IB Language B (HL and SL)

French B (SL and HL), German B (SL and HL), Mandarin B (SL only), Spanish B (SL and HL)

Course description

Higher and Standard Level Language B courses are designed for pupils who have already been studying the language for at least 3 years. Authentic materials such as films, articles, documentaries and advertisements are used to explore contemporary and historical topics from the point of view of the target-language culture(s).  Lessons are conducted in the target language and students develop a high level of oral fluency.  IB linguists also gain a deep understanding of the nuances of language as they learn to write texts in a range of formats including formal letters, speeches and blogs.

Both Higher and Standard-Level courses cover three core topics and two optional topics from a choice of five.

Core topics:

  • Social relations
  • Global Issues
  • Communication and media

Optional topics

  • Health
  • Science and technology
  • Leisure
  • Customs and traditions
  • Cultural diversity

For Higher Level coursework, pupils also read two literary texts and chose one as a stimulus for a creative piece of writing, for example the diary of one of the characters.

Higher Level courses are aimed at pupils who are considering a languages as part of a degree, whilst Standard Level is designed for those who wish to continue with their language studies beyond GCSE, but are perhaps not planning to study them at university.

Requirements for HL Language B

  • Minimum A* at GCSE (or equivalent)
  • A genuine passion for the target language and culture
  • An interest and willingness to explore literature in the target language
  • Completion of a course in a country where the target language is spoken during the lower 6th

Requirements for SL Language B

  • Minimum grade A at GCSE (or equivalent) (A* for Mandarin)
  • An interest in languages and foreign cultures, even if you might not plan to study them at university
  • A willingness to communicate in the target language
  • Spending time in a country where the language is spoken during the lower 6th year would be beneficial.

Assessment structure

  • Reading paper: (1hr30) – based on the core topics (25%)
  • Writing paper: (1hr30) – based on the options – requires understanding of text types (25%)
  • Coursework (SL: 300-400 words + 150-200 words rationale; HL: 500-600 words + 150-250 words rationale: creative response to literature) (20%)
  • Individual oral based on one of the options (20%)
  • Interactive oral based on core topics (10%)

Potential careers

Language qualifications can lead directly to careers in the business world, travel, tourism, literature, journalism and the media, translation, diplomacy or teaching. However, the real value of studying languages lies in the skills you acquire: understanding other world perspectives, being sensitive to different cultural values and knowing how to communicate positively with others are all crucial if you are to flourish in an increasingly international world.  Many top employers value language graduates highly, simply because they have developed the interpersonal skills to connect and interact with others.

Contact for further information

Dr RS Kirkham: rsk@wellingtoncollege.org.uk