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I'll be entering Pre-DP soon and I have to choose my A1 (mother tongue) language. I speak English at home and have done so my entire life but I'm not sure whether choosing English as my A language is a good idea seeing as I've never had any advanced English classes at school (grammar etc.) - just simple stuff

So, getting to my question; is it a good or bad idea for me to choose English as my A1 language? Will I struggle cause I've never had any actual English classes before? What kind of stuff do you do in A1-language class at IB?

Edited by Clooney38

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For A1 you need to be very fluent. You generally read novels and analyse their language, plot etc. -- so you write essays and give presentations. It's not so much language as literature (which assumes a very high level of language if you're going to be able to understand everything and write the essays etc.). So you don't do grammar or vocabulary or anything "learning a language"-esque like that. Whichever language you're most comfortable speaking and writing in is the one I'd do for A1. Even if you speak another language at home, if you're more comfortable with your day-to-day one, perhaps do that and then take English A2 (which is also a very high level of English, just not presuming native fluency).

If "Pre-DP" means the year BEFORE you start doing the IB, I wouldn't worry about it too much and just use this as a year to experiment. Ask your teachers what they think is best and then if it would be possible to maybe start off in English A1/your other language A1 and switch around as you go along.

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For A1 you need to be very fluent. You generally read novels and analyse their language, plot etc. -- so you write essays and give presentations. It's not so much language as literature (which assumes a very high level of language if you're going to be able to understand everything and write the essays etc.). So you don't do grammar or vocabulary or anything "learning a language"-esque like that. Whichever language you're most comfortable speaking and writing in is the one I'd do for A1. Even if you speak another language at home, if you're more comfortable with your day-to-day one, perhaps do that and then take English A2 (which is also a very high level of English, just not presuming native fluency).

If "Pre-DP" means the year BEFORE you start doing the IB, I wouldn't worry about it too much and just use this as a year to experiment. Ask your teachers what they think is best and then if it would be possible to maybe start off in English A1/your other language A1 and switch around as you go along.

Thing is that I enjoy writing in English a lot more than Norwegian. I read books written in both languages and I don't really think I'm that more advanced in my language of education. I suck at analyzing texts but I'm really good at writing my own stuff.

Do they in class assume I know all the words?

Edited by Clooney38

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Yes, you would need to have a working vocabulary, but there's not anything that you can't really use a dictionary for. If you don't know a word, you can ask someone or look it up. English is my main language, and I certainly don't know all the words. Far from it! I would think if you're reading books that normal 14-16 year old students whose primary language is English read, then you'll be fine.

Grammar might hurt you when you're doing essays, but I don't think you'd be at a distinct disadvantage. Your posts look just fine, if that's anything to go by. And over the last several years in my area, teachers stopped teaching grammar to kids from a small age, so a lot of people in my class need help with grammar. If you don't know the more complicated rules, you're not alone and you can definitely learn. I think if you can express yourself in English, go for it!

There is also context & connotation that you would need. What I mean by that is knowing the difference between synonyms, for example. Or just having a basic understanding of Christianity [this is actually crucial considering how many writers are influenced by it and refer to it!]. Since you've been speaking it naturally for all your life, I don't think this would be a problem for you either. =)

And if you're not Christian and have no exposure, there are certain things you can learn to recognize and you just don't let the rest bog you down. That's what I try to do!

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Yes, you would need to have a working vocabulary, but there's not anything that you can't really use a dictionary for. If you don't know a word, you can ask someone or look it up. English is my main language, and I certainly don't know all the words. Far from it! I would think if you're reading books that normal 14-16 year old students whose primary language is English read, then you'll be fine.

Grammar might hurt you when you're doing essays, but I don't think you'd be at a distinct disadvantage. Your posts look just fine, if that's anything to go by. And over the last several years in my area, teachers stopped teaching grammar to kids from a small age, so a lot of people in my class need help with grammar. If you don't know the more complicated rules, you're not alone and you can definitely learn. I think if you can express yourself in English, go for it!

There is also context & connotation that you would need. What I mean by that is knowing the difference between synonyms, for example. Or just having a basic understanding of Christianity [this is actually crucial considering how many writers are influenced by it and refer to it!]. Since you've been speaking it naturally for all your life, I don't think this would be a problem for you either. =)

And if you're not Christian and have no exposure, there are certain things you can learn to recognize and you just don't let the rest bog you down. That's what I try to do!

Okay, thanks for all the info. I'm going to take English cause it's going to benefit me more in the long run.

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Yes, you would need to have a working vocabulary, but there's not anything that you can't really use a dictionary for. If you don't know a word, you can ask someone or look it up. English is my main language, and I certainly don't know all the words. Far from it! I would think if you're reading books that normal 14-16 year old students whose primary language is English read, then you'll be fine.

Grammar might hurt you when you're doing essays, but I don't think you'd be at a distinct disadvantage. Your posts look just fine, if that's anything to go by. And over the last several years in my area, teachers stopped teaching grammar to kids from a small age, so a lot of people in my class need help with grammar. If you don't know the more complicated rules, you're not alone and you can definitely learn. I think if you can express yourself in English, go for it!

There is also context & connotation that you would need. What I mean by that is knowing the difference between synonyms, for example. Or just having a basic understanding of Christianity [this is actually crucial considering how many writers are influenced by it and refer to it!]. Since you've been speaking it naturally for all your life, I don't think this would be a problem for you either. =)

And if you're not Christian and have no exposure, there are certain things you can learn to recognize and you just don't let the rest bog you down. That's what I try to do!

Okay, thanks for all the info. I'm going to take English cause it's going to benefit me more in the long run.

I think universities prefer you to choose English as your A1 subject as well. Just work hard during the holiday!

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Yes, you would need to have a working vocabulary, but there's not anything that you can't really use a dictionary for. If you don't know a word, you can ask someone or look it up. English is my main language, and I certainly don't know all the words. Far from it! I would think if you're reading books that normal 14-16 year old students whose primary language is English read, then you'll be fine.

Grammar might hurt you when you're doing essays, but I don't think you'd be at a distinct disadvantage. Your posts look just fine, if that's anything to go by. And over the last several years in my area, teachers stopped teaching grammar to kids from a small age, so a lot of people in my class need help with grammar. If you don't know the more complicated rules, you're not alone and you can definitely learn. I think if you can express yourself in English, go for it!

There is also context & connotation that you would need. What I mean by that is knowing the difference between synonyms, for example. Or just having a basic understanding of Christianity [this is actually crucial considering how many writers are influenced by it and refer to it!]. Since you've been speaking it naturally for all your life, I don't think this would be a problem for you either. =)

And if you're not Christian and have no exposure, there are certain things you can learn to recognize and you just don't let the rest bog you down. That's what I try to do!

Okay, thanks for all the info. I'm going to take English cause it's going to benefit me more in the long run.

I think universities prefer you to choose English as your A1 subject as well. Just work hard during the holiday!

even more reason to take it. great!

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