IB Spanish Workshop-IB Spanish Workshop-Nord Anglia Education
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Nord Anglia
22 January, 2024

IB Spanish Workshop

IB Spanish Workshop-IB Spanish Workshop-spanish ws

On Friday 19 January, BISS Puxi hosted an IB Spanish B Workshop for Spanish teachers in the region. The event was led by Ms Emma Díaz Fernández and Dr Alexander Cattell. The purpose of the initiative was to draw on expertise and to share best practice in order to enrich the student experience of the Spanish B course and to enhance academic outcomes. The event began with an opening address from Dr Cattell, who then led a session on how to prepare students for the standard-level oral examination. Dr Cattell highlighted the importance of students linking their presentation to one of the five themes on the course and drawing on examples from Spanish-speaking countries to explore the theme. This was followed by a session led by Ms Díaz Fernández on how students can be successful in the higher-level oral examination. Ms Díaz Fernández advised selecting suitable literary texts for students, based on their abilities, interests and backgrounds. In addition, she emphasised the need for students to focus their presentation on the literary extract (linking it to the work as a whole) and recommended a range of suggested questions to support students in the follow up discussion on the presentation.

The third session focused on the Paper 2 listening comprehension examination for the standard and higher-level courses, which was first examined in 2022. Ms Díaz Fernández shared a range of engaging activities and resources that teachers and students can use to develop their listening skills and to practise examination-style questions. The workshop concluded with a session on the Paper 1 writing examination led by Dr Cattell. In this session, participants discussed the examiners’ subject report from May 2023 and considered how the recommendations in the report could inform practice. Dr Cattell also shared resources and strategies to help support students to incorporate more complex and idiomatic structures into their writing, to structure and develop their ideas fully and to demonstrate their conceptual understanding.

It is hoped that the workshop was of benefit to all of those who attended and that it will lead to future collaborations to develop our students’ command of the Spanish language and their understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse cultures of the Hispanic world.

Emma Díaz Fernández holds a degree in English and Spanish literature from the University of Salamanca, Spain. Before embarking on a career in international teaching, she held the position of Head of Spanish at one of the leading IB schools in the UK. Ms Díaz Fernández is an examiner for the International Baccalaureate for the oral examination and Paper 2 reading comprehension components of the Higher-Level Spanish B course. She has also published widely and served as an academic reviewer for a range of GCSE, IGCSE, AS and IB publications. Emma loves embedding creativity into her classroom and she has a particular interest in teaching languages through the arts (especially photography).

Alexander Cattell holds a PhD in Spanish social and cultural history from the University of Exeter, U.K., and has taught Spanish extensively in both the secondary and higher education sectors. He is particularly interested in integrating Hispanic culture (art, film, history and literature) into his language teaching. Alexander has presented at conferences in China, Europe and the U.S. on aspects of twentieth-century Spanish history, on developing metacognition and the use of questioning in the teaching and learning of Modern Foreign Languages, and on incorporating Theory of Knowledge into the IB Language B classroom.