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Can a non-native speaker do English A1?

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Hey everyone!

It's my first year in IB diploma program (started 3 weeks ago).

Right now my classes are:

HL

Modern Greek A1

German B

History

SL

Economics

Math

Biology

So the only actual english class I have is History (all my SL classes are taught by Greek teachers with terrible accents and grammar :P and some of them are even having their classes in Greek! )

So I've been thinking to trade my Modern Greek with English but standard level and raise my economics to HL.

I'm not a native speaker, my mothertogues are Greek and German.

But I learned English in 3 years time (I have the Cambridge C2 certificate), I'm generally a fast learner. And I'm positive that having English A1 is definitely going to help my with my SAT I, SAT II (literature) as well as debating (I'm in my school's forensics club).

So what do you think?

Is a 7 in English A1 doable for a person who is not a native speaker?

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A 7 in English A1 (or any A1 to be perfectly honest) is a crazy thing to get. It's very difficult to obtain, especially if you're not a native speaker. That being said, there is no reason as to why you can't do English as your A1. You clearly have a good grasp of the language and I'm sure that by the time your exams come around, your analytical skills will improve and you will be able to score well if you work hard.

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Thanks for your reply!

I'm pretty good at writing (have a huuuuuge MUN career and collection of research reports and resolutions :P ) and I can definitely live with a six!

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It's easier to get a 7 in standard level than higher level, so perhaps a 7 IS within reach. But, it would require SO much effort and work. You should try and make sure your World Literature, IOP and IOC (or whatever the orals are called in the new syllabus :P) are amazing, so that your final exams don't have to count for as much. English is really turning into a universal language, so it's always a good idea to excel in it. Good luck :)

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only in 3 years? I don't know how fluent you are if you've studied English only for 3 years! try reading an english classic novel and see if you could understand the book. if you've looked up the dictionary for more than 10x, then English A1 is not for you.

I'm a native Indonesian speaker doing Indonesian A1 SL but I sometimes find it difficult to analyse poems... can't imagine analysing English poems given it's only my second language!

btw since you're May 13, there's no A1 and A2 anymore. it's A Lit or A Lang&Lit. why not go for the latter? I think English A Lang&Lit shouldn't be too difficult for you.

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A 7 in English A1 isn't really that impossible if your teacher is relatively high quality. I know plenty of people who got 7s in both SL and HL -- and importantly they were both native and non-native english speakers.

English around the world seems to me to be phenomenally badly taught is all I would say. Until I went on IBS I didn't realise that it was considered a tough subject to score well in - at my school it was taken as a soft subject because it requires basically no work except for reading then turning up to the exam! And doing your IAs of course, but they're quite quick to complete as they're all short. SO I would see how well people usually do in English A1. If your school does have a record of achieving 6/7s then I'd say you should go for it because it's quite straight forward and once you've got the technique you're fine.

On the other hand, if it has no such record then I'd be wary. English A1 really does seem very terribly taught on a global level! If you don't have somebody in a position to teach you the right approach and techniques you might find it hard to score well. I consider myself lucky that the British system basically teaches all the IB skills long before you actually get to IB level, as I otherwise can't find a way to explain how so many schools around the rest of the world seem to struggle so badly to get top grades in IB English.

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A 7 in English A1 SL is relatively manageable if you just have a little skill, some practice, and a teacher who knows what he/she is doing. Also, analysing literature is one of the easiest aspects of the course, it's all about bullish!tting convincingly. I used to make up the most random rubbish imaginable and get away with it because I just somehow connected it to the text in some bogus way. Just takes a bit of practice and a very active imagination. I had many non-native English speakers in my IB English A1 HL class when I did the IB, none of them got 7s, but a number of them got 6s and 5s, and even more non-native speakers in the SL class who did decently well as well.

If you like to read and the language interests you, then I don't see it as being too much of a problem for you.

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