Jan 152013
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The Power of Words

In December, all Year 12 IB students completed their first formal English assessment. It is an Individual Oral Presentation (IOP).

In preparation for it, the students have studied three works: Sherlock Holmes short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a Shakespeare play (either Hamlet or King Lear) and the novel Blazac and the Little Chinese seamstress by Dai Sijie.

The task is a really contemporary one, to consider literary texts alongside film or television adaptations of it. Students choose a focus independently, selecting an aspect of the prose or drama and its representation which is of particular, personal interest to them. They prepare a 15 minute presentation which needs to: show a detailed knowledge and appreciation of the text(s): sustain the audience’s interest using a range of techniques and demonstrate a precise and purposeful choice of language. It is quite a challenge, but our students approached it with interest, enthusiasm and commitment. A wide range of topics were selected from the representation and characterization of Holmes and Watson and the little seamstress to the significance of costumes in Hamlet.

Presentations were knowledgeable and insightful. Even more impressive was how well planned and rehearsed many of the presentations were. This cohort has some gifted orators, but just as impressive were the lengths that less confident speakers went to in order to refine their skills and really engage their listeners.

The English Department would like to congratulate all IB students on some exceptional work.