Spanish A Literature, as well as any literature class, is very rigorous and sometimes it might seem overwhelming due to the number of assessments and the depth of analysis required. To accomplish this class, it is important to know what is expected and so here is the overview of the course.
The current Literature course has its first examination in 2021. Literature is a course addressed to students who have a full understanding of the language with the ability to produce and interact. Students analyze the relationship between literary texts with the day-to-day world, the creativity and nature of the interaction with the contexts of each writer and reader with the literary tradition, and how the language may generate the meaning of effect.
Personal experience with Spanish A Literature SL
When choosing Spanish A Literature as one of my IB subjects, I thought about three things:
- How did I felt in my past literature classes?
- Did I like the teacher’s method?
- Did I have the skills to accomplish the required assessments?
In my school, the teaching method was standard: we read books, analyze them, and occasionally we reviewed some grammar. In MYP, before entering the IB, I took the Spanish Language and Literature class. Although it wasn’t my favourite class, I did enjoy exploring the relationship between the author and the book. I particularly enjoyed the “hidden” aspects of each book. If I had read them on my own, I would never have found their messages or their meaning. As a student, something very important for me is to feel comfortable and secure with a teacher’s methods. I knew the teachers who were going to teach this subject, so I knew I would have enough support.
In my school, before choosing our subjects, each teacher recommends us the subject level. My Spanish Language and Literature teacher recommended me to take Spanish A Literature HL. However, while I liked the subject, it wasn’t one of my favourites. Hence, I chose Spanish A Literature SL.
Spanish A Literature SL students study nine literature texts. At least four should be translated to Spanish and at least five written originally in Spanish.
Currently, we are almost finishing IB Year 1 and in the Spanish A Literature class, we have read four texts. We began the year with “El Perro del Hortelano” a theatrical piece from El Siglo de Oro in Spain. I struggled a lot to understand the text. Although I am a native Spanish speaker, the language used in Spain is different from that of Ecuador. Also, in El Siglo de Oro, the “normal” communication used a lot of figurative languages, which made it even harder to comprehend and stay engaged with the text. To solve this, I saw a Spanish play of “El Perro del Hortelano” while reading the text.
Spanish A Literature has two external evaluations and one internal evaluation:
- Paper 1: Guided literary analysis (1 hour 15 minutes).
You will have to choose one of the two literary texts that you have never read before in class, and analyze it.
- Paper 2: Comparative test (1 hour 45 minutes)
You will conduct an evaluative comparison between two (or three) texts studied in class. These texts will differ from those for the individual oral. You will respond to a specific prompt, so prepare yourself before the test. During the paper, select the literary texts that fit the prompt. Fit your analysis to the prompt. Do not try to fit the prompt to your analysis.
- Internal evaluation: Individual oral (15 minutes)
Evaluate one (out of two) chosen literary texts. You should link your analysis to a specific “cuestión global”. At the end of your analysis, the person assessing you will make some questions, so prepare yourself for them.
Each assessment is different but they help students develop communication skills. While in the individual oral and paper 2 assessments students can prepare themselves, review, and study the class material, in paper 1 there is a reading that most likely students have never read or analyzed. Paper 1 and 2 assess productive and receptive skills. In other words, the way you comprehend a text, analyze it and organize your ideas to communicate to the evaluator your thoughts about the text. From my experience, the individual oral is an assessment that through practice has helped me be more open and has helped me organize my thoughts and time while giving a speech or speaking in my daily life. It has helped me be more concise and cohesive with the ideas I want to communicate.
Spanish A Literature is an opportunity to develop your communication skills, to open your mind to new ideas, and learn about new and varied topics. This is a very broad class, and so, you can make the analysis more personal, leading it to any topic you like. This subject might sometimes feel tiring and overwhelming because of all the assessments and requirements we need to complete, but take each big task one step at a time. We, the IBlieve community are here to help you in anything you need.