Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

How many years of _________ language?

Recommended Posts

At my school, we have to take 5 years of a language before we may take the IB test. That seems odd to me, because it is SL, and most SL courses are only 1 year.

How long is a normal amount of time to take a language before taking the IB test?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a random note, SL courses are usually 2 years - most people outside of the USA actually take the IB diploma as their whole educational programme so they take all 6 subjects simultaneously for both years. Anyway, that aside, most people who did B for a language have done at least 2-3 years of a language, often 4 or 5 as you said. I don't think there's a normal amount of time, it's mostly just a standard amount of ability, I guess. People doing B are usually either fluent people trying to get an easy 7 (which the schools technically should filter out) or people with a mediochre level of language, no matter how many years they've been learning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people at my school take four years of a language before they sit for the Spanish B/French B/Latin SL exam.

It's impossible to become proficient enough at a language to the standards that are expected of you in a language B SL class in one year. Ab initio languages are usually 2 years. It's kinda like if you haven't been exposed to a language at all before IB, you can still meet the requirements fairly if you do ab initio.

Think about it like this... for any class you take at IB, it's not like you have no prior knowledge of it whatsoever. You're not coming in with a blank slate. Even if you were, it'd be easier to understand a subject you have no concept of at all than it would be to grasp a language and acquire good writing, listening, and speaking skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was learning Japanese for 4 years before starting Jap B. You need to have some knowledge of the language before doing the B course, so it is normal to have been studying it before. The course would be impossible otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took French for 11 years before writing the French B SL exam. But that's because French is the second official language in Canada and we have to take it in the regular school curriculum at least until grade 9. So basically the IBC only enforced 2 extra years of French.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the information. It is all very interesting, especially the bit about SL courses outside of the United States usually being two years. I had absolutely no idea that was the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my school:

A2 English or Spanish

Pretty much your whole life

French B

3 years of Lower School French + 2 years of IGCSE French

French ab initio

0 to 3 years of Lower School French

Mandarin ab initio

You start from scratch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my school, most people have done three years of language prior to commencing language B, although, there are some who had done more (about 6 years) and others, such as my self who had done less (1 1/2 years). It varies, it really depends on the standard of language that the person is at, irrelevant of how long they've studied it for. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my school, most people have been learning their language for 4 years, but some people only have 2 or 3 years before starting the IB. I did German for 3 years before starting IB and I find the German SL course not too easy, but not incredibly difficule either.

The ab initio Spanish at our school is only really for people who want to do IB and don't already have a language, so they start from scratch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My school doesn't offer a plethora of language options, because in Canada, it's pretty much assumed that most people will take their French B exam. Most of us have studied French for approximately 9 to 11 years prior to writing that exam.

We also offer French A2 for those who have gone through the French Immersion programme. These people are more proficient because they've been studying French in-depth ever since they were around 5 or 6 years old. Therefore, A2 is a better choice for them.

We also offer Spanish and Japanese ab initio. For those courses, you've only needed to study the languages for two years - IB 1 and IB 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All people in my French B HL class have taken the language for at least 5 years before starting the IB (so they sit the exam after 7 years). By the time I'm doing the exam I will have studied French for 9 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done about 10 years of japanese..

but i only do ab initio cause thats all my school offers...

but i guess then, its an easy 7 for me.

you pretty much have to be a native speaker to even do Spanish B

and they refuse to offer Japanese B.

its really annoying though..

so yeah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my school French is taught for five years before IB, so in theory that's how much experience people should have. However, out of my class of only five two speak French at home (apparently they can justify it because they have never been to a French speaking school.) One goes to France every holiday and is naturally good at languages. I've lived in France for two years from the age of 9-11 and have steadily been loosing my French ever since. So we only really have one "normal" student.

Most people at my school take German, because we are in Germany. They are a bit more strict though about which class they put people in though; the B class is quite small most take A2 (although a good proportion of these are German), or of course A1. There is ab intio for those people who have only just moved to Germany; but having German spoken around them all the time must give them a huge advantage.

Then there is also Japanese and Korean but only A1. And a small Spanish class, I thinks its B, regardless its full of native speakers.

I suppose it would be fair to say that languages are the soft/easy subjects for most people in my school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took French for 11 years before writing the French B SL exam. But that's because French is the second official language in Canada and we have to take it in the regular school curriculum at least until grade 9. So basically the IBC only enforced 2 extra years of French.

wow that's so cool ! Here in Alberta, especially at my school, the minimum you need of French before French IB is 2 semesters of it in grade 10. Our province only offers it starting grade 7 as compulsory, but most drop it in grade 8. Then if you want to take it in our school for IB, you need to take it for 2 semesters in grade 10, and that's supposedly good enough. Grade 10 french is pretty much a highly intense crash course in french, it's really difficult =( I personally did primary school under the British curriculum in Kenya, so I've been taking French since I was 7. I'm not sure what level French our school offers, but I do find it pretty easy because I've been studying it for 9 years, whereas some students only started last year. But our school only offers 1 level of French, so we're all glomped in that one category. There is a girl in my class who is from Quebec, so her French is even better than mine, and she's in the same level of French, too ! I don't know what the IB rules are regarding this, but I definitely find it a little unfair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my school, French and a third language are mandatory until Grade 9 (mostly as a "taster", not really a prerequisite). French is a four-year program whereas third language is a three-year program, so each of those courses are a prerequisite for each other. IB courses only kick in in Grade 12 so you can only do an IB language if you have taken the 9,10,11 prerequisite courses of high school French and 2 years of third language.

It's similar to how you cannot simply jump into Grade 12 Calculus - you have to have math, functions and advanced functions under your belt if you want a chance of survival. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need 3-5 years. I've always assumed it was five years because Spanish 6 and French 6 are the IB courses, but those chinese classes ... I don't really know how those are arranged. some people take 3 years while others take 7 :D

Edited by 2401 I Hate Tangents

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my school, we were offered only Spanish B SL and German B HL. Since I didn't feel well with German (I've been studing it 3 years before), I've decided to take up Spanish. I've studied it only for 1 year in pre-IB class before etering the programme and it's not bad so far. I think the level is quite unfair though since there are also people who have been studing Spanish even 6-7 years before. But then it motivates me to work harder, and I am able to achieve even higher grades than they do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.