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What's the point in Language A1?

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I've just come across the following:

"Failure to meet expectations in a Language A1 subject has been known to have a dangerous after-effect which can lead to a lack of employment and a general inability to contribute to society."

Since I'm consistently not liking working for my Language A1, I'm wondering:

WHYYY does LAN A1 consist of literature, i.e. reading books+analysing them??? what does that have to do with real life??? Shouldn't we rather have to write more useful stuff in our exams (e.g. summaries or even stories with which we could win competitions and earn money!!) and be able to communicate adequately (i.e. speak about different topics with "high" vocabulary)!????!!!

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Woah.. where's that quotation from? 'Inability to contribute to society' sounds pretty harsh.

From my point-of-view, analyzing the texts can prepare you for many professional jobs. Learning to read what the words mean and what they imply and how the author is manipulating the words is pretty important. Whether you're reading a contract to buy a house [and hopefully you do read contracts and don't just skim them or ignore them], reading a brief as a judge, reading a scientific journal as an engineer, etc, you'll benefit from the critical analysis of the document. On another level, TOK-wise, literature presents knowledge we can't necessarily find anywhere else. It presents knowledge about ourselves, and it's extremely subjective, but it's rare in the sense that I can't conduct an experiment and go back in time and control every variable I need to.

Some works are very influential. Satire and dystopias come to mind. If I'm not mistaken, we read messed up books to better understand our societies. We notice what threads are specific to the community at hand and which threads are universal. The more we're exposed to different kinds of literature, the more we can know about ourselves, our forefathers, and our future. Too corny?

Edit: To address your question "Shouldn't we rather have to write more useful stuff in our exams (e.g. summaries or even stories with which we could win competitions and earn money!!) and be able to communicate adequately (i.e. speak about different topics with "high" vocabulary)!????!!!"

I should hope your Language A1 class is helping you express yourself better! In both spoken and written word. My English [A1] class often revolves around discussion. We read, and then we share our thoughts. We often end with more questions than we started with. Anyways, the discussions have definitely helped me organize my thoughts better without writing them down and have helped me figure out how to support what I want to say. And the essays have done the same.

Why would IB want you to regurgitate what you read? Yes it shows that you have read it and that you can memorize, but that's not all that life is about. The exam asks you to improvise and analyze because mastering these things will help you more in life. In fact, you can use the things you've learned in Lang A1 to enter into writing competitions, if you wish. No, the course isn't perfect, and I'm not against change, but I think it's quite useful.

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I've just come across the following:

"Failure to meet expectations in a Language A1 subject has been known to have a dangerous after-effect which can lead to a lack of employment and a general inability to contribute to society."

Since I'm consistently not liking working for my Language A1, I'm wondering:

WHYYY does LAN A1 consist of literature, i.e. reading books+analysing them??? what does that have to do with real life??? Shouldn't we rather have to write more useful stuff in our exams (e.g. summaries or even stories with which we could win competitions and earn money!!) and be able to communicate adequately (i.e. speak about different topics with "high" vocabulary)!????!!!

I think Lit A1 gives you a number of things. It gives you a greater appreciation of literature, a propensity for greater reflection, some of the skills as to how to write things yourself (picking apart other people's work technically can be very rewarding in that aspect... and also some more practical things, like the opportunity to nap for X lessons a week, a subject you don't need to revise for and a great way to tone all the muscles in the hand you write with.

I'd say it gives you both of the things you mentioned. Skills as to how to write (although being fair, you never have to put them into practice) and exposure to a large vocabulary which hopefully you'd use or pick up on. They're not really very useful or practical skills, but the greatest gift Language A1 can give to you is the greatest gift a subject can give anybody: an easy 7 :P

No clue where you found that quote because it's a little bit mental and extreme sounding. There's no subject which suddenly determines you're a failure within society. If you can't cope with A1 it suggests that perhaps you can't read or write (!!!) or perhaps just have a very poor facility for analysis and reflection, which isn't necessarily going to stand you in good stead -- but equally if you struggle with Maths (like meee) you have a very poor facility for abstract logical reasoning, a hopeless memory and are rubbish at mental arithmetic. This also isn't going to stand you in good stead, but it's not the end of the world. I mean, why else are there calculators, right? xP

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No clue where you found that quote because it's a little bit mental and extreme sounding. There's no subject which suddenly determines you're a failure within society. If you can't cope with A1 it suggests that perhaps you can't read or write (!!!) or perhaps just have a very poor facility for analysis and reflection, which isn't necessarily going to stand you in good stead -- but equally if you struggle with Maths (like meee) you have a very poor facility for abstract logical reasoning, a hopeless memory and are rubbish at mental arithmetic. This also isn't going to stand you in good stead, but it's not the end of the world. I mean, why else are there calculators, right? xP

Well, got it from wiki... (so I should probably not put too much weight on it :P )

Hm, I'm not good at analysing stuff coz I had never learned it before the IB! My previous (German) teachers were just... kinda rubbish (the last 2 years prior the IB we didn't read a single book with my teacher back then!!)... I love writing (stories, poems,...) though!! Why is there not such thing as a calculator for Maths in Literature? Like a "Analyser" :P or at least, since we're allowed to use a formula booklet in Maths, we should be allowed to use a "formula booklet" (= all the literary terms + co) in LAN A1...

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Why is there not such thing as a calculator for Maths in Literature? Like a "Analyser" :) or at least, since we're allowed to use a formula booklet in Maths, we should be allowed to use a "formula booklet" (= all the literary terms + co) in LAN A1...

Because literature isn't about formula. It's about what you get from the text you read, it's about the impact the text have on you, and every person might interpret a piece of literature differently. Yes, there are "formulaic" aspects to it, such as what is considered a simile and what is a metaphor, but it's not enough to recognise what is a simile and what is a metaphor. The thing that matters is what that simile or metaphor means and its place in the work as a whole. The whole point of the IB is to do subjects from 6 different groups - so you can't expect A1 to be like Maths; they're in different subject groups for a reason. Not to mention, the way of knowing used in each is totally different!

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No clue where you found that quote because it's a little bit mental and extreme sounding. There's no subject which suddenly determines you're a failure within society. If you can't cope with A1 it suggests that perhaps you can't read or write (!!!) or perhaps just have a very poor facility for analysis and reflection, which isn't necessarily going to stand you in good stead -- but equally if you struggle with Maths (like meee) you have a very poor facility for abstract logical reasoning, a hopeless memory and are rubbish at mental arithmetic. This also isn't going to stand you in good stead, but it's not the end of the world. I mean, why else are there calculators, right? xP

Well, got it from wiki... (so I should probably not put too much weight on it :P )

Hm, I'm not good at analysing stuff coz I had never learned it before the IB! My previous (German) teachers were just... kinda rubbish (the last 2 years prior the IB we didn't read a single book with my teacher back then!!)... I love writing (stories, poems,...) though!! Why is there not such thing as a calculator for Maths in Literature? Like a "Analyser" :) or at least, since we're allowed to use a formula booklet in Maths, we should be allowed to use a "formula booklet" (= all the literary terms + co) in LAN A1...

Just found it. I think judging by

It is said that performance in a Language A1 subject is most indicative of overall intellect, as the final Paper 1 exam requires and demands a composed response to a previously unseen piece.

It may have been written by somebody very proud of being good at A1 xP

Analysing things is partly something you can learn and partly something you can just do naturally. It's just about asking yourself what you think and why you think it. Being able to tack literary terms into the explanation of that is useful, but not the major analytical bit :P

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Since I'm consistently not liking working for my Language A1, I'm wondering:

WHYYY does LAN A1 consist of literature, i.e. reading books+analysing them??? what does that have to do with real life??? Shouldn't we rather have to write more useful stuff in our exams (e.g. summaries or even stories with which we could win competitions and earn money!!) and be able to communicate adequately (i.e. speak about different topics with "high" vocabulary)!????!!!

I agree with you, and often wonder that myself. It's sorta like, why bother reading Shakespeare and analyzing it, when we don't speak that kind of language today. (I'm really only saying that because I can't stand Shakespeare :))

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I agree with you, and often wonder that myself. It's sorta like, why bother reading Shakespeare and analyzing it, when we don't speak that kind of language today. (I'm really only saying that because I can't stand Shakespeare :))

Aww, I've asked that myself thousands of times when reading Romeo and Juliet! It's so hard, the original version and the German one. You're so right, it's just not the language we're using and we shouldn't be supposed to "understand", analyse - and whatever - it!

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