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Tips for Individual Oral Discussion HL

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I recently have done my Internal Oral Commentary A1 Higher Level English and my teacher told me that my year (exams May 2013) is the first year to have a do a discussion which is now included within the internal oral commentary if you take Higher Level Language A1 subject. As I have done my commentary, I thought I could pass on tips for anybody else who are wondering how to prepare for the discussion.

Those who don't know, the discussion happens after the commentary, which your teacher will tell you what text you will discuss following question which you should answer for 10minutes. The discussion is part of Criterion D and E in the IOC Assessment criteria so you must have knowledge and understanding of the text and your response must be effective and persuasive. So here are my tips on how you can get those top marks:

a) Know your text: know the outline of the text that you have studied in class and be tactical, see how your school do the IOC and drop hints here or there to your teacher to make they understand which text you can do better on because they want you to succeed!

b) Pick out specific quotes: I suggest picking out key quotes for particular scenes or quotes that define certain characters. If you do this, you'll save yourself stress and time of re-reading the whole text again plus we do more than one and you have no clue which text you will get. Make sure these quotes are versatile and they could fit any sort of question

c) Plan ahead: Plan your answers on questions you believe they could ask you on the particular text. Plan for context, pivotal moments, all sorts if you do so, you won't be surprised when at the exam and your teacher asks you a question and you're like "-_-... Damn!" So just mind map things or however you like to plan.

d) Practice: When you get the time whether it is at home, on the bus, on the train - practice speaking as though you are speaking in the commentary and practice making sense of talking without pre-thought, that skill will help you in the long run believe me!

e) Relax: There's always more to learn, but there is never enough time in the day to do so. Just relax and don't let the nerves get the better of you otherwise you may be in danger of stumbling over your words and to be honest, it's not a good look in the exam

I hope all of that helped, apologies if I got the information above about being the first year to do the discuss, maybe it's solely in my school as we're the second IB cohort the school has ever had but I hope the information above still helps others.


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