The individual oral commentary (IOC)
IOC - Mock 17th and 24th May 2014 (book your slot now)
IOC - Final last week of May
The individual oral commentary (IOC) is a test on Part 4, a critical study of literature. This will be based on The Tempest, Enduring Love and the poetry of Simon Armitage. Don't worry! You will be given a mock oral before the final orals are conducted.
Make sure that you are familiar with the criteria below:
Criterion A - Knowledge and understanding of the text or extract - 10 marks
The commentary must show knowledge of the text. The student is expected to refer to the text to support his or her statements. Where appropriate the student must place the extract in its context.
Criterion B - Understanding of the use and effects of literary features - 10 marks
The commentary shows how the extract uses literary features, such as narrative technique and structure, to convey a particular message. The student comments on the effects that these literary features have on their audience.
Criterion C - Organization - 5 marks
The commentary should be well organized and structured. There should be a coherent presentation of ideas.
Criterion D - Language - 5 marks
The student's use of English must be appropriate and accurate. The student is expected to use a level of vocabulary and a set of terminology that are appropriate to the register of a formal commentary.
- Each student receives a 40-line passage from a work that he or she has studied for Part 4.
- Students do not know which passage they will receive on this internal exam.
- Each student has 20 minutes to prepare the passage.
- Students must then talk about their passage for a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes.
- After the 10 minutes a 2 to 5 minute discussion may take place with the teacher.
- All orals must be recorded. Some samples (selected by the IB) will be sent to the IB for moderation.
- The IOC counts for 15% of the final grade.
Tips for Success!
- Use the ‘Big 5’ as an organizing principle for the textual analysis. This will give you focus, starting from the bigger contextual picture to a more detailed analysis of literary features. Be careful however that this does not lead to you sounding like you are going through a checklist. The 'Big 5' in brief:
1 - Audience / purpose
2 - Theme / content
3 - Tone / mood
4 - Stylistic devices
5 - Structure
- One you have explored the bigger picture of a text and placed it within its context, you will want to 'zoom in' and look at the literary features in detail, commenting on their effects on their target audience. When analyzing poetry, you can focus on the various levels of sound and structure. Here are 5 levels of analysis:
1 - Letter level (alliteration / consonance / onomatopoeia)
2 - Syllable level (iambs / trochee / etc.)
3 - Verse level (pentameter / trimeter / etc.)
4 - Stanza (quatrain / heroic couplet / etc.)
5 - Poem structure (English sonnet / Italian sonnet / ballad / etc.)
6 - Finally, one could explore conceptual devices such as imagery, metaphor and other forms of figurative speech.
- Have an introduction and conclusion, with a guiding idea (usually a theme) around which the IOC is focused. The Point / Illustrate / Explain (PIE) method is also recommended. Like paragraphs in an essay, IOCs can contain topic sentences that support a thesis, or main idea.
- It is not enough to simply include literary terms, concepts and devices. One must explain why authors have employed certain devices. This requires a degree of interpretation that goes beyond summation. You need to consider the how as well as the what.
- Speak in the present tense about the literary text that you are discussing. While the author may no longer live, the work lives on and carries meaning now, today.