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International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

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13800 Pierrefonds Boulevard, Pierrefonds H9A 1A7

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Assessment - Language Acquisition

The MYP requires the study of at least two languages to support students in understanding their own cultures and those of others. At PCHS, we offer three languages:

English (as described in Language and Literature)
French (at the proficient level)
Spanish (at the emergent level)

Table 1

Here are the key concepts to be explored across the MYP. The key concepts contributed by the study of language acquisition are communication, connections, creativity and culture.

Aesthetics Change Communication Communities
Connections Creativity Culture Development
Form Global Interactions Identity Logic
Perspective Relationships Systems Time, place and space

These key concepts provide a framework for language acquisition, informing units of work and helping to organize teaching and learning.


Communication is the exchange or transfer of signals, facts, ideas and symbols. It requires a sender, a message and an intended receiver. Communication involves the activity of conveying information or meaning. Effective communication requires a common “language” (which may be written, spoken or nonverbal). Through the exploration of language and the process of learning language, we exchange, express and transform information, facts, ideas, meanings and opinions. Communication is the basis of what makes us human and bridges communities across the globe; it is the essence of this discipline.


Connections are links, bonds and relationships among people, objects, organisms or ideas. Linguistic and literary connections exist across time, cultures and across oral, visual and written texts. This concept is central to the study of language and allows for the exploration of language, applying knowledge of, and about, the language, and relationships between text, creator and audience.


Creativity is the process of generating novel ideas and considering existing ideas from new perspectives. Creativity includes the ability to recognize the value of ideas when developing innovative responses to problems; it may be evident in process as well as outcomes, products or solutions. Creativity is nurtured through the process of learning language as this process involves us in divergent thinking, applying ideas, taking risks and expressing ourselves in order to relate to, and interact with, the world.


Culture encompasses a range of learned and shared beliefs, values, interests, attitudes, products, ways of knowing and patterns of behaviour created by human communities. The concept of culture is dynamic and organic. Learning the language of a community provides opportunities to embrace diversity, to interact with sensitivity and empathy, and to participate in meaningful global interactions, which in turn develops sociocultural competence and intercultural awareness leading to international-mindedness.

Assessment Information

Assessment for language acquisition in all years of the programme is criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria

Criterion A Comprehending spoken and visual text Maximum 8
Criterion B Comprehending written and visual text Maximum 8
Criterion C Communicating in response to spoken and/or written and/or visual text Maximum 8
Criterion D Using language in spoken and/or written form Maximum 8

Copyright IBO 2014
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