Language A: Language and Literature Course Syllabus (HL): YEAR 2

2nd Trimester


Renton High School

Ms. Jennifer O’Roarty


shared google docs:

phone: 425.204.3537

Office Hours: 2:05- 2:45 all days except Wednesdays

 Course Aims

  1. introduce students to a range of texts from different periods, styles and genres
  2. develop in students the ability to engage in close, detailed analysis of individual texts and make relevant connections
  3. develop the students’ powers of expression, both in oral and written communication
  4. encourage students to recognize the importance of the contexts in which texts are written and received
  5. encourage, through the study of texts, an appreciation of the different perspectives of people from other cultures, and how these perspectives construct meaning
  6. encourage students to appreciate the formal, stylistic and aesthetic qualities of texts
  7. promote in students an enjoyment of, and lifelong interest in, language and literature
  8. develop in students an understanding of how language, culture, and context determine the ways in which meaning is constructed in texts
  9. encourage students to think critically about the different interactions between text, audience, and purpose

PART 2: Language and Mass Communication In part 2 students consider the way language is used in the media. This section also addresses the issue of how the production and reception of texts is influenced by the medium through which they are delivered. Students will be expected to examine different forms of communication within the media, show an awareness of the influence of the media, and to examine the way mass media use language and image in various ways.

PART 3: Literature – Texts and Contexts Through the close reading of 2 literary texts in this unit, students will be able to consider the relationship between literature and issues at large, such as gender, power and identity. Students will be encouraged to consider how texts build upon and transform the inherited literary and cultural traditions. The compulsory study of one translated text encourages students to reflect on their own cultural assumptions through an examination of work produced in other languages and cultures.  During this unit, students will be asked to consider the changing historical, cultural and social contexts in which particular texts are written and received, demonstrate how the formal elements of the text, genre and structure can not only be seen to influence meaning but can also be influenced by context, and to understand the attitudes and values expressed by literary texts and their impact on readers


Weeks 1-3

Part 3: Literature Texts and Contexts:


Text: The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald



Key Assessments:

  • Written Task 1 (creative response)
  • Quizzes
  • Literary Analysis writing

Weeks 3-4

Part 3: Literature Texts and Contexts:


Text: The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Written Task 1

Final Unit Assessment


Weeks 5-9

The God of Small Things

by Arundhati Roy  


Key Assessments:

  • Written Task 1
  • Paper 2 practice
  • Student-led seminars

Weeks 10-11

  • IB PROJECT SUBMISSION: Written Tasks 1 and 2


Week 12

Trimester Final

 Nitty Gritty :

  • Please refer to our student handbook regarding academic honesty. If you get stuck, please come see me. I realize there are many on-line sources to help with interpretation, but your ideas and thoughts are what I want you to bring to class. I treat plagiarism seriously and take swift action. Don’t sacrifice your credibility by using some else’s work or ideas.
  • Excused absences: You have as many days to make up work for an excused absence as days missed. However, if you are aware of an upcoming deadline and you leave for a school sponsored activity, you will still be expected to have your work ready the day it is originally due.
  • Unexcused absences: You may not be able to make up quizzes/ missed work if you have unexcused absences.Absences and missing work will be your worst enemy! Zeros affect your grade tremendously, and your chances of getting an A are drastically limited.
  • Late/ Missing Work: I understand that occasionally “life happens” and our ability to meet with work expectations is compromised. Please come see me if you run into problems, and I will work with you. At various points in the trimester, we will have HARD DEADLINES; work will not be accepted beyond those posted times. In general, late work will be penalized 20% until the hard deadline. After that time, work from that unit will not be accepted.
  • Printing: Come on time and have work ready at the start of class on due dates. You will not be released from class for printing purposes.
  • All work must be submitted in blue or black ink. No pencil for assignments.
  • Cell Phones/ Technology: Please keep technology (cell phones, non-school electronics) stored away out of sight while you are in the classroom. If your technology is a distraction to you or others, I may keep it at my desk until the end of class.

Course Expectations:

To maximize your success in this class: a) Keep up with the reading assignments, and pay attention to what you're reading. Have thoughts and questions, and bring them up in the analysis/discussions we'll have about the literature. b) Be organized, and bring what you'll need to class each day, including the book we're reading, paper, pen, highlighter (highly recommended in this course), an organized notebook. This is a general survival strategy to adopt as an IB student for your own balance and sanity. c) Have a willingness to share—aloud and in writing—as well as a willingness to listen respectfully to others' viewpoints and the manner in which they express them. d) Your consistent attendance is expected. If you are not here, you are expected to communicate with your instructor

What You'll Need Each Day:

1)     a 3-ring notebook with lined paper, and an organized way to keep class handouts

2)    Your ChromeBook

3) black or dark blue pen(s)--pencils are optional; pens are essential; highlighters encouraged; sticky notes for annotations will be REALLY helpful too.

4) Access to

5) your homework diary or homework organization system

6) an open mind

7) a willingness to try, a willingness to learn, a willingness to share

 Grading Policy:

Participation 10%

Homework/ Classwork HL: 50%

Tests/Assessments/Other Projects (Summative Assessments) HL: 40%


Students and parents/ guardians may access my gradebook and attendance record on-line through Skyward. This is a terrific tool to monitor your progress in class.