Group 2 Spanish edit

Spanish B Higher Level (HL) suits someone who has studied the language for 4-5 years. Spanish Standard Level (SL) is suited to someone who has 2-5 years experience. Beginners should opt for Spanish ab initio. Native or bilingual speakers, if already doing English or French in Group 1, should take Spanish A2 in Group 2. This wikibook focuses on Spanish B HL and SL.

Differences between HL and SL edit

The structure of the course should be similar whether studying HL or SL. However, HL students should have more allocated teaching time and more homework. In addition, HL students should be exposed to more complex language, be introduced to a variety of literary styles and explore more culture. While a SL student would be expected to communicate orally and in writing in a variety of common situations and with a certain degree of fluency, a HL student would be expected to communicate orally and in writing in a wide variety of situations with clarity and fluency. SL and HL are differentiated by the recommended number of teaching hours, the depth of syllabus coverage, the study of literature at HL, and the level of difficulty and demands of assessment and assessment criteria. The core—with topics common to both levels—is divided into three areas and is a required area of study. • Communication and media • Global issues • Social relationships In addition, at both SL and HL, teachers select two from the following five options. • Cultural diversity • Customs and traditions • Health • Leisure • Science and technology

Also, at HL, students read two works of literature.

Syllabus edit

There is one Language B Guide that covers all (30+) languages taught in Group 2. This means that it is the responsibility of the teacher to design a course suitable for the needs of the students. Despite this freedom, there are two main strands around which a teacher can base his own course: Text Type (or Communicative Purpose) and Topics. In addition, the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing should be interlinked throughout the course.

Types of Text edit

The IB Spanish course is intended to prepare students to be able to understand and write a variety of types of texts, including: brochures, diary entries, police statements, anecdotes or short stories, informal letters and emails, formal letters and emails, letters to a newspaper, news articles, opinion articles (editorials/columns), essays, reports, book reviews and film reviews. Students should also learn to write “spoken” texts such as interviews, speeches and conference presentations. The more complex texts should be reserved for HL students, for example: interviews, conference presentations, essays and creative writing.

Topics edit

Anything related to Hispanic culture, society and history can be studied, as well as issues relating to young people and the international community, for example:

El deporte, la salud, el ocio, la moda, el botellón, el papel de la mujer, el machismo, las relaciones personales, el amor, el turismo, el medio ambiente, la solidaridad, la globalización, la educación, la lectura, la tecnología, el internet, el espanglish, las comunidades indígenas, las fiestas, las tradiciones, la tauromáquia, el flamenco, los gauchos, el tango argentino, la gastronomía, el arte, el cine, el narcotráfico, la política, los conflictos internacionales, la inmigración.

Authentic Resources edit

It is very easy to find authentic resources in Spanish on the internet. For the news and current affairs use high quality websites such as (Radio y televisión española),, Don’t limit yourself to articles; search in the archives for videos and podcasts too. is fantastic for music videos (with lyrics), interviews with famous people, publicity, and is a lively source of background information on almost any topic. Films are a must for any student wanting to explore issues of culture and society. Films made in Spain and Latin America are becoming increasingly mainstream in the UK and are equally accessible to SL and HL students, for example: Volver, María llena eres de gracia, Amores Perros, Y tu mamá también, El orfanato, El laberinto del fauno, La lengua de las mariposas.

Literature edit

HL Students are required to read two "works" authentic literature, such as whole books or plays or collections of poems or short stories. Accessible authors to start with include Federico García Lorca (La casa de Bernarda Alba, Bodas de Sangre), Laura Esquivel (Como agua para chocolate), Carlos Fuentes (Aura). Extracts of lengthier works can be studied in order to gain an appreciation for different styles including Gabriel García Márquez (Cien años de soledad, Crónica de una muerte anunciada), Miguel Delibes (Cinco Horas con Mario), Fernando Fernán Gómez (Las bicicletas son para el verano), Jorge Luis Borges (Ficciones), Miguel de Cervantes (Novelas ejemplares), Juan Rulfo (Pedro Párramo), Pablo Neruda (Confieso que he vivido), Mario Vargas Llosa (La fiesta del chivo) Roberto Bolaño (Los detectives salvajes), Mario Benedetti (Aquí se respira bien), Luisa Castro (La segunda mujer).

Assessment and grading edit

Students sit two written exams: Paper 1 and Paper 2, each lasting 1hr30. In addition, a written assignment is produced under teacher supervision during the school year. Internal Assessment comprises Interactive Orals and an Individual Oral. Students are assessed throughout on their Language, Interaction and Message.

The grade boundaries shift slightly in every exam sessions, and remain to be established in the new program for initial testing in 2013.

Externally assessed written assignment: This paper, new to the curriculum for 2013, is written by students under teacher supervision, but submitted for external evaluation. For HL, the paper is based on the literature topics studied. For SL, it is based on a selection of three related non-literary readings which the student uses as a basis for the paper.

Paper 1 (Text Handling) 1hr30 25% edit

Section A) Reading Comprehension: 30-40 questions based on 4 texts (Texts A, B and C). Question types include true or false with a justification, looking for synonyms, inserting conjunctions, identifying which noun a pronoun refers to, matching titles with paragraphs, multiple choice, identifying the main purpose of the text. All answers should be exact words lifted from the text; do not try to explain or paraphrase. 1 mark is allocated to each question.

Paper 2 (Writing in Registers) 1hr30 25% edit

Students have a choice of 5 topics covering different areas of study and types of text. In addition, HL students have a second written item reacting to a short reading.

Internal Assessment 30% edit

Interactive Oral: At least 3 group orals should be assessed in the final year of the course and the best mark is put forward. Interactive Orals can take many forms, for example: a prepared presentation followed by questions, a formal debate, an informal discussion, a role-play, or a spontaneous response to a film-clip. Interactive orals are marked by the teacher. The more orals done in class, the less nerve-wrecking they become.

Individual Oral: The Individual Oral takes place in the final year and lasts 8-10 minutes. It is conducted and marked by the teacher and recorded for external moderation. The mark is added to the best Interactive Oral mark. Part 1 is a 3-4 minute presentation on a picture related to a curriculum theme. Part 2 involves 5-6 minutes of unprepared discussion with the teacher based on the picture's topic.

Extended Essay in Spanish edit

Students can choose to write their Extended Essay (la monografía) in Spanish as part of Group 2. The EE can be written either on aspects of Language, Culture & Society, or Literature. Students should read carefully the Extended Essay Guide (2009) and the Group 2 Subject Specific criteria. Writing the EE in Spanish is excellent preparation for university study of the language.

External Links edit

IB Spanish B HL/SL Revision Guide for students and teachers

IB Online Curriculum Centre for teachers