ComponentsWorks in TranslationWritten in the language studiedFree choice Genres
WorkSL: Min. of 3 Works
HL: Min. of 4 Works
SL: Min. of 4 Works
HL: Min. of 5 Works
SL: Min. of 2 Works
HL: Min. of 4 Works
Commentauthors are from the prescribed list of authorsauthors are from the prescribed list of authorsauthors are from the prescribed list of authors
Teaching Time (hrs)more than 65
more than 65
more than 40


IB English Internal Assessment Guide from HYC AP and IB Tutoring Service in The USA and Canada (Seattle, California)

There has been a significant change in the internal assessment (IA). Like all other IAs, the literature internal assessment is a requirement for both HL and SL students. Students deliver a well prepared 10-minute oral presentation; this is followed by 5 minutes of follow-up questions from your teacher–all concerning a global issue present in two works. 

In the Literature course, one of these literary works needs to have been written originally in the Language A; the second literary work is in translation. In the Language and Literature course, one of the works is a literary work originally written in the Language A; the second work is a non-literary body of work by a single author/brand/agency. It is essential that you study the two works you choose for this assessment in your class before you begin your preparation. The entire 15-minute exam session will be audio recorded. In the Literature course, students must choose the equivalent of 40 lines of text from each work, and they can bring these excerpts to the recording session but with no highlights or annotations. In the Language and Literature course, students must choose the equivalent of 40 lines from the literary work and samples from the non-literary body of work, and they can bring these excerpts to the recording sessions but with no highlights or annotations. 

In both courses, you must bring a list of notes consisting of 10 bullet points with you to the exam; your teacher will provide a prescribed template for this.

The prompt for the Literature IO is: “Examine the ways in which the global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of two of the works that you have studied.”

The prompt for the Language and Literature IO is “Examine the ways in which the global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of one of the works and one of the bodies of work that you have studied.”

In both courses, students will need to bring hard/paper copies of the two excerpts to the recording and supply digital versions to their teacher for e-submission to the IB along with the complete, unedited mp3 audio recording.

Authenticity is a critical aspect of the IO, and it starts with selecting a global issue. Instructors play a crucial role in ensuring the authenticity of the student’s work. Support is necessary for the entire duration of the internal assessment. Teachers should ensure that students know the individual oral requirements, the academic honesty standards, and the assessment criteria. A conducive environment and proper teacher-student relationship fosters communication between the instructors and students, allowing the students to benefit from advice, guidance, and information. Guidance extends to selecting the assessment topic and the appropriate works and excerpts that can support the scope of the chosen global issue. Periodic feedback also enlightens the students on areas of improvement that will help fulfill the assessment criteria.

The requirements and recommendations for both standard level and higher-level learners during the IO are almost identical; both SL and HL students’ IOs are measured against the same assessment criteria. However, the IO for SL students is worth 30% of their final grade while it is only worth 20% for those in HL. Because it makes up a significant portion of the final grade, the IO necessitates allocating appropriate time to impart the knowledge, skills, and comprehension vital to preparing for this assessment. The teacher should explain the requirements and help students prepare for the assessment, make time for teacher-student consultations, progress reviews, authentications, and conduct the orals.

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Understanding the IO assessment criteria’s scope is paramount, considering they are similar for SL and HL students. Your teacher will assess your IO and supply the marks for each criterion to the IB; these scores will then be moderated by an external examiner based on a sample from among the entire class’s work. Each criterion has multiple descriptors to consider during the assessment. Teachers should note that a student’s work may not fit all the descriptors. Therefore, the assessment takes the best-fit approach, which entails looking for the descriptor that best explains the student’s achievement level for each criterion. A mark is awarded by how well a student’s work reflects this criterion’s descriptors. Teachers are urged to go through each criterion’s descriptors while reflecting on the student’s work to identify the one that describes the work level under assessment. Various descriptors may appear to fit the work at times; in such cases, teachers should analyze these descriptors and choose the one that best describes the student’s work.

The processes of delivering an effective individual oral presentation require an understanding of the internal assessment details. Several key aspects of delivering a good individual oral presentation include understanding the prompt, selecting an appropriate global issue, and choosing the right works/bodies of work and excerpts from each that best engage the global issue. Constructing global issues is fundamental to all further downstream steps of assessment planning and delivery. The global issue must fit three properties: it should exhibit wide-scale impact, the impact should be felt daily on a local basis, and it should be transnational. A student may explore diverse fields of inquiry, including: 

“Beliefs, values and education” 

“Politics, power and justice” 

“Science, technology and the environment” 

“Culture, identity and community” and

“Art, creativity and the imagination”

Each of these fields provides endless topics from which you can design and craft a global issue that you see underpinning both works/bodies of work and the passages you select from them. For instance, you may explore global issues related to family, class, race, religion, gender, and sexuality in the field of “culture, identity, and community.” The field of “science, technology, and the environment,” on the other hand, provides an opportunity to explore the interaction between humans, technology, and the environment. Global issues also differ concerning the exploration approach. For instance, handling aesthetic topics will possibly differ from gender-related issues. Such considerations are vital when choosing the two literary works relevant to the global issue to ensure they are sufficient to develop a well-supported argument.

The following are the four level descriptors for getting 9-10 in each criterion in IA of Languages:

LANGUAGE: Knowledge, understand and interpretation ( OUT OF 10)

This criterion determines the student’s comprehension of the extracts and the texts as well as how well the student is able to connect them to the chosen global issue. The primary determining factor of Criterion A is the implementation of quotations and citations from the extracts and texts in a manner that convincingly bolsters the student’s argument and ideas.


This criterion determines the student’s ability to analyze and present the extracts and texts in a way that is both meaningful and applicable to the chosen global issue. Specifically, the student consistently must display a detailed comprehension of how the author (or authors) handles the global issue in the extracts and texts, focusing on specific writer’s choices and their effects.


This criterion measures the student’s balanced approach to each work and each excerpt and the manner by which they engage and manifest the global issue that unites them. Consistent focus on the global issue throughout the 10-minute presentation and equal attention to work A, excerpt A, work B, and excerpt B are paramount here. How the student chooses to arrange this material will greatly depend on the nature of the works/passages and their relation to the global issue.


This criterion determines the student’s technical and creative language skills. Not only must the student be mostly error-free, but their language must be engaging, coherent, and appropriate to the emotion and tone of the topic. Criterion D evaluates word choice, sentence structure, and style (both in voice and rhetoric) to determine how well the student utilizes these elements to communicate their ideas clearly and persuasively.

Getting a high score on the IO is achievable by following certain guidelines. High scores start with exhibiting knowledge and understanding of the global issue and the chosen works/bodies of work and the passages/samples you chose from them. The student should demonstrate a deep understanding and evaluation of each of these and substantial insight into the global issue. Paying attention to the organization of one’s oral presentation is also vital. The structure should be clear and display a flow of ideas with a balanced reflection of the texts. Additionally, the student should exhibit an appropriate use of language: tone, rhetorical devices, register, and other stylistic elements should enhance the quality of your oral delivery. Proper language use ensures that the substance and meaning you share in the presentation endures, regardless of occasional errors.

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Here are few tips for success in the IO:

Use your Learner Portfolio to maintain a running record of global issues that emerge from your engagement with each text in class discussions and your individual reading. A Global Issue is an issue that reaches out from the text you are studying and connects to the world around you. All great literature triggers one or more global issues. In the Internal Assessment part of this HYC IB website you will find a list of Fields of Inquiry; it is in your best interest to choose ones that speak to you on an intimate level since you’ll use them to extrapolate your global issue based on the two works and two passages you choose for the IO.

During the actual recording, use your 10 bullet points as points of reference, especially if you get lost in your argument. You should never “wing it” in your IO; at the same time, you should not read from your notes verbatim or treat them as a script. IOs that sound memorized are frequently marked down; while your IO should be very well prepared, it should not sound “scripted” or robotic.

Practice a version of your IO over Zoom with us so we can look for areas of improvement.

Be sure to have a thorough understanding of what your teacher wants! They are marking it. Try to anticipate the kinds of questions your teacher will ask you in the final five minutes based on the patterns you have experienced in class discussions.


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