Reading requirements

To meet the aims of the Language and Literature course you are expected to read a broad range of literary works and non-literary texts. Curiously, the word 'Language' in the course title is often used to refer to non-literary texts. To some extent both teachers and students are responsible for finding and selecting the texts that they will explore in class. So it helps to think of yourself as a 'hunter and gatherer' of texts (or as a 'connoisseur' of texts for the more sophisticated readers among us). As you explore texts and works, you may notice that distinctions between 'literary' and 'non-literary' or even 'fiction' and 'non-fiction' are not always clear. 

Non-literary bodies of work (BOW)

At standard and higher level, you will explore many global issues as they are presented through a broad range of non-literary types of texts. These types of texts include, but are not limited to:

advertisements street art commercials webpages
photographs biographies cartoons letters
speeches magazine articles memoirs interviews
diaries podcasts reports essays

In the units on this Support Site, many activities include non-literary texts. You may be inspired to explore the 'bodies of work' from which these texts have been taken. A 'body of work' is a series of non-literary texts from the same author or 'sense of authorship'. One of the two texts that you comment on for your individual oral (IO), should be a non-literary text taken from a body of work.

Literary works
# of required works SL HL
From the Prescribed Reading List (PRL) 1 2
From PRL in translation 1 2
Freely chosen 2 2
Total works read 4 6
of which __ are from different centuries 2 3
of which __ are from different places 2 3*
of which __ are from different literary forms 2 3
of which __ is/are from each area of exploration 1 2

*Definitions of time, place and form

'Time' is defined by century. 'Place' is defined by continent. At HL students read at least works from at least 2 different continents and 3 different countries There are four literary forms, according to the IB: prose fiction, prose non-fiction, poetry and drama. Graphic novels are considered prose fiction or non-fiction, depending on the content matter. Song lyrics are considered poetry. A 'literary work' is defined as: 15-20 poems / lyrics, 5-8 short stories,1 novel,1 play.

Mr. Philpot's list of literary works

If you are a student in Mr. Philpot's class, you will be reading the following literary works. As you can see from the downloadable PDF below, you will explore a broad range of poets and lyricists as a 'freely chosen' work. The poet or lyricist that you choose for your individual oral may come from any time or place and may or may not be on the PRL.

Mr. Philpot's list of literary works Download a reading requirements checklist


Students need to complete a 'Works studied' form, as provided by the IB, which must be kept with the Learner portfolio. The IB may request this form. Students in the same class do not have to read all the same works.

Last modified: Wednesday, 19 February 2020, 3:00 PM