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IB HL World Literature 1: Focus on the Americas

This is the first in a two-year period of study which fulfills the requirements of the IB HL English Literature course. Students write an extended research paper on an American writer and a formal critical essay on a work in translation. Emphasis is placed on a student’s ability to respond independently to works they have not seen before. Students work towards written and oral commentaries which pay particular attention to the writer’s craft.

This course furthers students’ understanding that while literature is considered a product of the time and culture within which it was written, we strive also to look for universal understandings or transcendent beliefs that unify human existence or human culture.

Students learn that writers are often in communication with writing and writers of previous times, creating a discourse across time. The course examines the various roles that literature then plays in society and the nature of the knowledge acquired through literature. Through reflection and inquiry, students examine how their own experiences influence the way that they understand and respond to what they read. Students are expected to participate in class discussions every day, weighing various points of view, synthesizing ideas in relation to each other, and ultimately forming an opinion of their own.

Written and oral assignments are both creative and critical in their implementation and process, demanding an ever-increasing appreciation of the choices writers make in their work. These assignments take students through the process of gaining feedback, editing, and revising. Each term is a self-defined unit covering an aspect of World Literature, focusing on the skills of close reading, inquiry, writing, and speaking.

Open to: Juniors