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Should I self-study?

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Spanish B HL

  • Presentation on current affairs in Spanish in pairs - every week we take turns in presenting an event of interest that has happened to the class, describing and explaining it as well as answer spontaneous questions on the topic
  • Watch Spanish news videos - particularly on the news Spanish-speakers speak very quickly, so it's good for comprehension and discussion
  • Learn core topics - we learn a topic for a couple of weeks, through discussing the issues and the history of the topic as a group, as well as key vocabulary and a test on that vocab
  • Literature (HL-specific) - read short stories (given by teacher), analysing the events of the story and the key themes, as well as the possible thoughts and feelings the character(s) experienced. Another thing we do is discuss possible hypothetical events that could happen in vein of the story
  • Grammar practice - review/learn grammar and then tested on it
  • Learn text types and their conventions (e.g. how to write an article)
  • Read texts, and like the Lit component, analyse and complete comprehension questions
  • Paper practice, oral practice (individual and group), and Written Assignment practice
  • Analyse the marking criteria for a better understanding of what the examiners want
  • To do at home: READ, READ, AND READ!

I can understand how your class aren't doing HL papers yet (I personally did SL papers during IB1), but it's a bit worrying that you're doing ab initio. You should already have that foundation (especially since you've finished your first term/semester) and not have to go through the basics.

I don't think you should self-study this component, because it is essential to have that oral practice, especially since there is a GROUP oral (the interactive oral) that makes up part of the Internal Assessment. If I were you, I'd ask your Spanish teacher on why you're doing ab initio papers, and discuss what their plan is for the upcoming classes.

English A1 SL

  • Read key parts of your exam/IOC/IOP texts together with the class, analysing it together and discussing the key themes and issues and literary features found in the extract
  • Discuss essay technique and text conventions
  • Discuss conventions of literary genres, e.g. the Gothic, and thus how it applies to the text(s) being studied
  • Presentation on a given text/section of a text, explaining all of the above to the class
  • Research background information, e.g. critics' quotes and the context of the text
  • Discuss the possible interpretations of the symbolism utilised in the text
  • Analyse the marking criteria for a better understanding of what the examiners want

Again, I think it's best for you not to self-study. Discussion in class helps implement the information, and you are able to glean new information or interpretation by listening to your classmates and teacher.

Key point: teachers are able to provide marking for exams using exam criteria - you may waste large amounts of time trying to understand the criteria, even before you can actually mark it. Plus another POV can be helpful.

I think the best thing for you to do is to review by yourself following the lesson at home (which you should do) for the moment, and see how that goes. Don't forget to do extra practice if you feel it is needed.

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Hello kanykoo12,

I agree with carpediem here that discussion in class with your teacher and other classmates is a wonderful learning tools, giving you new insights and ideas into things you are analyzing or reviewing.

If you feel worried about what is going on in your classes, it wouldn't hurt to ask the teachers what direction you are heading in. If you don't feel the desire to do so, because you are a shy person, self-studying might not be bad.

As carpediem said, self-studying when you feel you haven't got something fully covered is absolutely encouraged, but going to the teacher with questions is even more effective.

But truth be told mate, this isn't a perfect world, and not every teacher will meet a certain standard, and this is in every school.

If I had a suggestion for you as safety, it would be to keep organized with all your classes, always have resources (in binders, folders, the computer) that can be easily found and used when the time comes. Record your notes.

And when the time comes that you may not understand something or want insight on certain projects, so we can lead you in the right way.

You are already at the right place. Here.

Let me know if you need anything else,


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To be honest, you've done more than our History and English classes have if you started this fall.

In English A1 HL we've only written Written Task 1 and in History HL we've written three essays (SL students have written two).

I think the work will increase next year, but as for now there isn't really too much to handle at my IB school, either.

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We've tried multiple times to talk to our Spanish teacher (not just us but many of her students did) but she just wouldn't budge... And as for other teachers I guess I'll try talking to them if nothing changes after this quarter.

And cheers to all of us... hope we get through this program well.

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