The Focus on Global Issues
Global Issues and the Individual Oral
The individual oral addresses the following prompt. THIS PROMPT IS MANDATORY FOR ALL STUDENTS ON THIS ASSESSMENT.
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 texts that you have studied.
The individual oral is based on the exploration the student has carried out in the learner portfolio. During this exploration process, the student will have investigated a series of non-literary texts and literary works and a variety of global issues. In the lead up to the individual oral, the student must make a decision about which global issue and which text and work will be explored in the task. One work and one non-literary text must be selected. An extract of no more than 40 lines should be selected from each which is representative of the presence of the global issue in it. In forms or text types where the number of lines may not be applicable, teachers should be guided by the volume of text that can be discussed in sufficient depth in the time available.
The work and text selected must have a clear connection with the global issue. The individual oral should be a well-supported argument about the ways in which both represent and explore the global issue. Students must select two extracts, one from the text and one from the work, that clearly show significant moments when this global issue is being focused on. Normally these extracts should not exceed 40 lines or present an unmanageable amount of material to be analysed. As the student brings unannotated copies of these extracts to the individual oral, extracts which are too lengthy may hinder their ability to effectively expand the discussion to the text or work as a whole. An extract may be a complete text in itself, for example a whole poem or an advertisement.
If the extract is from a literary text which is part of a larger work studied, such as a short story, or if it is a complete text which is part of a work studied, such as a poem, students should discuss relevant aspects of the broader work as a whole in their individual oral.
If the extract is a complete non-literary text, students should discuss relevant aspects of the broader body of work of the author of the text. In the case of a photograph, for example, the broader discussion should refer to other photographs by the same photographer. If identifying the single author of a non-literary text is not possible, students should use an ampler definition of authorship to broaden their discussion of the global issue.
In the case of an advertisement, for example, students could refer to the other advertisements or commercials belonging to the same campaign, to other campaigns of the same brand or to other work produced by the advertising agency. In the case of an article, students could refer either to other articles by the same author or to the general editorial line of the medium in which the article was published. In cases such as the latter two, students should make explicit what constitutes their definition of authorship.
The extracts are meant to help students focus their responses, remove the need to learn quotations and enable them to explore more precise issues, such as style, specific devices and other distinct techniques used by authors to present the global issue. The choice of extracts should show the student’s understanding of the relevance of the part to the whole and enable coverage of larger and smaller choices made by the writers to shape their perspectives on the global issue.
A global issue incorporates the following three properties:
- It has significance on a wide/large scale.
- It is transnational.
- Its impact is felt in everyday local contexts.
Students may look to one or more of the following fields of inquiry for guidance on how to decide on a global issue to focus their orals on. These topics are not exhaustive and are intended as helpful starting points for students to generate ideas and derive a more specific global issue on which to base their individual oral. It should also be noted that there is the potential for significant overlap between the areas.
PLEASE NOTE: THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES ARE GLOBAL AREAS, NOT GLOBAL ISSUES. FOR THE IO YOU ARE REQUIRED TO SPEAK ON A GLOBAL ISSUE, NOT A GLOBAL AREA.
Culture, identity and community
Students might focus on the way in which texts explore aspects of family, class, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender and sexuality, and the way these impact on individuals and societies. They might also focus on issues concerning migration, colonialism and nationalism.
Beliefs, values and education
Students might focus on the way in which texts explore the beliefs and values nurtured in particular societies and the ways they shape individuals, communities and educational systems. They might also explore the tensions that arise when there are conflicts of beliefs and values, and ethics.
Politics, power and justice
Students might focus on the ways in which texts explore aspects of rights and responsibilities, the workings and structures of governments and institutions. They might also investigate hierarchies of power, the distribution of wealth and resources, the limits of justice and the law, equality and inequality, human rights and peace and conflict.
Art, creativity and the imagination
Students might focus on the ways in which texts explore aspects of aesthetic inspiration, creation, craft, and beauty. They might also focus on the shaping and challenging of perceptions through art, and the function, value and effects of art in society.
Science, technology and the environment
Students might focus on the ways in which texts explore the relationship between humans and the environment and the implications of technology and media for society. They might also consider the idea of scientific development and progress.
In selecting the global issue for their oral, students must be careful not simply to select from the broad fields of inquiry above, but to determine a specific issue for discussion that can be reasonably explored.
The global issue chosen for consideration should be significant on a wide scale, be transnational in nature, and be an issue that has an impact felt in everyday local contexts. The issue should be clearly evidenced in the extracts or texts chosen.
For example, within the field of culture, identity and community, the theme of gender in itself might be unsuitably broad for an individual oral. A student interested in this theme might explore instead how gender bias manifests itself in different contexts; how this can be evidenced in many ways in texts of different sorts; how different authorial choices will determine what is meant by gender bias; whether bias should be viewed positively or negatively, allowing the students to evaluate the writer’s choices and the impact they might have on the different readers’ or viewers’ understanding.
The oral itself will only be concerned with the aspects of the global issue relevant to the two texts chosen. The student should ensure the oral offers a balanced approach, giving approximately equal attention to both texts. Thus, it is important that the student selects extracts/texts that offer equally sufficient material for the discussion.
The learner portfolio is not specifically assessed but it is an important place for students to explore and reflect upon their works in relation to global issues.
In relation to the preparation of the individual oral, the learner portfolio provides an opportunity for students to:
- Keep an ongoing record of the different global issues that could be related to each of the texts they read
- Explore links that could be established between different texts on the basis of common global issues they address
- Explore how key passages in the texts they have studied represent different or similar perspectives on one global issue through both form and content
- Trace the evolution of their thinking and planning in connection with the global issue and how its cultural value, its definition and application to the texts they read have changed through their inquiry
- Reflect on the challenges that the internal assessment poses for them as individual learners.