During the first term Ms Gardin and Ms Sankar’s Year 13 IB English A: Language and Literature classes have been focusing on a critical study of literature. Ms Gardin’s class read George Orwell’s 1984, and Ms Sankar’s class read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. The students were tasked with preparing an oral presentation and revision handout for their peers. The purpose was twofold. The oral presentations were an excellent practice for the Individual Oral Commentary assessment component. As well, the presentations and handouts will serve as an engaging introduction to the novel for the other class, as Ms Gardin’s class will now read Half of a Yellow Sun, and Ms Sankar’s will read 1984.
The presentations took place in the last week of September, and each group of students focused on a different topic in the novel such as the social, historical and political context; character development; major themes and ideas; and the authors’ use of language for effect. The students analyzed these texts with a critical lens, employing Marxist and feminist literary criticism.
The Individual Oral Commentary will take place in January 2017. Each student will be given an extract of approximately 40 lines from one of the texts studied (HL students will also study William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience). They have 20 minutes to annotate the text and prepare an oral commentary exploring the structure, style and meaning of the extract. The student then gives a 15 minute oral commentary which is recorded, marked internally, and sent to the IB for moderation.
Based on the students’ sharp analytical skills, academic use of language, and fluent oral speaking, we are expecting our students to achieve excellent results on this component which is worth 15% of the final grade. Thank you to all of the students for making these presentations a great success!
Update from: Ms. Barbi Gardin, Head of English