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The study of literature is, by nature, international: in each part of the course you will study at least one text which originates from another culture. This promotes an understanding not only of other cultures but also of your own; through your reading you will be encouraged to recognise a shared humanity and to appreciate the diversity and universality of experiences and values.

6th Form studentStudying English at higher level (HL) and standard level (SL) will enable you to appreciate a writer’s craft, engage in literary criticism and develop the confidence to articulate an informed personal response to a text.

You will also be able to appreciate the significance of the contextual background of a text and the similarities and differences between cultures through your reading of culturally diverse texts. You will also develop your ability to structure and support written and oral arguments, resulting in logical and coherent responses to the texts you are studying.

The course is stimulating and engaging and many of the skills it fosters, such as critical thinking, will prove invaluable to you as you prepare for university and the world of work.

The new IB English Literature course has been designed to focus on three broad areas of literary study: readers, writers and texts; time and space; and intertextuality. Throughout the course, students will hone their oral, written and reflective skills through varied assessments, developing an independent approach to literary study. They will gain a breadth of literary knowledge via the texts we study, some of which this year include: Arthur Miller's All My Sons; Ibsen's A Doll's House; Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (HL); Le Grand Meaulnes by Heri Alain-Fournier; J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye; The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood; the short stories of Franz Kafka; Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare; and the poetry of Philip Larkin.

Other Native Language A options will be available for international students depending on demand.

Past set texts have included:

  • The poetry of William Blake
  • The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald 
  • Hamlet – Shakespeare
  • Master Harold and the Boys – Fugard
  • Dubliners – Joyce
  • Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  • A Doll’s House – Ibsen
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Solzhenitsyn
  • The poetry of Carol Ann Duffy
  • Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid
  • Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  • Translations – Brian Friel
course outline (HL and SL) 

Part 1: Works in Translation: literary study of 3 works in translation (2 for SL)

Part 2: Detailed Study: close study of 3 works (2 for SL), each of a different genre, one of which is poetry for HL.

Part 3: Literary Genres: literary study of 4 works of the same genre (3 for SL).

Part 4: Options: 3 works chosen by your teachers.

Assessment (HL and SL) 
Part 1: Works in Translation, Coursework, 25%

Part 2: Detailed Study, Oral Commentary, 15%

Part 3: Literary Genres, Examination Essay on set texts, 25%

Part 4: Options, Oral Presentation, 15%

Paper 1: Literary Commentary (HL), Guided Literary Analysis (SL), 20%