Course Syllabus


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IB Syllabus


Room – E105     Telephone: 704-290-1520         Email:

I respond promptly to emails during school hours, M-F 7:40am-3:15pm.

  1. Knowledge and understanding
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of individual literary works as representatives of their genre and period, and the relationships between them
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which cultural values are expressed in literature
  • Demonstrate awareness of the significance of the context in which a work is written and received
  • Substantiate and justify ideas with relevant examples
  1. Analysis, synthesis and evaluation
  • Demonstrate an ability to analyze language, structure, technique and style, and evaluate their effects on the reader
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage in independent literary criticism on both familiar and unfamiliar literary texts
  • Show an ability to examine and discuss in depth the effects of literary techniques and the connections between style and meaning
  1. Selection and use of appropriate presentation and language skills
  • Demonstrate an ability to express ideas clearly and fluently in both written and oral communication, with an effective choice of register and style
  • Demonstrate a command of terminology and concepts appropriate to the study of literature
  • Demonstrate an ability to express well-organized oral and written arguments
  • Demonstrate an ability to write a sustained and detailed literary commentary


Group 1 Aims

The aims of Language A: Literature at HL are to:

  1. introduce students to a range of texts from different periods, styles and genres
  2. develop in students the ability to engage in close, detailed analysis of individual texts and make

relevant connections

  1. develop the students’ powers of expression, both in oral and written communication
  2. encourage students to recognize the importance of the contexts in which texts are written and


  1. encourage, through the study of texts, an appreciation of the different perspectives of people from

other cultures, and how these perspectives construct meaning

  1. encourage students to appreciate the formal, stylistic and aesthetic qualities of texts
  2. promote in students an enjoyment of, and lifelong interest in, language and literature
  3. develop in students an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism
  4. develop the students’ ability to form independent literary judgments and to support those ideas.


Language A Essential Questions Adapted from T.O.K.

  • Is a work of literature enlarged or diminished by interpretation? What makes something a good or bad interpretation?
  • How can a literary work of fiction, which is by definition non-factual, convey knowledge?
  • What is the proper function of literature—to capture a perception of reality, to teach or uplift the mind, to express emotion, to create beauty, to bind a community together, to praise a spiritual power, to provoke reflection or to promote social change?
  • Does familiarity with literature itself provide knowledge and, if so, of what kind—knowledge of facts, of the author, of the conventions of the form or tradition, of psychology or cultural history, of oneself?
  • What knowledge of literature can be gained by focusing attention on the author? Can, or should, authors’ intentions and the creative process itself be understood through observing authors or knowing something of their lives? Is the creative process as important as the final product, even though it cannot be observed directly? Are an author’s intentions relevant to assessing the work? Can a work of art contain or convey meaning of which the artist is oblivious?
  • What knowledge of literature can be gained by focusing attention solely on the work itself, in isolation from the author or the social context?
  • What knowledge of literature can be gained by focusing attention on its social, cultural or historical context?
  • How important is the study of literature in individual/ethical development? In what ways?
  • What constitutes good evidence within the study of literature?
  • What knowledge can be gained from the study of literature?
  • What is lost in translation from one language to another? Why?
  • Can literature express truths that cannot be expressed in other ways? If so, what sort of truths are these? How does this form of truth differ from truth in other areas of knowledge?



Reading List: Fall Semester

  1. Summer Reading: China in Ten Words by Yu Hua and translated by Allan Barr – 0307739791 (test in the first week of school)
  2. 1984 by George Orwell  ISBN: 978-0452262935
  3. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  4. Poetry by TBD

Reading List: Spring Semester

  1. Antigone – Sophocles 429 BC
  2. Hamlet or Macbeth or Othello by Shakespeare 1500
  3. Poetry , Non-Fiction, and Short Stories by TBD


Room – E105     Telephone: 704-290-1520         Email:

Materials Needed:

  • Loose-leaf paper and binder
  • Your own copies of the novels we will read in class.



Students will complete all assignments. All assignments must be fully completed to be considered for credit.  No partial credit will be given.


Late work will receive a deduction of ten points for each day it is late.  Late work will not be accepted if it is more than 48 hours late.



It is your responsibility to check the “while you were out…” drawers for any missed work.  You will not be reminded about missed work.

  • You are expected to make up any work missed because of an absence.  In some cases, I may give you alternative assignments.
  • Ask a classroom partner for class notes.
  • Schedule all make-up quizzes and tests with me upon your return.
  • If an assignment was due while you were absent, it should be turned in on your first day back to school. 
  • PLEASE NOTE:  All make-up work must be completed in accordance with school policy.  Any work that is not completed in the established time frame is late and will not be accepted.



  • Be respectful.
  • Be prepared.
  • No food or drink allowed in the classroom.
  • No electronic devices – cell phones and iPods must be off at all times.
  • Cheating is a major violation and will result in a zero – plagiarism is considered cheating.
  • Follow the discipline policy in the student handbook





I have read and understand the course syllabus, as well as the expectations for all assignments, given to me by Mrs. May.  I know that I have the right to ask questions and ask for help.  I understand that it is my responsibility to complete all work missed within the allotted period. 


Parent Signature___________________________________________Date_______________


Student Signature__________________________________________Date________________



[1] Information copied from the IB Diploma Program publication Language A: Literature Guide

Course Summary:

Date Details Due