DP Spanish Ab initio

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I.             INTRODUCTION:
 
Welcome to IB Spanish ab initio Course! Learning and teaching foreign languages have always been challenging and rewarding experience for me, and I am looking forward to working with you in the next 2 years 
 
II.           COURSE DESCRIPTION (from Language Ab initio guide):
 
Language ab initio is a language acquisition course designed for students with no prior experience of the target language, or for those students with very limited previous exposure. It should be noted that language ab initio is offered at SL only. At the language ab initio level, a student develops receptive, productive and interactive communicative skills. Students learn to communicate in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. 
 
Receptive: Students understand, both aurally and in writing, simple sentences and some more complex sentences relating to the five prescribed themes and related topics. They understand simple authentic and adapted written and audio texts and related questions in the target language. 
 
Productive: Students express information fairly accurately, in both writing and in speech, using a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. They communicate orally and respond appropriately to most questions on the five prescribed themes and related topics. 
 
Interactive: Students understand and respond clearly to some information and ideas within the range of the five prescribed themes and related topics. They engage in simple conversations. They use strategies to negotiate meaning and foster communication. 
 
III.         COURSE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 
The aims of Language Ab initio course are: 
  1. Develop international-mindedness through the study of languages, cultures, and ideas and issues of global significance. 
  2. Enable students to communicate in the language they have studied in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes. 
  3. Encourage, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of a variety of perspectives of people from diverse cultures. 
  4. Develop students’ understanding of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which they are familiar. 
  5. Develop students’ awareness of the importance of language in relation to other areas of knowledge. 
  6. Provide students, through language learning and the process of inquiry, with opportunities for intellectual engagement and the development of critical- and creative-thinking skills. 
  7. Provide students with a basis for further study, work and leisure through the use of an additional language. 
  8. Foster curiosity, creativity and a lifelong enjoyment of language learning. 
 
The objectives of Language Ab initio course are: 
 
  1. Communicate clearly and effectively in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes. 
  2. Understand and use language appropriate to a range of interpersonal and/or intercultural contexts and audiences. 
  3. Understand and use language to express and respond to a range of ideas with fluency and accuracy. 
  4.  Identify, organize and present ideas on a range of topics. 
  5. Understand, analyse and reflect upon a range of written, audio, visual and audio-visual texts. 
 
IV.         COURSE CONTENT:
 
Prescribed themes 
 
Five prescribed themes are common to the syllabuses of language ab initio and language B; the themes provide relevant contexts for study at all levels of language acquisition in the DP, and opportunities for students to communicate about matters of personal, local or national, and global interest. 
The five prescribed themes are: 
  • identities 
  • experiences 
  • human ingenuity 
  • social organization 
  • sharing the planet. 
Prescribed topics 
 
Because a structured learning environment is crucial for the success of beginning language learners, the language ab initio syllabus prescribes four topics for each of the five prescribed themes. Thus, in total there are 20 topics that must be addressed in the language ab initio course. Although the themes and topics are prescribed, the possible questions are suggestions linked to the themes and are not prescribed
  • Identities
  • Personal attributes
  • Personal relationships
  • Eating and drinking 
  • Physical wellbeing 
  • Experiences 
  • Daily routine 
  • Leisure
  • Holidays
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Human ingenuity
  • Transport
  • Entertainment
  • Media
  • Technology
  • Social organization 
  • Neighborhood
  • Education
  • The workplace
  • Social issues
  • Sharing the planet
  • Climate
  • Physical geography
  • The environment
  • Global issues
Texts
 
For the purposes of teaching and learning in a language acquisition course, the language ab initio syllabus organizes written, visual, audio and audio-visual texts into three broad categories: personal,professional and mass media texts. The guiding principle for using texts in the DP language acquisition courses is to develop students’ receptive, productive and interactive skills in the target language by focusing their attention on the ways in which good communicators consider the audience, context and purpose of what they want to say or write in the process of choosing and developing an appropriate text type to convey a message. 
 
Conceptual understanding in language acquisition courses 
 
For language acquisition courses, it is important to note that the approach presented here for developing conceptual understanding recognizes that DP students are not beginning students, even when they are beginning learners of a language or do not demonstrate a high level of language proficiency. At all levels of language acquisition, therefore, DP students are encouraged to make use of the thinking, communication and research skills they have developed over years of experience in school, and to transfer those skills to the target language at the pace—and within the contexts and for the purposes—that their language skills development will allow. 
 
V.           ASSESSMENT
 
a.    IB exam 
Assessment component
Weighting
External assessment (2 hours 45 minutes) 
 
Paper 1 (1 hour) 
Productive skills—writing (30 marks)
                                                                        
Two written tasks of 70–150 words each from a choice of three, choosing a text type for each task from among those listed in the examination instructions.
                                                                        
Paper 2 (1 hour 45 minutes)
                                                                        
Receptive skills—separate sections for listening and reading (65 marks) 
 
Listening comprehension (45 minutes) (25 marks)
 
Reading comprehension (1 hour) (40 marks)
                                                                        
Comprehension exercises on three audio passages and three written texts, drawn from all five themes.
                                                            
75% 
 
25%
                                                                        





 
50%
                                                            
                                                
                                    
                        
 
Internal assessment                                                              
This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.
                                                                        
Individual oral assessment
A conversation with the teacher, based on a visual stimulus and at least one additional course theme. (30 marks)
 
25%
                                                            
                                                
                                    
                        
 
 
b. Class
Students will be evaluated based on their performances on units tests, quizzes, debates, oral presentations, discussions and reading and written assignments. They also will be awarded a grade based on the IB scale of 1 to 7. Internal ISB exams will follow the IB model of exams.
Grades will be calculated mathematically based on raw scores. The quarter grade will be mathematically calculated and rounded to the nearest whole number in order to provide an overall grade of 1 to 7.
 
VI.          EXPECTATIONS:
 
Spanish students are expected to come to class prepared, to have an open­minded attitude towards all classroom activities, to complete all in­class and homework assignments on time and thoroughly, to demonstrate respectful behavior in class, and treat each other with caring and empathy. Students should use the target language whenever possible and from the very beginning the course has an explicit communicative approach!

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