IB Japanese ab initio and Language B (SL)

IB ab initio Standard Level – 2020 First Exams


IB ab initio Unit 1

IB ab initio Unit 2

IB ab initio Unit 3

IB ab initio Unit 4

IB ab initio Kanji Book 2020 Syllabus

You may also find the following booklet useful for preparing for the individual oral exam from 2020:

Ab initio Oral Exam_Student Booklet

You also need to know the Japanese IB Text Types for both ab initio and Language B exams. This booket explains the various text types and gives some model answers to help:

IB Text Types_Student Booklet

Finally, the video tutorial at the bottom of the blog explains the different question types in both the IB ab initio and Language B comprehension papers.

IB Language B Standard Level – 2020 First Exams


IB Lang B SL Kanji 2020 Book

Japanese ab initio oral exam

41 thoughts on “IB”

  1. Thank you very much for sharing many useful materials.

  2. Is there a recommended study guide/book for the IB SL Japanese exam for language B?

    • Dear Priya,
      I’m afraid that there is no specific IB Lang B textbook – but any of the main secondary textbooks will get you started and you can supplement the textbooks with on-line material. Look at the Japan Foundation’s website for lists of resources. Bear in mind that the IB does not have a vocabulary list, so the best way to access the sort of vocab likely to appear in the exams is to use the texts in the past papers as resources. These are all authentic texts and usually very interesting, and provide a good starting point.

  3. Dear Sensei,
    I’ve just finished N5 and would like to start IB Japanese AB initio next year. May I know what level of difficulty, in terms of JLPT levels, the IB Japanese AB initio is?
    Best regards,

    • Dear Burno,
      The IB ab initio Japanese course is roughly equivalent to JLPT Level 4.

  4. Sensei,
    I am taking the AS exam this year with edexcel board, is there an oral or listening exam for the AS level?

    Thank you,

  5. Hi,
    What JLPT level would you say Japanese Language B is equivalent to? Would it be different for Higher and Standard level?

    • That is a very difficult question and probably beyond my expertise. There is a significant difference in level between Japanese Language B standard Level and higher level, I would guess that SL is about JLPT 3/4, and HL is JLPT Level 2/3. I would be very grateful for anyone else’s opinion.

  6. Hi, Thank you for the useful information. I have been struggling to find a past exam paper online (for Japanese IB ab initio ) – any advice?

    • Your Japanese teacher should have access to past papers, which schools can order from the IBO.

  7. Hi sensei,
    I’m planning on doing the a2 and I was wondering for the sakubun part if you can answer both part a and b from the same question (eg: 3a and 3b) or is that not allowed

    Thankyou for your help

    • Dear Alisa,
      I am very sorry, but I no longer teacher A-Level (we do the IB programme) so I can’t answer your question. Best of luck!

  8. Hi Sensei
    Sorry to ask again but do you have to write a short arasuji (あらすじ) before writing about the tasks given to you?
    Thank You!

  9. hi, i’m just wondering, will an updated kanji booklet will be made for the new Japanese a level syllabus?

    • Dear Jerry,
      I am really sorry, but I am afraid that I no longer teach A-Level, so I won’t be doing an updated version of the book. With the new GCSE and IB syllabus I am struggling to update the materials overall. If anyone is interested in taking on the job – I am sure that would be most appreciated by the A-Level teaching community!

  10. Hi, what jlpt level would the CIE IGCSE Japanese 0519 be equivalent to? I would have assumed n4 based on the grammar.

    • Dear John,
      I am not familiar with the iGCSE, but if it is a similar level to the GCSE (which I believe it is), then it would seem to be somewhere between n5 and n4, closer to n4.

  11. Thank you for sharing your IB materials – the SL Kanji booklet is great

  12. Hi Sensei,

    If you are taking IB Japanese Standard B this year (2019) starting then will the exam I take in 2021 be the new exam?
    Many thanks

  13. Hello,
    I am a Japanese teacher myself and will starting teaching Japanese AB initio class for the first time soon. I have been struggling to find information about the test and textbook and finally I came to this site. Sorry if it is very basic question but Can I consider that this would cover all the vocab and grammer, oral test ? THANK YOU VERY MUCH in advance!

    • Th ab initio workbooks cover the basic vocab and all the grammar, but you will need to do lots of past papers to make sure that you have covered everything.
      Best wishes,

  14. Thank you so much for sharing all your hard work.
    I have a question for the oral exam for IB standard.
    The above IB standard oral exam preparation booklet is the same as the ab initio booklet. Are they similar exam? Is that why they are the same booklet?

    • Hi Akemi,
      I’ll be upgrading the books shortly – with sections on ab initio and Language B.
      Best wishes,

  15. Hi,
    Do you know the total marks for each Paper 1 and 2 for IB Japanese SL ab initio?
    Thank you

    • Hi David,
      Paper 1 has a total of 30 marks; and Paper 2 has two parts – Listening Comprehension (25 marks) and Reading Comprehension (40 marks).

  16. Hello. Thank you very much for your information.
    For a new IB oral (internal assessment), a SL stimulus does not require a caption but needs a label with one of the themes. Do you know anything about a new oral for May 2020 Ab initio? Does Ab initio oral have any change? Thank you very much for your help!

    • I have just uploaded the new IB ab initio oral exam booklet for 2020. Everything you need should be there. がんばって!

      • Hello from New Zealand….
        I am one of a very few Japanese teachers teaching the IB Language B curriculum here in New Zealand. Because we are such a small group, it has been very difficult for me to find resources for the new syllabus. I noticed that you have an extensive amount of material for the ab initio course…. would you have anything in your toolkit for the new SL listening and reading?
        Much appreciated.

  17. I just found this site. Oh my gosh it is so useful! A problem I have is that my school district has set up a firewall which keeps us from accessing websites from overseas. Would you mind if I put a copy of your packets on my website so that my students can access them? Even if it’s not okay, thank you for doing these packets. It is so nice.

    • Dear Patrick,
      I would be happy for you to put the materials on your website so that your students can use them.
      Best wishes,

  18. Hi there. Thanks so much for all this useful information. Is the Japanese Language and Literature A HL paper at a level that is or exceeds the JLPT 1? Is there a list or number of kanji required? I am a teacher in TX and we are assessing whether to introduce this curriculum to our new college.

    • Dear James,
      I’m afraid I am not familiar with the Language A course.
      Best wishes,

  19. Hi, thank you so much for all these resources. My school doesn’t offer Japanese as a language b but has allowed me and one other girl to do self study (SL). I am sort of fluent in Japanese so I’m not too worried but the school hasn’t offered too many resources or information so far so I was wondering if you know anything regarding self studying Japanese?

    • Dear Kiki,
      The first thing you need to do is to ask your school to get the syllabus and look carefully at the assessments, themes etc. It will also include the list of kanji you will need for the exam and very clear guidance on the additional assessments. In addition, you need to ask for as many past papers as you are able to get, and start to use them to practise the question types and the format of the papers and oral examination. I am afraid that I am unable to post any official IB documents here due to copyright restrictions. If you need any additional help I would suggest that you get some support from a tutor.

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