MYP Language and Literature

Middle Years Programme (MYP) language and literature courses develop skills in six areas:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Viewing
  • Presenting

Inquiry is at the heart of MYP language learning, and aims to support students’ understanding by providing them with opportunities to independently and collaboratively investigate, take action and reflect on their learning. 

What is the significance of language and literature in the MYP?

All IB programmes value language as central to the development of critical thinking, which is essential for cultivating intercultural understanding and responsible membership in local, national and global communities.

Language is integral to exploring and sustaining personal development and cultural identity, and provides an intellectual framework that supports the construction of conceptual understanding.

As MYP students interact with a range of texts, they generate insight into moral, social, economic, political, cultural and environmental domains. They continually grow in their abilities to form opinions, make decisions, and reason ethically—all key attributes of an IB learner.


Key Concepts in English Language and Literature

Key concepts promote the development of a broad curriculum. They represent big ideas that are both relevant within and across disciplines and subjects. Inquiry into key concepts can facilitate connections between and among:

  • courses within the language and literature subject group (intra-disciplinary learning)
  • other subject groups (interdisciplinary learning).

Below are listed the key concepts to be explored across the MYP. The key concepts contributed by the study of language and literature are communicationconnectionscreativity and perspective.


Global interactions



Time, place and space


Related concepts promote deep learning. They are grounded in specific disciplines and are useful for exploring key concepts in greater detail. Inquiry into related concepts helps students develop more complex and sophisticated conceptual understanding. Related concepts may arise from the subject matter of a unit or the craft of a subject—its features and processes. 

  • Audience imperatives
  • Character
  • Context
  • Genre
  • Intertextuality
  • Point of view
  • Purpose
  • Self-expression
  • Setting
  • Structure
  • Style
  • Theme

Objectives for Language and Literature

A. Analyzing

Through the study of language and literature students are enabled to deconstruct texts in order to identify their essential elements and their meaning. Analyzing involves demonstrating an understanding of the creator’s choices, the relationship between the various components of a text and between texts, and making inferences about how an audience responds to a text (strand i), as well as the creator’s purpose for producing text (strand ii). Students should be able to use the text to support their personal responses and ideas (strand iii). Literacy and critical literacy are essential lifelong skills; engaging with texts requires students to think critically and show awareness of, and an ability to reflect on, different perspectives through their interpretations of the text (strand iv).

In order to reach the aims of language and literature, students should be able to:

  1. analyse the content, context, language, structure, technique and style of text(s) and the relationship among texts
  2. analyse the effects of the creator’s choices on an audience
  3. justify opinions and ideas, using examples, explanations and terminology
  4. evaluate similarities and differences by connecting features across and within genres and texts.


B. Organizing

Students should understand and be able to organize their ideas and opinions using a range of appropriate conventions for different forms and purposes of communication. Students should also recognize the importance of maintaining academic honesty by respecting intellectual property rights and referencing all sources accurately.

In order to reach the aims of language and literature, students should be able to:

  1. employ organizational structures that serve the context and intention
  2. organize opinions and ideas in a sustained, coherent and logical manner
  3. use referencing and formatting tools to create a presentation style suitable to the context and intention.


C. Producing text

Students will produce written and spoken text, focusing on the creative process itself and on the understanding of the connection between the creator and his or her audience. In exploring and appreciating new and changing perspectives and ideas, students will develop the ability to make choices aimed at producing texts that affect both the creator and the audience.

In order to reach the aims of language and literature, students should be able to:

  1. produce texts that demonstrate insight, imagination and sensitivity while exploring and reflecting critically on new perspectives and ideas arising from personal engagement with the creative process
  2. make stylistic choices in terms of linguistic, literary and visual devices, demonstrating awareness of impact on an audience
  3. select relevant details and examples to develop ideas.

D. Using language

Students have opportunities to develop, organize and express themselves and communicate thoughts, ideas and information. They are required to use accurate and varied language that is appropriate to the context and intention. This objective applies to, and must include, written, oral and visual text, as appropriate.

In order to reach the aims of language and literature, students should be able to:

  1. use appropriate and varied vocabulary, sentence structures and forms of expression
  2. write and speak in a register and style that serve the context and intention
  3. use correct grammar, syntax and punctuation
  4. spell (alphabetic languages), write (character languages) and pronounce with accuracy
  5. use appropriate non-verbal communication techniques.

Information on these pages is from the MYP Subject Guides and the MYP Project Guide. International Baccalaureate Organization. 2014. Print.