Internal Assessment at a glance

Five themes

Identities 

Experiences

Human ingenuity

Social organization

Sharing the planet

Supervised preparation time

The student is shown two visual stimuli, each relating to a different theme from the course. Each visual stimulus must be labelled in the target language with the theme to which it relates. The student chooses one of the visual stimuli and prepares a presentation focusing on it. During this time, the student is allowed to make brief working notes.

Time: 15 minutes

Part 1: Presentation

The student describes the visual stimulus and relates it to the relevant theme and the target culture(s).

Time: 1-2 minutes

Part 2: Follow-up discussion

The teacher engages the student on the theme that was presented, expanding on what the student has provided in the presentation.

Time: 3-4 minutes

Part 3: General discussion

The teacher and student have a general discussion on at least one additional theme taken from the five themes around which the course is based.

Time: 3-4 minutes

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Summary

  • Productive skills - speaking

  • Duration: 7-10 minutes

  • Weighting: 25% - 30 marks

  • Based on the five themes

  • Oral conversation with the teacher based on a visual stimulus + at least one additional course theme

  • Rubric

  • Resources

Work produced for internal assessment is marked by teachers and externally moderated by the IB.

​The teacher selects a range of visual stimuli linked to the five themes studied during the course and labels each one in the target language according to theme. For the purposes of the ab initio individual oral assessment, a “visual stimulus” may be a photo, a poster, an illustration or an advertisement. Any language that naturally appears on the image should be minimal and must be in the target language. It must not provide vocabulary and structures that would give a student an unfair advantage.
 

An effective visual stimulus is one that:

  • is clearly relevant to one of the five themes in the course

  • is culturally relevant to the target language

  • offers opportunities for students to demonstrate their international-mindedness

  • offers sufficient visual text for students to describe a scene or situation

  • allows the student to offer a personal interpretation

  • enables the teacher to lead the student in a wider conversation

  • is relevant and of interest to the student’s age group.

 

The students must not see these stimuli prior to the examination.

Clarification: a “visual stimulus” may be a photo, a poster, an illustration or an advertisement.​

How many visual stimuli do I need?

The same five stimuli can be used for up to ten students sitting the examination. If there are more than ten students sitting the examination, two visual stimuli from each theme must be prepared.
This table provides an example of how the teacher may choose to distribute the visual stimuli to ensure that each student receives two stimuli, each relating to a different theme.

Teachers may wish to have two copies of each stimulus available in the event that examination site arrangements require a student to be in the “supervised preparation” phase at the same time as a different student is sitting parts 1–3 of the examination.

Relevant information

The internal assessment at language ab initio level consists of an interactive skills task in the form of an individual oral assessment. Students are required to make an individual presentation in response to a visual stimulus, before engaging in one-to-one discussion with the teacher, firstly on the topic of the stimulus, followed by general conversation based on topics from at least one additional theme listed in the syllabus.

 

Conduct of the individual oral assessment

 

The timing of the 15-minute preparation period begins when the student is presented with clean copies of each of the two stimuli (from two different themes) from which to choose the one stimulus they would like to use for the individual oral assessment. After choosing the stimulus, the student has the remainder of the 15 minutes to prepare the presentation. During this preparation time, the student may write brief working notes (a maximum of 10 bullet points). These notes may be used for reference only and must not be read aloud as a prepared speech.
During the preparation time, the student must be supervised. The student may not have access to course materials, class notes, dictionaries (in any form), computers, mobile phones or other IT equipment. The student must be given a blank sheet of paper on which to make up to 10 notes in bullet-point form. The visual stimulus and any notes that have been made in the 15 minutes of preparation time for the individual oral assessment are to be collected and retained by the teacher.

Presentation

 

As schools are required to keep coursework submissions anonymous, students are asked to avoid using their
names or any other identifying information in their presentations. During the presentation, the student
should:
• provide a brief description of the visual stimulus
• relate the visual stimulus to the relevant theme from the course.
The presentation must be spontaneous and relate specifically to the content of the visual stimulus provided;
pre-learned presentations on generic aspects of a course theme that do not directly focus on the features of the visual stimulus provided will not score high marks.
In order to reassure students and help them focus on the requirements of the individual oral assessment, the
teacher should signal the changes between the respective parts through the use of an appropriate phrase.

The presentation should last 1–2 minutes, during which time the teacher should avoid interrupting
the student, unless it is clear that guidance is needed. At two minutes, if the student has not drawn the
presentation to a close, the teacher is expected to interrupt the presentation and make the transition to
the second part of the oral assessment, using a phrase such as: “I’m sorry to interrupt, but we need to move
on now”. This exact phrase does not need to be used, but it is good practice for teachers to prepare their
students before the day of the examination so that a necessary interruption in order to adhere to timings
does not unduly disturb the student.
 

Follow-up discussion based on the visual stimulus

 

Following the student’s presentation, the teacher initiates a discussion by asking questions about the theme
represented by the visual stimulus. These questions should:

  • seek clarification or extension of observations made by the student in the presentation

  • invite the student to respond to ideas presented by both the visual stimulus and the teacher

  • encourage connections and comparisons with the student’s other cultural experiences

  • provide the student with opportunities to demonstrate his or her understanding and appreciation of the target language culture(s)

  • encourage the student to engage in authentic conversation to the best of his or her ability.

This section of the individual oral assessment should last 3–4 minutes and should offer the student the
opportunity to demonstrate the ability to engage in authentic discussion on a topic. The teacher should
ask open-ended questions in order to offer the student the opportunity for authentic engagement, thus
allowing an assessment of the student’s interactive skills.
 

General discussion

 

The teacher should signal that they are moving to the final section of the individual oral assessment in
order to prepare the student for the change of theme. The teacher may use a phrase such as: “Let’s move
on to the final section of the exam. First of all, I’d like to talk with you about [theme/topic]”. This section lasts
3–4 minutes and should:

  • introduce at least one additional theme

  • seek clarification or extension of observations made by the student in relation to the additional theme(s) broached

  • invite the student to respond to ideas that arise in the general discussion

  • encourage connections and comparisons with the student’s other cultural experiences

  • provide the student with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and appreciation of the target language culture(s)

  • encourage the student to engage in authentic conversation to the best of his or her ability

  • allow an assessment of the student’s interactive skills.

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