Academic Group 1 Subjects Uncategorized

DP1 Beginner’s Guide to English A

First of all, welcome to DP-1! Now that you have just begun or will begin your classes, the subjects might seem terrifying. Especially English A! Trust me, when I started DP-1, I was also very confused as to how to study for this subject. That’s why, this article will try to break down that process for how to go about LL, that something which I wish I knew. 

How to kickstart your English A Journey

Build vocabulary

Something that is valued a lot in this course, especially Language A is good vocabulary and language. Hence, I would suggest to start reading articles or books, and write down the complex words and repeatedly memorise them, and try to use them in your daily life. This would build a rich vocabulary that might sweep the examiners off their feet!  You could read news articles from your favoured websites or journals (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.). There are also vocab apps which you could browse during your free time. My personal favourite is ‘Vocabulary-Learn Fresh Words’, but you can find many more on app/play store.

Be up to date with global issues

I cannot emphasise how aware you should be about global issues and recent trends. Especially if you are doing English A Language and Literature, it is extremely important for paper 1 and the individual oral, as you have to include those in these components. Io entirely is based on focussing on the global issue represented in your chosen lit work and non literary work, and for paper 1, the non-lit texts are almost always based on global issues so it always helps to have extra knowledge. So make sure you are up to date with incidents in the present and in the past to help you with the required contextual knowledge. 

Work on critical thinking

Critical thinking is important in every IB subject, and in English A too. One of the simplest methods by which you can start to critically think about any literary elements is: I see, I think, I wonder method. This is where you acknowledge what you see, then note the thoughts you get when you see it, and then evaluate it using ‘wonder’: What other perspectives could it have? What is influencing this perspective? And so on, which forms a part of the ‘wonder’. In simple terms, it means to note any questions you have about the literary element. This way you can enhance the skill of critical thinking which is crucial for the course.

Familiarise yourself with the literary devices

Literary devices are an extremely pivotal component of this course. You can find a list of them here. Make sure you familiarise yourself with them and practice identification of the literary devices in texts. 

How to approach literary texts

To be honest, there is no ideal way one can study English A. But these are some of the ways you can start off studying for the literary texts.

Take notes in class

Maintain a book/document where you write all the notes of discussions held in class, because they are SO important. Write the connotations and analysis down which your teachers provides you with, so you can include those in your paper 2 for new perspectives and richer analyses.

Read research papers and find resources for the text online

When you self-studying, read the text again. Find research papers online regarding that text. (Type in <nameofthetext> filetype:pdf on google) and websites that also have resources (litcharts, sparknotes, etc.) and incorporate the important details from there in your notes. 

Systematic analysis

It is important that you write down the themes of the text and lines that contribute to each theme, and literary devices in the text. This will help you a great deal for your paper 2 when you are revising later!

These are some of the ways you can kickstart your English A journey. There is no sure shot formula, but just practice. Always remember, it is a process where you get better each time, so don’t be discouraged by any downs. Happy DP-ing!

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