The IBDP Exams have concluded and the grade 12 students are preparing for their graduation. It was a tough journey but a great learning experience for all of the students.
They have college to look forward to as well as the possibility of coming back to CISM in the near future to talk about how they are adapting to college.
Chinese B SL has two components in the IBDP May 2017 Examinations. Paper 1, which is a reading comprehension task, and Paper 2, which is an essay writing task.
Students who are taking the examination need to be proficient in both reading and writing skills to be able to get high IB marks.
This past month, the IBDP Chinese B SL grade 12 class has been focused on building these 2 skills in preparation for the upcoming exams.
Now that the Written Assignment and Individual Oral are finished, it is now time to prepare for essay writing using the different text types for Group 2.
Students need to be familiar with the format and tone of the language used for each text type in Group 2 in order to get high marks for this examination.
The text types include:
- Formal letter
- Informal letter
Before IBDP students prepare for the May External Examinations, they have to accomplish various tasks that are assessed internally and submitted to the IB.
For Language B, students need to accomplish a piece of written work written using one of the many text types used in Group 2 (Foreign Languages) and based on at least three authentic texts, as well as an audio recording where the student will be tested on language production skills and also interactive skills.
These are usually accomplished during the 2nd semester of the final year, when students have already gathered enough skills to be able to effectively produce quality work.
IBDP Language B students are required to submit a written assignment during the 2nd year of the programme. This is a writing task that includes a rationale and the actual essay. Students will look for at least 3 texts in the target language under the topics of communication and media, social relationships, and global issues.
The end of the 1st semester of the final year of the programme is the perfect time to do this task as the student should have already developed the necessary knowledge and skills in the target language. This can be done in the student’s own time outside of regular class hours with some guidance and feedback from the teacher.
After this comes the Individual Oral task to be completed in January, followed by a barrage of mock IB exams.
A lot of the texts that IBDP Language B students come in contact with are from more or less familiar topics from pre-IBDP years such as festivals, cultural practices, relationships, communication, technology, and health. But one topic is somewhat new and can prove to be challenging to most and that is Global Issues.
The problem is not with the topic itself but due to the topic not being a popular one in lower level Chinese textbooks or other teaching resources. It is a highly specific topic with its own unique words. However, if a student does have a good foundation in the Chinese language, the student will notice that there are many similar characters used in this topic that was learned in previous lessons but these were simply combined with different characters to form new words.
As such, the class was given some unfamiliar texts to test language fundamentals. It turned out quite well.
IBDP Chinese B SL: Fast and efficient reading comprehension; reflecting on how humans process language
This year’s 12th grade Chinese B SL class is currently training reading comprehension skills. The students must be aware that the IB Paper 1 exam for Chinese B SL is only 1.5 hours long and they have to make good use of their time if they want to perform well.
Language students sometimes make the mistake of getting themselves stuck on a single sentence because they couldn’t understand one or a few words. If students are made to reflect on how they process language and information in their mother tongue, they notice that they don’t necessarily know all of the words in the texts that they’re reading but in the end they still know the main idea of the text. The same applies to learning a second language.
Learning how to reading texts either as a whole, or by strategically chunking information such as by paragraphs can result in increased comprehension, better reading efficiency, and more confidence in handling large texts.
Students don’t need to know every single word in the dictionary to be fluent in a language. They should instead aim to understand the intricacies of the language. In Chinese, parts of the character can give clues as to how the word is read or what it could mean. As for Chinese words, these are composed of individual Chinese characters which when combined form the meaning of the word.
When students are made aware of these along with regular guided practice in reading texts, they will not only perform well in the IB assessments but also carry these skills later in life, maybe even applying these skills in areas other than the Chinese language.
An extra 15 minutes of class time can turn into this. A simple activity wherein the student/s create a “Word Web”. Starting from one Chinese word, the student/s can write down other Chinese words by borrowing one character from a Chinese word already written down. It’s a quick and easy way to review words that the student have learned before but are not really part of the current lesson. This prevents forgetting previously learned vocabulary. The teacher acts as a moderator for this activity and simply guides the students by providing hints to further expand the “web”.
This particular one was done by one student in 12th grade Chinese B SL within a 15-minute time frame.
The annual Mid-autumn festival has just concluded and the students engaged in various activities such as the traditional dice game and face-painting.
The class has started reading numerous visual texts on the advantages and disadvantages of the internet and has answered a variety of questions based on the said visual texts. This is followed by essay writing activities on the same topic that follows a debate format, which is a popular text type for IBDP Chinese B in the option topic of Science and Technology. The student is expected to write using formal language and to organize ideas and arguments into a coherent manner. The student is also expected to use certain terms that are specific to debate.
The first quarter will be mainly based on the topics of Communication and Media, and Science and Technology. These two have a significant overlap in terms of vocabulary and it will be helpful for the student to familiarize himself with these to be able to comprehend visual text and write effectively.