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Welcome to the InThinking Revision Site for the IB Diploma English A: Language & Literature course. This site is authored by Neil Allen, and is designed to support you not only with how to be successful in this course's assessment components, but also to give you a rich and deep understanding of the conceptual framework of the course so that you can really connect with the ideas behind and within it. Good luck, and enjoy.

Essential Questions

The IB Diploma is the global benchmark for pre-university, post-16, High School education - you can learn more about it in About the Author & About the IB Diploma. Being an inquiry-driven programme, the articulation of essential questions at the forefront of any study is a prerequisite. Below you find kinds of questions that will be answered within this section of the site:

What is the IB Diploma and how must I approach it to be successful?

What are the assessment components within the course by which my final grade will be determined?

What are the weightings for the different assessments for the English A: Language & Literature course?

What are the seven concepts of the English A: Language & Literature course, and how should they be integrated?


The site is designed to help you succeed in your important IB English A: Language and Literature course, whether you are a Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL) student, and whether you are already doing well with English studies or experiencing some challenges.

You can learn more about Neil Allen, a very experienced teacher and leader of this course and the author of this site, in About the Author & About the IB Diploma. There are a number of resources on the site also contributed by the excellent David McIntyre. David is also a very experienced teacher and leader of this course, as well as the author of the ThinkIB teacher site, also produced and published by InThinking.

Feel free to move around this site using it to support each area of your assessment. If you are just getting started, why not check out The Course at a Glance, where you are provided with a clear and detailed course overview, or A Conceptual Framework, which will give you insight into the roles played by the Areas of Exploration and the Concepts of the course.

Aside from this, the site will provide you with samples of student work to assess and to compare to the examiners' notes, explanations of how to structure your responses in every assessment component to be sure that the level of your understanding in your head is reflected by what you produce on paper (always a challenge when you're not shown how to do it properly), and ideas for what to include in The Learner Portfolio and how to reflect effectively on classroom learning.

This section will:

  • Introduce you to the IB, to Neil, and to how to use this site;
  • Give you insight into the course at a glance and its conceptual framework;
  • Explain the assessment of the course;
  • Explain the marking of those assessment components.

  • About the Author, this Site & the IB Diploma

    This page contains an introductory video for the site and an explanation about the IB Diploma.

  • The Course at a Glance

    This page will tell you, as concisely as possible, what is to be expected and required in the course to make you not only a successful learner of English A: Language & Literature, but also to achieve the best possible grade at the end of the...

  • Areas of Exploration

    This page is a great place for you to start your revision. Here you can think deeply about why we study literature and non-literature, in order to develop a conceptual approach to the course and the areas of exploration.

  • Assessment - The Basics

    It is important to understand how you will be assessed, and when you will be assessed. An understanding of assessment - what and when - will help you organize your studiesĀ and help you in your ambition to succeed. In the everyday language of...

  • Marking Criteria - The Basics

    Let's be really clear about this: Knowing the marking criteria for each of your assessment components is a really good idea. Of course, you have more subjects that you have to study beyond English A Language and Literature. In fact, if you...