English A Literature (group 1)

In this course, students will focus exclusively on literary texts such as poetry, prose, drama, literary non-fiction and graphic novels adopting a variety of approaches to the reading and criticism of texts.  Students explore the nature of literature, the creative and aesthetic function of literary language and textuality, and the relationship between literature and the world. 

At Higher Level, students will study 13 texts and at Standard Level students will study 9 texts.

Texts studied:The History Boys by Alan Bennett*, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood,  Hamlet by Shakespeare*, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, High Windows by Philip Larkin, The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, Top Girls by Caryl Churchill*, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi,  Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi  and The Bloody Chamber* by Angela Carter.

*HL only

  • To gain a wide range of knowledge about literature and the ways in which meaning is communicated by writers.
  • To become more aware of the perspectives of others through their studies and to develop  a stronger sense of their own individual viewpoints, such as their position in time and place. 
  • To have the ability to analyse literary texts in detail both orally and in writing
  • To develop an understanding of how a range of texts can relate to a student’s personal circumstances.
  • To become critical readers.
  • To be able to reflect on their own responses to texts.
  • To foster a lifelong love of, and appreciation for, literature.


Syllabus and Assessment

Paper 1

SL – 75 minutes Guided Analysis (35%). Analysis of one unseen literary text from a choice of two. One guiding question.

HL – 135 minutes Guided Analysis (35%). Analysis of two unseen literary texts. No choice. One guiding question.


Paper 2

SL – 105 minutes Comparative Essay (35%). Compare two texts from anywhere in the course. Choice of four generic questions.

HL – 105 minutes Comparative Essay (25%). Compare two texts from anywhere in the course. Choice of four generic questions.


Individual Oral (SL 30% / HL 20%)

Presentation on any two texts one of which must be in translation. This will focus on the ways in which texts present a global concern and will include detailed analysis of an extract from each work. 10 minutes to present with 5 minutes of teacher questions.


Higher Level Essay (HL 20%)

Literary essay on any text. 1200 – 1500 words.


Learner Portfolio

Record of independent analytical and independent thinking,links with other subjects, evaluation of experiences outside of the classroom, creative writing, record of classroom activities / discussions, reflections on reading texts. NOT ASSESSED though may be requested.


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