Tips and Tricks for IB English Literature and Performance (Internal Assessment)

English Literature and Performance is a subject available in IB under both Group 1: studies in language and literature, and Group 6: the arts. It aims to explore the relation between literature and theatre. As a student of literature and performance, you are required to study a minimum of five texts. This blog focuses on the Internal assessment for this subject.

INTERNAL ASSESSMENT: Performance and Individual Oral Presentation

The internal assessment involves a performance which is presented in front of a live audience. The performance must be a transformation based on one or more of the poetries and prose texts not studied for paper 1 or 2. It should not be based on a play. While you may make use of production elements such as stage furnishings, properties and costume in your presentations, the focus of the assessment will be on your performance. Performance time should be sufficient to allow for you to be assessed and may range from 5 minutes for a solo performance, up to a suggested maximum of 20 minutes for a group. The performance would be recorded for moderation purposes. You will also do a 12 to 15-minute individual oral presentation based on your performance of a transformed or adapted piece of poetry or prose. The presentation will be recorded on audio or video for moderation purposes.

The IA unlike other assessments comprises 40% of your final grade and therefore can significantly affects it. You can ask your IB English tutor for details but here is an example:

In class, you can decide whether to be alone or perform in a group. Then, you can decide which poem or prose you wish to adapt. For instance, you choose to adapt the Little Red Cap by Carol Ann Duffy. You must analyze it in class with your group and your teacher. Your IB English Literature tutor can help you with this analysis. Understand the themes, literary devices and simultaneously think about how you would put it up on stage. Little Red cap is an adaptation of the Little red riding hood story and represents a feministic approach with a plethora of literary devices. Create a storyline/plot with a climax with parallels to the poem. Use costumes, lights etc. to create the mood. Think about creative ways of presenting your poem/prose on stage. Which theatre convention, stage type etc. are you planning to use and why? You must change something from text to stage and not simply put up the story of the prose/poem. This is your chance to show your performance skills and creativity on stage.


Criterion A: Performance (15 marks)

This criterion judges how well you have performed and the level of your acting skills. Your acting should be effective and appropriate in the setting you have created for your performance. Your performance should be highly convincing for the audience and the moderators. Besides your level of acting, your performance should show a sensitive, imaginative and original response to the text. This means that your performance is an adaptation of the poem or prose and not just a depiction of it. Discuss ideas with your IB online tutor so that your performance has these qualities.

Criterion B: Presentation of evidence supporting the student’s involvement in the process leading up to the performance (5 marks)

Marks that your teachers gives you in this criterion are generally not altered much by the moderator. This is because the criterion is about how involved you have been in the entire process of transforming the poetry or prose onto the stage. However, your level of involvement will be evident in your performance to some extent.

Criterion C: Presentation and use of language (5 marks)

This criterion is mainly for your Individual Oral Presentation or IOP. The presentation and use of language should be excellent with varied sentence structures and wide use of vocabulary. The structure and organization of your speech should be persuasive, clear and coherent. Tips and tricks will help you achieve this. However, it is a good idea to take help from your Online IB tutors for the proper guidance.

Criterion D: Critical reflection (5 marks)

Critical reflection is not boasting about your performance. It is a genuine reflection about the strengths and weaknesses of your performance. You should mention at least 2-4 personal and group strengths and weaknesses. Incorporate feedback from your teacher, classmates and IB English tutor for this section.

Criterion E: Knowledge and understanding of the literary features of the original text and rationale for its realization (10 marks)

This criterion judges how well you know the text you are adapting. How well you have analyzed and rationalized choices in your performance. You should show an excellent knowledge and understanding of the literary features of the original text and a coherent and persuasive rationale for its transformation on stage. You can use the PEEL method explained in ‘TIPS AND TRICKS FOR IB English Literature and Performance (Paper 2)’ in our blog section. An example would be:

The poem, ‘Little Red Cap’ by Carol Ann Duffy uses the wolf in the story as a metaphor for a man. The use of this metaphor is representing men in general as tough and strong and presents them as superior to girls/women which is characterized by the Little Red Riding Hood. To transform this metaphor on stage and show the difference in power, you (as the man/wolf for example) stood tall with your chin up and your dialogues suggest how superior you feel you are. This is not the only way to transform this metaphor on stage. You may get creative and look at other effective ways of representing the metaphor depending on your plot and storyline. However, this is an example on how you can show that you have understood the literary features and rationalize how and why you have transformed it on stage.

You can take help of your IB tutor or English tutor for ideas and insights into possibilities.


Your IOP will be immediately after your performance and therefore you must be prepared beforehand.

  • Personally, I feel poems for this assessment give you the freedom of interpretation and allows you to be more creative than you can with a prose. Prose can be a long story which can be difficult to present within 5 -20 minutes. With poetry, the plot and storyline is original yet has elements, themes and mood of the poem. This can also help you with a better analysis and rationalization of literary features and performance.
  • In order to have a great IOP, you must think from the point you start analyzing your poem/prose. Pick at least 12 literary devices and see how you would transform them on stage and how you can unfold an interesting plot around it. Think why that is the best way to do so. Make note of these so that you do not forget them in time for your IOP. All of these 12 literary devices may not be used in your final performance and therefore you would be left with roughly 6-8 that you can speak about in your IOP.
  • Besides literary devices, you should also include structure, phonetics, voice, theatre convention and stage type and rationalize your choices for your performance well. Give as much details and reasoning as you can in the time frame. Mention how you used voice, posture and movement to enact the qualities of your chosen character. Do not forget about reflecting on your performance and what you thought about the audience’s reaction.
  • Write down at least 3 drafts before you go for your final IOP. Get these drafts checked by your IB tutor so that you know you have included and rationalized everything you should. Your drafts can be in the form of an essay but your handout for your final IOP should have points.
  • Practice multiple times using the pointers you would be using for your final IOP after you have made the corrections and use the feedback you received for your drafts. Make sure you time your oral presentation so that it is between 12-15 minutes. Practice will help you be clear and give you an idea of the speed at which you must speak to finish your presentation between 12-15 minutes.
  • Practice in front of your classmates or your IB tutors and receive a third-person feedback as to whether or not you are coherent, and your structure of the presentation is effective. Ask them if they have understood everything you said. This will give you confidence for your final IOP and be familiar with having your teacher listen to you. This also gives you a chance to correct any mistakes you have made.

This is my guide to you, as a student of the English Literature and Performance. These tips and tricks worked for me and I hope you receive good grades too. Baccalaureate Classes are always there to help you whenever you need it!

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