Group 2 Subjects


Students have a choice of languages and levels offered at IB, either at Language B or Ab Initio level.

Language B

Currently French and Spanish are offered both at Higher or Standard Level, as Language B options, though various other factors are taken into consideration such as student demand, staffing, etc. when offering Language B choices. Students opting for this course will normally have some experience in the foreign language (e.g. lived in a country where that language is spoken) and/or have achieved at least a Grade C at IGCSE level or equivalent).

During the two year IB Programme at Language B level, students are exposed to a wide range of authentic language in a variety of contexts, both written and oral/aural. At whatever level and in whatever language, students are encouraged to make full use of whatever resources they have at their disposal to develop to the maximum their exposure to and ability and confidence in ‘receptive’ skills (Reading and Listening) and to use this to assist in ‘productive’ skills (Speaking and Writing). Much use is made of authentic, current and literary texts (both written and aural) to give students not only valuable exposure to various styles of language usage but also an important insight into various aspects of the culture and traditions of the countries where the language is spoken.

Having followed the Language B course, it is our aim that students will have the confidence, ability and interest to express themselves orally and in writing in the foreign language meaningfully, effectively and accurately and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken.

SL and HL are differentiated by the recommended number of teaching hours, the depth of syllabus coverage, the study of literature at HL, and the level of difficulty and demands of assessment criteria.

The core of the course has topics that are common to both levels (SL and HL), is divided into 3 areas (as follows) and is a required area of study.
Communication and media
Global issues
Social relationships
In addition, at both SL and HL, teachers select 2 from the following 5 options.
Cultural diversity
Customs and traditions
Science and technology
Also, at HL, students read 2 works of literature.


Assessment for the Language B course is as follows:

70% of the total grade.

Paper 1 (1 hour 30 minutes). Receptive skills (25%).
Paper 2 (1 hour 30 minutes). Written productive skills (25%).
Written assignment. Receptive and written productive skills (20%).
30% of the total grade. Internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB.

Individual oral (8-10 minutes) 20%. Interactive oral activity 10%.

Ab Initio

Currently French and Spanish are available at Ab Initio depending on student demand, staffing, student numbers, etc. The Ab Initio Programme is designed for students with no previous experience of learning the language.

As with the Language B Programme, at Ab Initio level, we are strongly committed to a communicative approach to the teaching and learning of Modern Languages and we put great emphasis on students having the confidence and ability to express themselves meaningfully and effectively both orally and in writing. Likewise, we endeavour to encourage skills and strategies among our students to understand authentic texts in the foreign language, whether written or spoken.

The language Ab initio course is organized into the 3 themes, Individual and society, Leisure and work and Urban and rural environment.

Each theme has a list of topics that provide the students with opportunities to practise and explore the language as well as to develop intercultural understanding. Through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills, students should be able to respond and interact appropriately in a defined range of everyday situations.

75% of the total grade.

Paper 1 (1 hour 30 minutes). Receptive skills (30%).
Paper 2 (1 hour). Productive skills (25%).
Written assignment (2 hours). Receptive and productive skills (20%).
25% of the total grade.

Individual oral (10 minutes). 25 marks. Interactive skills.
(3-part oral internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB towards the end of the course.)