Understanding IB Assessment: Language & Literature / Individuals & Societies

There are four equally-weighted assessment criteria for each subject in the IB MYP. Because it is not always clear to students and parents what these criteria entail, I have decided to write a short blog explaining what exactly is being assessed in the two main classes I teach at EISB: English Language & Literature (ELL) and Individuals & Societies (I&S). 

More information about these subjects and the criteria that are assessed can be found in the MYP subject guides. I have added links to these subject guides at the bottom of this blog where you may read more about these two subjects in general, and their assessment criteria in particular. 

English Language & Literature (ELL)

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In ELL, students are assessed on the following four criteria: analyzing, organizing, producing text, and using language. Each of these are briefly explained below:

Criterion A: Analyzing 

“Students demonstrate an understanding of the creator’s choices, the relationship between the various components of a text and between texts, and make inferences about audience responses and creators’ purposes. Students use the text to support their own responses and reflect on different perspectives and interpretations.”

Criterion B: Organizing

“Students understand and organize their ideas and opinions using a range of appropriate conventions for different forms and purposes of communication. Students recognize the importance of maintaining academic honesty, respecting intellectual property rights and referencing all sources accurately.”

Criterion C: Producing Text

“Students produce written and spoken text, focusing on the creative process itself and on the understanding of the connection between the creator and his or her audience. Students make choices aimed at producing texts that affect both the creator and the audience.”

Criterion D: Using Language 

“Students develop, organize and express themselves and communicate thoughts, ideas and information. They use accurate and varied language that is appropriate to the context and intention.”

Now that you know what each ELL criterion involves, here is an example to show you the progression from MYP 1 to MYP 5. In this case, we are looking at Criterion A (Analyzing) for ELL:

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Individuals & Societies (I&S)

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In I&S, students are assessed on the following four criteria: knowing and understanding, investigating, communicating, and thinking critically. Each of these is briefly explained below:

Criterion A: Knowing and understanding

“Students develop factual and conceptual knowledge about individuals and societies.”

Criterion B: Investigating

“Students develop systematic research skills and processes associated with disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Students develop successful strategies for investigating independently and in collaboration with others.”

Criterion C: Communicating 

“Students develop skills to organize, document and communicate their learning using a variety of media and presentation formats.”

Criterion D: Thinking critically 

“Students use critical-thinking skills to develop and apply their understanding of individuals and societies and the process of investigation.”

Now that you know what each I&S criterion involves, here is an example to show you the progression from MYP 1 to MYP 5. In this case, we are looking at Criterion A (Knowing and understanding) for I&S:

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It should be clear from the above examples that, as students progress through the MYP, greater complexity and higher order thinking skills are expected of them – and this is reflected in the different learning objectives for that year. For example, as shown above, in ELL, both MYP 1 and MYP 5 students are assessed using Criterion A (Analyzing). However, in MYP 1, students are expected to be able to “identify and comment upon significant aspects of texts”, whereas MYP 5 students are expected to be able to “analyze the content, context, language, structure, technique and style of text(s) and the relationship among texts”.

I hope that helps you better understand the assessment criteria that are used in the IB MYP English Language & Literature and Individuals & Societies courses. If you have any further questions about how your students are assessed in these classes then you can do one of two things:

1. Explore the subject guides:

Subject guide for ELL

Subject guide for I&S

2. Send me an email at beadle@eisbratislava.org 🙂

Have a great day!

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Thomas Beadle

As a new teacher at EISB, I would like to share a bit about myself. My name is Thomas Beadle (Mr. Thomas) and I am originally from Ottawa, Canada. I just moved to Bratislava at the beginning of August to begin an exciting new chapter teaching at EISB. The main subjects I will be teaching here are ‘English Language & Literature’ and ‘Individuals & Societies’ in the IB MYP. I’m looking forward to getting started and meeting you all!

Thomas Beadle has 21 posts and counting. See all posts by Thomas Beadle

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