In each of Years 7, 8 and 9 students will follow a structured course in English that will enable them to consolidate core skills and analyse a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students are assessed each term for writing, reading and speaking and listening.

The study of English is arranged into three main areas as outlined below. The majority of students in Year 7 to 9 will cover most of following:


  • about the texts they have read
  • accounts of personal experiences
  • imaginative stories
  • poetry
  • letters
  • play scripts
  • expressing opinions
  • conveying information eg. guides or directions
  • for different audiences eg. designing adverts

Students will practise the skills of writing in draft, then correct and edit this first version to produce a redraft. They will be taught the importance of presentation and the need for accurate spelling and punctuation. Understanding of grammar is equally important.


  • books of their own choice (and completing the different stages of the Reading Record scheme)
  • shared class novels
  • poetry
  • play scripts (including Shakespeare)
  • non-fiction
  • media text

Students will regularly read silently, read aloud and begin to develop their own preferences. One lesson per fortnight, classes visit the library. They learn to ask questions of a text and go beyond the literal meaning. They also learn the skills of scanning for information and selecting appropriate information for particular tasks; using reference tools such as dictionaries, thesaurus and online tools like Inanimate Alice.

Set in a technology saturated near future, Inanimate Alice tells the story of a girl called Alice, merging text with animation, videos, music and games to explore what it means to conduct your life online. It is studied by year 7 students.


Speaking and Listening

Students will talk and listen:

  • in various situations
  • to the whole class
  • in smaller groups
  • in pairs  

Students will learn to have confidence in speaking in front of their peers and to cooperate in groups or in pairs. They will be taught the importance of listening and how that can facilitate productive discussion. Students will talk about their reading and writing, as all the areas of English interact with each other, and will be involved in debates.



ENGLISH (IGCSE Syllabus No. 0500) and

In English, students are encouraged to develop a keen interest in all kinds of reading, both fiction and non-fiction, helping them to develop their aesthetic and imaginative lives, and also their ability to think independently.  Students will become more confident in expressing their ideas and opinions convincingly in both written and spoken forms.
All students in Years 10 and 11 follow the IGCSE dual course which should lead to IGCSE English for all students and IGCSE English Literature for most.  During the course, students will continue to develop core skills in English and will meet increasingly challenging texts and tasks.
The assessment of each IGCSE is by both coursework and examination:

  • In IGCSE English, the examination will require a response to non-fiction and media texts.  Students will need to be able to demonstrate their ability to write for a range of purposes. This represents 50% of the IGCSE. 
  • 50% of IGCSE English will be assessed by written coursework.  Students will write expressively and analytically.  They will also produce a piece of writing in response to texts containing facts and opinions.
  • Students will also be awarded marks for oral communication.
  • In IGCSE Literature, the examination will require students to demonstrate their ability to respond critically to the set texts they have studied during the course.  These will include poetry, prose and drama.
  • Students will study a range of texts including Shakespeare, pre-20th century drama, poetry and the novel.
  • The IGCSE English Literature course is assessed through examination. Students are assessed on their knowledge of the texts study throughout the course and on their understanding of unseen texts.

The table below provides a brief overview of the IGCSE course for examination in June 2012:


IGCSE First Language English 0500

  • Paper 2: Written Examination 50% (2 hours)
  • Coursework Portfolio 50%

IGCSE English Literature 0486

  • Written Examination on Poetry and Prose – Closed Books (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Written Examination on Drama – Open Book (45 minutes)
  • Paper 3: Unseen 2 (1 hour 15 minutes)


A1 Higher and Standard Level (Examination Session May 2012)

This is a rigorous pre-university course in the study of literary texts in the candidate’s first or best language. The course develops analytical and critical thinking skills as well as an understanding of historical, social and political contexts of a variety of cultures over time viewed through the lens of literature and examined through theoretical frameworks such as Marxist/ post-colonial, feminist, psychological, formalist/structuralist and reader-response critiques.

At BIS Jakarta the majority of students study English as their first language but other options such as Indonesian and Korean are also available. A significant number of BIS students are able to take a second A1 thereby earning a bilingual diploma.

Group 1 Options for Examination Session May 2013
There are new options available in August/September 2011 for candidates taking the final examination in May 2013. These are:

  • Literature (Higher and Standard Level)
  • Language and Literature (Higher and Standard Level)

The A1 course has been revised and is now called Literature. Fewer texts are studied and the options available have been updated to reflect contemporary concerns and new literary genres. With the change in assessment external and internal coursework now account for 55% of the total grade. This places greater emphasis on ongoing, continuous engagement with the course.

Literature students at Higher Level will study 13 texts that are assessed internally through 2 oral assignments (30%) and externally through 1 written essay (25%) and a final examination comprising 2 papers of 2 hours duration each (45%). Standard Level students will study 9 texts and the assessment is through 2 orals (30%), 1 written essay (25%) and a final examination of 2 papers of 1 ½ hours each.

Language and Literature is a new course that values literary texts and non-literary genres equally. This is an ideal course for students who want to retain an engagement with literature as well as extend their analytical and critical thinking skills to a wider range of oral, written and visual texts and providing a greater engagement with and understanding of media texts, the use of language in a variety of cultural contexts, the way language shapes our identity and perceptions and is in turn impacted upon by our experience.

Language and Literature Higher Level students will take 2 papers of 2 hours each in the year-end final examination comprising 50% of the grade awarded. Students will also submit 2 out of a possible 4 written tasks for 20% external assessment. The 2 oral assessments will account for the remaining 30% of the assessment.

Students taking Language and Literature at Standard Level will be assessed through two papers in the final examination of 1 ½ hours duration each and weighted at 25% each thereby comprising 50% of the total grade. Additional coursework will include 3 written tasks of which 1 will be submitted for external assessment. Internal assessment will be through 2 orals accounting for the remaining 30% of the grade awarded.

There is no change in teaching hours for both courses – 150 hours for Standard Level and 240 hours for Higher Level over the two year Diploma Programme.