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Language & Literature, English

Welcome to the subject site for Language and Literature.
The idea behind this site is to increase communication between the school and you the student.
You will find information about units, lesson content, homework and reference material which, hopefully, will help you to complete classroom and homework tasks.
The aim is to update the site as often as possible so it is a good habit to log on regularly.
Each MYP class will have their own heading and the  designated material will appear there accordingly.
  • MYP1

During the lesson today, we saw that a sentence must make sense.
There are three types of sentence:
1  a simple sentence  -  a sentence with one part or clause   
2 a compound sentence- a sentence with two clauses, each of which makes sense.
3 a complex sentence- a sentence with two or more clauses of different types.
A part of a sentence is called a clause. For example-  John waited for a bus. (simple sentence)
Sometimes two clauses  are joined by and or but    John waited for a bus but the bus was late. (compound sentence)
The clauses can be joined by other words e.g.  while or because and these words can be at the beginning of the 
sentence. While John waited for the bus, the weather began to turn bad.
The sentence above has two clauses. While  is at the beginning of the sentence, in the first clause. 
The first clause of the sentence does not,on its own, make sense. The first clause depends on the second clause to make
sense- therefore it is known as a dependent clause. The second clause makes sense on its own- 'The weather began to 
turn bad.'- it is known as an independent clause. We therefore have a sentence with two clauses of different types
- also known as a complex sentence.
18th March
The subordinating conjunctions which can begin or be in the middle of a complex sentence, include the following 

  • after
  • although
  • as
  • because
  • before
  • even though
  • if
  • since
  • though
  • unless
  • until
  • when
  • whenever
  • whereas
  • wherever
  • while
The words above are with the dependent clause and as we saw in the lesson yesterday can change the meaning in a 
sentence. Complex sentences increase  understanding of the text. When you need to communicate an idea rather
than just transmit information, a complex sentence can be an effective means of writing. Similarly, complex sentences
can help to vary your text. To conclude, complex sentences express relationships within the sentence between
the different clauses.

April 25th
Now with the National Test out of the way, we can concentrate on our unit plan. The last unit is called Air. The upload of this unit is available. Check in the files section below. To get us going, start to look at why air should be viewed as a resource.

April 27th
If you have researched the product of canned air write a response to the following questions:

1 Which are the positive benefits as alleged by Vitality Air ?
2 What kind of guarantees  do the company offer?
3 Can you see positive benefits in the sale of air?
4 Why might the sale of air be a negative development in your opinion?

Read the first part of Chapter 1 down as far as the paragraph ending High Court of Chancery from Charles Dickens novel Bleak House at the following link
Identify the ways in which lives are impacted by the environment in this introduction.
After reading the text, have your views on canned air? If so, how? If not, why not? 

May 9th
At the end of the last lesson, you were given the following task:
To promote the product of bottled air in Dickensian London.
How to go about this task.
Divide into prescribed groups and do the following.
1 Use some of the detailed description in Bleak House to provide a world in which to sell the product.
2 Take characters or details from the text as targets for the product.
3 Work with the language of advertising (see Vitality air) to try to convince the people of Dickensian London that the
product will change their lives. Something to think about- the modern language of the Vitality Air advertisement is different to the language used in Dickens' London. You will have to adapt words and phrases to meet requirements.
4 Work out a short advertisement for Vitality Air. This should be in the form of a dramatic dialogue.
5 You can promote the drama in the form of a poster campaign.
6 Act out the drama

May 16th
Continue to work with the dialogue.
Be ready to perform on Wednesday.

May 23rd

1      Write a reflection on the unit  Air using the following headings:



A)   Ethical choice

B)   Advertising

C)   Persuasive Language


The questions to help you decide are:


Should a price be put  on natural resources?

Is advertising always/ever truthful?

Which phrases in the advertising of Vitality Air, would persuade you to buy?



April 21st
The new unit plan, Peace is now uploaded. See in the files section below.

April 25th
By now you have researched literature with the word Peace in the title or as a theme. 
We will review your response in the lesson today.

One of the titles you may have encountered is 
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. This book is regarded as a masterpiece because it looks at the lives of people set against the 
backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. To get  a flavour of what the book is like take a look at the link:

This is a sample of children's version. If you scroll down the page you will see that you are able to look inside the book.
What are your impressions?
Where is the book set?
What do the costumes reveal about the book?
What do you interpret about the characters from this brief view of the book?

Research into children's versions of this book- keep a note of what you find keeping references.

April 27th
If you were to sell the idea of War and Peace, which tagline would you use to pitch the project to a producer?
Peace in a time of war, Napoleon, beautiful costumes, soldiers with swords and love- it somehow makes sense.
Design a poster to sell your idea. The poster should have both text and illustration. You will need to read a synopsis of the novel to 
get your own best u.s.p (unique selling point). The following guide is a good one because it tells you some good things to look for and
what to miss out on.   

April 29th

We will continue our work with the posters for the first part of the first lesson. 
Then, for the second part of lesson one, we will read chapter one of War and Peace to get a flavour of what the book is like.
In the second lesson, you will complete a comprehension exercise based on the chapter whilst we discuss the language used.
These two lessons will be part of formative assessment. This means that your active participation is  important.
Following on from these lessons, we will use our interaction with the book to prepare for our next phase of activity.                                   

May 2nd

Is peace about being able to live an ordinary life? Is peace about celebrating the ordinary? Is peace about missing the ordinary?
These are questions we will look at in today's lesson.
To help us in our quest to figure out the answers- read the following poem by the Russian poet Yevtushenko. The link to the poem is 
posted below.

This poem sets up peace versus conflict. Divide a page into two columns. At the top  of the first column write the word peace. 
At the top of the second column write the word conflict. In the first column, write any language in the poem which corresponds with
peace, and in the second column, complete with words corresponding with conflict. 
Looking back at the chapter in War and Peace, try to find common ground with the poem. To help you make sense of this exercise
consider the following points:
Which comments by Anna to Vasili hint at her truest interests (write the quote(s) in full)?
Which remarks by Vasili to Anna show that he is not too bothered about the rumours of war or indeed anything unconnected to 
his own circumstances (write in bullet points any evidence you find)?

If you were to consider Anna and Vasili in the light of Yevtushenko's poem, would you be inclined to agree or disagree with the first
line of his poem?
Give reasons for your answer.
Finally, taking the three questions at the top of this lesson, have you formulated a response. Using any evidence you have garnered
from your examination of literature be prepared to debate the three points.

May 9th
Prepare notes for discussion.  The three questions (see May 2nd) will provide the frame for discussion.
All will asked to contribute. 
How do the poem People and the prose of War and Peace reveal information which help us to determine answers to the questions.

May 11th
Continued evaluation of the way in which the poem and the text co-relate with the questions connected to peace.
Poster completion.
Compose a dialogue which will bring out the contrast between war and peace. Use the dialogue between Anna and Vasili as a model
of how two people might veer conversation between war and peace. How this dramatic dialogue will develop is up to each pair. Use
language which contrasts the world at peace against conflict.

May 15th
Your dialogue should be based on something which occurred but should also contain elements of fiction. In other words, your dialogue 
should be disguised. The theme of Peace is to be highlighted - in other words, address ordinary events, celebrate them and suggest
how it might be not to have these ordinary moments to enjoy and participate in.

May 23rd
By now you should be a good way into your dialogue if not already finished.
If you are not complete, continue to work on it. Then:

Use the following checklist to see if your dialogue meets requirements:

Checklist for dialogue about peace

Rate the dialogue on a scale of 1-5 using the following descriptions. 

A score of 5 represents best possible. 

___ The skit clearly conveys a well-defined message about peace. 

___ Each character has a clear and well-written role. 

___ The interactions among the characters help express conflicts and resolutions. 

___ The dialogue helped convey a clear message. 

___ Stage direction ( X sighs, slams door etc) is used to clearly convey a message. 

___  Movement and action is used effectively to convey a message. 

___ The backstory is well crafted through the dialogue. 

___ The backstory conveys a clear message. . 

___Scenario and dialogue are as a result of a process of trial and error. . 

___ The dialogue shows reflection on the topic of peace. 

___ The dialogue shows creativity. 

___ The dialogue shows an  understanding of the power of drama. 

Adapted from a rubric by the originator below

Copyright 2004 IRA/NCTE. All rights reserved. 

ReadWriteThink materials may be reproduced for educational purposes.

When you are completed doing a self-assessment, submit a copy to my e-mail. Then, do an assessment for one of 

your classmates and e-mail to me.

After you have finished this exercise, choose ONE of the following websites to read for inspiration and ideas.


April 11th
New unit begins- Being Free. This unit will examine different aspects of what is meant by Freedom 
The new unit plan, Being Free is now uploaded. See below.

April 25th
The unit is now underway and we have looked at  Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn. He is an example of  a writer who became 
a prisoner for his writing. Many writers are imprisoned because they dare to express the truth for the sake of freedom.
Research into this topic. Find some other examples of writers who are imprisoned for their writing. 

Homework: use the following link to  read about a case which PEN International is involved in.

April 27th
Answer the following questions based on the article about Arundhati Roy.
1  What did Roy write about to cause a reaction in the Indian court?
2 Which charge is Arundhati Roy facing in the Indian court?
3 What did the judge think about Roy?
4 Another case of a writer in custody is mentioned in the article? Who is the writer, which country is he from and which punishment has he been given?
5 What event was the writer, Salil Tripathi, taking part in when the case of Arundhati Roy was raised?
6 What was the main question in the event?
7  Some people are mentioned in  arguing that India has positive qualities. What are the qualities and who are the people mentioned?
8 What is the writer's opinion about the arguments put forward promoting India?
9 Which famous date is mentioned in the article and how might it connect with the question in #6?
10 Find out about Arundhati Roy. Read a synopsis of The God of Small Things, Roy's breakthrough novel. Wiki is as good a site as any in explaining the plot. Where is the crossover between the events in The God of Small Things and the theme of the unit- Being Free?

May 2nd

Today, we will concentrate on the writing of prisoners. 
To help with this particular task, explore the following sites:
Having explored the sites, compare your points of view.
Ask these questions: Is perspective affected by context and setting and if so, how?
                                      What do we learn about character traits from examining the poems of prisoners and their 
                                      Is being free a physical state alone or is there a wider context?

May 3rd
Continued research into the poems by prisoners. The article below is a good one because it looks at common patterns in the writing of captives.    
We can go through in the lesson but inquire into the article yourself.    

May 9th   
We will re-cap on previous lesson before looking at a new aspect of the unit.
Comment on the following statements:

What do the statements have in common?
Where do you think the statements come from? 
Can you think of any historical examples where these statements might have some truth?
Who do you think might have written these statements?
To what end might these statements have been written?     

May 10th        

The book from which the statements come is George Orwell's 1984. Research into the book keeping note of the different sources.
Use the school library online to help you do the research. The school library site link can be found on the main MIS site.
See what you can come up with. There are no definitive responses. 

May 11th
A file exploring how to use criteria A, Analysing, specifically strand A(i) is uploaded into the files section.The file is entitled matching
IB requirements to a piece of text. Try to complete the examples for the remaining headings- structure, technique and style. 
Don't worry if you are unsure which examples are best fit. Be a risk taker here! This is about inquiry- looking into the text to try to find
out how language works to deliver the author's intended effect.

May 16th
Material for this lesson will be presented to be given at the start.

May 17th
We saw a different angle on the unit Being Free, yesterday, when we looked at Twelfth Night. For the first part of the lesson, we will 
continue to look at the play with an emphasis on the input of Viola,disguised to be Cesario. Use the unit planner to try to determine
how aspects of the plan are lifted out to match the issues raised in Twelfth Night. 
Look particularly at the language used by and about Viola which indicate her true position in this play.
Is she a woman, a man, or both?
Make a case for all three.
Can Viola be herself? Why or why not?

May 19th

There is a very interesting essay on the freedom or otherwise of women as it relates  to Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's own perspective
and women in general during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). The link to the essay is included below.

Read the essay for content and comparison with our unit Being Free.
Are there any conclusions you can draw from a reading of the essay?

May 23rd

Trace themes of  freedom in Twelfth Night.

 Questions to aid in response:

 A  Is Viola a free spirit?  Why, why not?  Find quotes in the play to support your answer.

B  How are Olivia and Orsino (The Duke) unable to fully realise their sense of freedom?

    Your response should take into account all aspects of the two characters lives and


C  What does Shakespeare have to say about ‘Being Free’ in the play?

    Do you sense that he believes his characters can truly be free or is he of the opinion

    they are constrained( look it up!) by circumstance?

 D   Does Twelfth Night remind you of any of the other texts we have studied in this unit?

     List and explain your answers.

April 5th

Taking one of the essays from the IB entrance test, those members of the class who were in on Friday put together a plan for how to construct a piece of writing. Their efforts might come in useful for the National Test.

The essay rubric was :  How do you want to see the world develop and what can you do to bring about change?

                                          You will write from a present perspective projecting into the future.

So, for example- using environment as a launch pad for subject material- you might begin by saying that

Environmental issues present us with our greatest challenge going into the 21st century whether it be the lack of clean air on the streets of Beijing or the scarcity of clean water in the shanty towns of La Paz.

So, how do you begin to work on an essay like the one above? 

1- Start with planning.  One of the best ways is to set up questions. The tried and trusted method is the five Ws and H approach. Who, What, Why, Where, When, How?

If we use environment as our means to frame the writing- we start to link up with the questions. Who is responsible for sustaining the environment? - governments, individuals, corporations, pressure groups, households - give concrete examples, like the Beijing  and La Paz examples up above. What is meant by 'environmental problem'? -pollution, de-forestation, food security, global warming. Again go after concrete examples: 

Do you ever think about the environment when you shovel your waste packaging from a cheeseburger meal into the waste? Not only are you contributing to the pollution (those plastic caps on your orange juice) but also de-forestation (is it really necessary that your Burgengiant cheese burger needed to come in its own paper box?). With swathes of South American forests wiped out, pretty soon, the Xingu indian tribes won't be able to guarantee their manioc food supply. Never mind, my stomach is full for a few minutes at least. What's a hundred acres less of Amazon rain forest, an island of plastic adrift in the Pacific Ocean or an annual rise in Greenland's temperature by 30ºc? 

Why is the question which provides the basis for choosing environment as a key issue in relating the essay to future change. Why is environment important to economy, health, development and resource use in the future? Why do all parties( me, the government, Greenpeace, and Huge Corporation™) have an equal role in saving our planet for future generations?

Logan Berry is a young man with a mission. He wants to make it possible for people whether they are reclusive tribes relying on their crops in the forests of Brazil or co-operatives making baobab batik in Swaziland to have the same opportunities in life as himself. Berry, a sixteen year old Swede has started an organisation in his native Malmö to encourage young people to care for the environment. He says: "My mother is from Scotland and sometimes when I visit the Shetlands, I get the feeling that they too might succumb to environmental degradation. That's why, my friends and I decided to set up SORT IT OUT! (SIO!)" Berry explains that they are going around to all restaurants in Malmö, explaining why sorting waste both food and packaging is so important and trying to get their agreement to take a leading role.

Similarly, Where provides you with a raft of possibility. Which countries would you like to contrast? Sweden and Swaziland were the two that we came up with. 

Studies have shown the rise in fast food consumption in Sweden correspond incrementally with the decline in the economically valuable baobab tree in Swaziland.

When sets up a time framework- When is environmental disaster coming? How about right now, 2016? How about in Rio de Janeiro? How about the Olympics of this year with the rise in the type of mosquito virus called Zica?

Ask Professor Carol Chinaqua of the State University of Rio de Janeiro's Biology Department why we cannot wait for others to make decisions for us. "We cannot continue to put off dealing with environmental impact caused by developed countries continuing to consume increased quantities of fast food. Their unwillingness to confront the global issue, which is, the warming of the earth's atmosphere is having a profound impact on our population. Already, there are huge increases in the numbers of mosquitoes carrying the deadly Zica virus. It has to stop!" said Professor Chinaqua. "Visiting athletes from around the world might be the next victims of this dreadful virus."

 How is used towards the end of the essay when you want to tie up the points you have raised. So in this case, you would find connections between the different strands in the writing, creating a coherent piece of text designed to appeal to a reader. How to link up baobab trees with the Zica virus or cheeseburgers with Xingu. 

So, reader, I'm married to the future. My role in saving the planet for my children and grandchildren is, I believe, fundamental to making the difference. It is not enough to expect Burgengiant to tidy up outside their restaurant and that's all. Nor should some poor Xingu child go to bed hungry because of Swedish indifference. Why should babies born in the coming year have their lives compromised by a festering swamp outside Rio, home to the mosquitos carrying Zica? I am going to play my part. That's why it is time to join SIO!

Remember- concrete examples make it interesting. They keep you reading and wanting to find out more. These guidelines  are designed for use in the National Test as much as anywhere else. Feel free to use them.

April 21

The National Test in English is on Monday 25th April at 08:30 in the Aula. Be there by 08:20. The first paper is B1

Reading. We have already practiced for this section so there should be no problem with it. You will have 90 minutes. The second paper, B2 is Listening. Again, we have practiced and there should be minimum difficulty. This test will take about 50 minutes.

Part C of the National Test is on Wednesday 27th April at 08:30 in the Aula. Again, be there at 08:20. This is the writing section. It will take approximately 80 minutes.

On Friday 29th April, there will be a short assessment on the the unit, Money. This assessment will be in the form of short answer questions rather than an essay.

May 2nd

The unit plan Escape is now uploaded. Take a look at it to get an idea of what is ahead.

May 3rd

Read up about Samuel Beckett and the plot of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Consider if the play is relevant to the theme of the unit. Questions concerning the play will be up for discussion on May 9th.

The link to the play is

Watch the first 11 minutes to get a feel for this play. Listen and observe.

1 What are your reactions to the language?

2 What do you think of the setting?

3 Who was Samuel Beckett? Find out a bit more about him.

May 10th

Use the following link to access a pdf format of Waiting for Godot

Read down as far as  - It must be dead. (where there is a picture of a dead tree)

Does the writing alter your perception of the segment of the play which you watched?

If so, in which way(s)? 

Using the statement of inquiry and the inquiry questions (see pdf for Escape) attempt to find connections with the play.

The connections can be everything from words used in the text, to symbols, to ideas and themes or any other examples which you care to mention.

May 18th

Today we will look at Twelfth Night, a comedy by William Shakespeare. The theme of Escape is prevalent in different ways. At the beginning of the play we meet Viola on a beach talking to a sea captain. She has escaped from a shipwreck in which her twin brother Sebastian has apparently been lost. She is a stranger in a strange land, Illyria, and must decide if  she will search for her brother there. However, in order to do this, Viola will have to adopt a disguise. She will have to escape from her own personality into that of a man in order to be accepted at the court of the Orsino, Duke of Illyria. This creates all sorts of problems and possibilities. Escape, as we see, is not an easy option.

May 24th

Questions for Twelfth Night:  Make a list of the different types of escape both physical and psychological which Shakespeare

                                                      raises in Twelfth Night.

                                                       Find examples of Viola, Olivia and Orsino being unable to escape their circumstances. 

                                                       List the examples giving your interpretation of their importance to the unit title. 

                                                       Is Twelfth Night in any way comparable to Waiting For Godot in terms of the unit title?

Alternative questions   Look up dictionary definitions and thesaurus entries for the word escape.

                                                 Can you identify language in the definitions which relates to any issue or discussion topic

                                                 connected with lessons, literature in this unit?

                                                 How do the learner profiles intersect with the issue of escape as it relates to anything covered in this unit?

May 26th

Look up the word serendipity. 

Inquire into its origins. 

Can you find any aspects of the word which emerge from texts examined in this unit?

Is there a relationship between serendipity and creativity?

Do Samuel Beckett and/or William Shakespeare employ serendipity in the creative process and if so how?



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