1) Language ab initio in the IBDP:
Language ab initio is a language acquisition course designed for students with no prior experience of the target language, or for those students with very limited previous exposure. It should be noted that language ab initio is offered at SL only.
Because of the inherent difficulty of defining what constitutes “very limited exposure” to a language, it is not possible to list specific conditions such as the number of hours or the nature of previous language instruction; however, it is important to note that any student who is already able to understand and respond to spoken and written language on a range of common topics is not to be placed in language ab initio as this would not provide an appropriate academic challenge, nor is it fair for those students who are genuine beginners of the language.
In order to ensure that the range of language and structures covered in language ab initio classes is manageable for all students, and so that they marry closely with the format and contents of final assessments, language-specific syllabuses have been provided and are available on the programme resource centre.
At the language ab initio level, a student develops receptive, productive and interactive communicative skills. Students learn to communicate in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
Receptive: Students understand, both aurally and in writing, simple sentences and some more complex sentences relating to the five prescribed themes and related topics. They understand simple authentic and adapted written and audio texts and related questions in the target language.
Productive: Students express information fairly accurately, in both writing and in speech, using a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. They communicate orally and respond appropriately to most questions on the five prescribed themes and related topics.
Interactive: Students understand and respond clearly to some information and ideas within the range of the five prescribed themes and related topics. They engage in simple conversations. They use strategies to negotiate meaning and foster communication.
Language ab initio aims:
The following aims are common to both language B and language ab initio.
- Develop international-mindedness through the study of languages, cultures, and ideas and issues of global significance.
- Enable students to communicate in the language they have studied in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes.
- Encourage, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of a variety of perspectives of people from diverse cultures.
- Develop students’ understanding of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which they are familiar.
- Develop students’ awareness of the importance of language in relation to other areas of knowledge.
- Provide students, through language learning and the process of inquiry, with opportunities for intellectual engagement and the development of critical- and creative-thinking skills.
- Provide students with a basis for further study, work and leisure through the use of an additional language.
- Foster curiosity, creativity and a lifelong enjoyment of language learning.
2) Syllabus Outline:
Theme 1: Identities
Explore the nature of the self and what it is to be human.
Theme 2: Experiences
Explore and tell the stories of the events, experiences and journeys that shape our lives.
Theme 3: Human Ingenuity
Explore the ways in which human creativity and innovation affect our world.
Theme 4: Social Organisation
Explore the ways in which groups of people organize themselves, or are organised, through common systems or interests.
Theme 5: Sharing the Planet
Explore the challenges and opportunities faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.
3) Assessment Outline:
- Paper 1: Productive Skills-Writing (75 minutes)
- Paper 2: Receptive Skills-Reading and Listening (105 minutes)
- Internal Assessment: Individual Oral
- Paper 1: Productive Skills- Writing (90 minutes)
- Paper 2: Receptive Skills-Reading and Listening (120 minutes)
- Internal Assessment: Individual Oral
For more information check out the: IB Language ab initio Guide
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