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The International Baccalaureate English A divides into 3 courses: English Literature; Language and Literature; Literature and Performance. In most cases, schools opt for the first two courses, as they are more closely aligned with the curriculums in both pre and post IB English. English Language B is designed for non-native and non-fluent English speakers. Although most ESF schools in Hong Kong do not offer IB English B, it is offered by many IB-stream local schools.
The courses are divided into Standard Level and Higher Levels of study. Students wishing to continue their English studies into University are recommended to take the HL course, as it better prepares students for the depth of enquiry expected at degree level.
The courses contain presentational components that will be based on the close study of literature (IOC and IOP). The literature can be either prose, poetry or drama, but teachers will usually select texts that have overlapping elements with respect to theme, context or application. Both the Literature and the Language and Literature courses consist of 2 final exam papers: an unseen paper, and a paper featuring questions on studied texts.
For Language B, the Paper 1 mainly tests the student’s reading comprehension skills, and Paper 2 tests the student’s ability to follow written text type conventions.