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IB Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature

IB Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature

Studies in language and literature

Group 1 courses are intended to develop a sophisticated appreciation of the aesthetic, social and  cultural aspects of literature and language.

Schools require all their students to study English as a Group 1 subject and have the option of  studying the

Language and Literature or Literature course. Those fluent in a second language may  choose to study a second Language A instead of a Language B or Language ab initio. Different  schools offer different options of language study and native speakers of another language can follow  a Language A Literature self-taught SL course.

Those students planning to read English Literature at university are recommended to take the Literature option. The Language and Literature course explores modes of communication in greater depth together with the analysis of major literary texts and has proven to be very popular amongst our students.

The new syllabus that will be taught as of September 2019 has not been released at the time of Writing this article but the following will explain the differences between the courses.


Language A: Language and Literature involves the study of language and of literature in equal measure. The study of the texts produced in a language is central to an active engagement with language and culture and, by extension, to how we see and understand the world in which we live. A key aim of the Language and Literature course is to encourage students to question the meaning generated by language and texts, which, it can be argued, is rarely straightforward and unambiguous.

Helping students to focus closely on the language of the texts they study and to become aware of the role of each text’s wider context in shaping its meaning is central to the course.


The course is built on the assumption that literature is concerned with our conceptions, interpretations and experiences of the world. The study of literature can therefore be seen as an exploration of the way it represents the complex pursuits, anxieties, joys and fears to which human beings are exposed in the daily business of living. It enables an exploration of one of the more enduring fields of human creativity, and provides opportunities for encouraging independent, original, critical and clear thinking. It also promotes respect for the imagination and a perceptive approach to the understanding and interpretation of literary works.


Both courses will follow a very similar assessment:

    • Commentary on unseen texts
    • A literary essay comparing and contrasting two works they have studied
    • An individual oral exploring texts they have studied during the programme of study.

The difference between the courses will be in the works studied as Language & Literature students will use both literary and non-literary works in their assessments but Literature students will only draw on literary works.

The format of the examinations will be very similar but Higher-Level students will study more works than Standard Level students and they will be expected to provide more depth to their answers

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