Language B HL

The school offers Language B in English (at HL only), French, Spanish and German. Where the number of students enrolled exceeds 7, the school will offer a regular class. If fewer than 7 students enroll, the school may offer the subject at extra cost. In the past few years, regular classes have been formed for English B HL and French B (both HL and SL).

Course Description

LANGUAGE B HL (English, French, Spanish, German)

Language B-HL is designed to provide students with the necessary skills that enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. In other words, it is the study of English, French or Spanish as a Foreign Language and is intended for students who have had previous learning of it, but who, nevertheless, lack the linguistic proficiency required in Language A courses, in terms of grammar, vocabulary, syntax as well as other aspects of the language.

Language B Higher level is designed to meet (at the end of the 2-year course) the criteria for CEFR level C1 in the four domains of reading, writing, listening and speaking. This means that at the end of the two years, students should be able to employ the language appropriately and effectively both in their writing and orally, using it for different tasks and situations at a level equivalent to that of the Cambridge Advanced (ESOL). The school has a significant role to play in student selection of language courses (group 1 or group 2 subjects), since the main objective is to place students in the course that is appropriate to their linguistic abilities but also sufficiently challenging.

During the two-year course, exposure to a wide variety of audio and written material provides students with the opportunity to exercise and develop the four skills mentioned above, and to learn to use the language confidently and competently in various contexts. Students should also have acquired a good understanding of the cultural background of the language they will be studying, as well as the way in which it affects their use of it.

The Language B-HL syllabus approaches the learning of language through meaning. Through the study of five themes and literary works, students build the necessary skills to reach the assessment objectives of the course through the expansion of their receptive, productive and interactive skills.

The course content of English B HL explores the practical use of the language via five themes.

  • Identity
  • Experiences
  • Human Ingenuity
  • Social Organization
  • Sharing the Planet

Course Assessment

External assessment (3 hours 30 minutes) 75%

Paper 1 (1 hour 30 minutes) 25%

Productive skills—writing (30 marks)
One writing task of 450–600 words from a choice of three, each from a different theme, choosing a text type from among those listed in the examination instructions.

Paper 2 (2 hours) 50%

Receptive skills—separate sections for listening and reading (65 marks)
Listening comprehension (1 hour) (25 marks)
Reading comprehension (1 hour) (40 marks)
Comprehension exercises on three audio passages and three written texts, drawn from all five themes.

Internal Assessment 25%

This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.
Individual oral assessment
A conversation with the teacher, based on an extract from one of the literary works the syllabus. (30 marks)

All final decisions on the appropriateness of the language course (Language A, Language B or Ab initio) for which students are entered are taken by coordinators in liaison with teachers, using their experience and professional judgment to guide them. The most important consideration is that the language course selected should be a challenging educational experience for the student.

Download the subject guide