The Learner Portfolio
The learner portfolio is a central element of the language A: language and literature course, and is mandatory for all students. It is an individual collection of student work done throughout the two years of the course.
The work carried out for the learner portfolio forms the basis of preparation for the assessment, although the portfolio itself will not be directly assessed or moderated by the IB. However, it is a fundamental element of the course, providing evidence of the student’s work and a reflection of their preparation for the assessment components. Schools may be required to submit these learner portfolios in cases in which it is necessary to determine the authenticity of student’s work in a component, to certify that the principles of academic honesty have been respected or to evaluate the implementation of the syllabus in a school.
The learner portfolio is a place for a student to explore and reflect upon literary and non-literary texts, and to establish connections among them and with the areas of exploration and the central concepts in the subject. In the learner portfolio, students will be expected to reflect on their responses to the works being studied in the corresponding area of exploration. They will also be expected to establish connections between these works and previous ones they have read, and between their perspectives and values as readers and those of their peers. As they progress through the syllabus, it is expected that these connections will be drawn between works within and across areas of exploration, and that they will provide a foundation for the construction of broader knowledge about the transactions between texts, culture and identity.
The learner portfolio is also a space in which students can prepare for assessment. They will use the portfolio to make decisions about the most appropriate and productive connections between the works they have studied and the assessment components. It should be introduced at the beginning of the course and become increasingly important as students progress, and prepare for external and internal assessment.
The learner portfolio must consist of a diversity of formal and informal responses to the literary and non-literary texts studied, which may come in a range of critical and/or creative forms, and in different media. It is the student’s own record of discovery and development throughout the course. It could be used to document:
reflections related to the guiding conceptual questions of the course
reflections on the assumptions, beliefs, and values that frame a response to texts
explorations of literary texts and the insights they offer into social, global and real-world issues
detailed evaluations and critical analysis of works, literary texts or extracts which explore the potential meanings for language used in them
Syllabus content 25Language A: language and literature guide
reflections on the connections across a range of texts studied
experiments with form, media and technology
creative writing tasks for exploration of different literary forms and development of the students’ personal responses to works/texts
reading, research and inquiry carried out beyond the classroom experience
records of valued feedback received
reports of classroom or group activities or discussions that explore the diverse values and perspectives negotiated and the process of negotiation in itself
challenges faced and achievements
selections of suitable extracts that could form the basis of the individual oral
instances of self-assessment to evaluate the student’s own progress.
Teachers are free to monitor and set guidelines for the learner portfolios, but students should be encouraged to shape them in ways that allow them to independently record their personal development. The type of portfolio the students keep—digital or non-digital, traditional or multimodal—will be dictated by individual learning preferences. Students should be allowed to explore different options freely.
It is expected that the work necessary to meet the requirements in all assessment components will have evolved and been drawn from the contents of the portfolio. To that effect, each student’s portfolio should include at the end the “Works studied form” detailing the works that have been selected as part of the course and how they have been made to interact with the assessment components. The assessment section contains suggestions on how to make use of the learner portfolio in the preparation for each assessment component.
Examples of the kind of work that could be included in the portfolio are provided in the teacher support materials (TSM.)