Who wrote the text?
– Why was the text produced? (purpose)  What makes you say this?

Intended audience
– Who was this text aimed at?  How can you tell?

Context of interpretation / reception
– What are your circumstances? (time and place)
– How do these factors influence your reading of the text?

2. Content and Theme
Content is what is in a text.  Themes are more what a text is about (big ideas).

 – Describe what is going on in the text (key features).
– What is this text about?
– What is the author’s message?
– What is the significance of the text to its audience?
– What is the text actually saying?

3. Tone and Mood
Tone refers to the implied attitude of the author of a text and the ‘voice’ which shows this attitude.  Mood refers more to the emotional atmosphere that is produced for a reader when experiencing a text.

– What is the writer’s tone?
– How does the author sound?
– What kind of diction does the author use to create this tone?
– How does the text make the reader feel? (mood)
– How does the diction contribute to this effect?

4. Stylistic Devices
Style refers to the ‘how’ of a text – how do the writers say whatever it is that they say? (e.g. rhetorical devices, diction, figurative language, syntax etc…)

– What stylistic devices does the writer use?  What effects do these devices have on a reader?

5. Structure / Layout
Structure refers to the form of a text.

– What kind of text is it?  What features let you know this?
– What structural conventions for that text type are used?
– Does this text conform to, or deviate from, the standard conventions for that particular text type?