IB

IB Japanese ab initio

First exams 2020

Workbooks

The following workbooks take you through the syllabus of the ab initio Japanese programme. Unit 1 includes a version of the workbook which allows you to click through to the relevant video tutorials, and more challenging material. The other workbooks will be updated with media links soon:

Unit 1 download
Media Links
download
Unit 2 downloadUnit 3 downloadUnit 4 download

Writing worksheets for laminating

Print and laminate (or slip into a sturdy plastic envelope) the matching sheets – back to back – and use a non-permanent marker to practise all the kanji you need for the ab initio Japanese course. You can start by tracing the characters on one side, and as you gain confidence you can fill in the empty squares on the other side. It’s OK to peek at the reverse side if you forget a kanji:

Individual Oral Exam Booklet

Download the Individual Oral Exam Booklet here to help prepare for your oral exam.

Kanji Book

Download the Kanji Book here with all the kanji you need for the ab initio course, including key kanji vocabulary items and detailed explanations.

Grammar List

Download the list of grammatical patterns which students must be familiar with for the IB Japanese ab initio course. Students can check the patterns off as they learn them, and put their own example sentences in the spaces provided.

IB Language B Standard Level

First Exams 2020

Kanji Book

Download the Kanji Book here with all the kanji you need for the language B (SL) course, including key kanji vocabulary items and detailed explanations.

Tips on how to complete the Comprehension Paper 2 for ab initio and Language B exams:

47 thoughts on “IB”

  1. Dear Ann,

    Thank you so much for sharing all the resources!

    I just have a questions about IO and how you interpret the criteria. I found some descriptions on the criteria sheets are not very specific, and I am worried if I am marking my students’ oral correctly…

    For example, what would you say the difference between ‘vocabulary is appropriate to the task’ and ‘vocabulary is appropriate to the task, and varied’? and ‘basic grammatical structures’ and ‘more complex structures’?

    • Dear Sakura,
      Firstly, I guess that you are talking about the ab initio Individual Oral Assessment (the IA – Internal Assessment). The descriptions can be difficult at first, but it is always advised that you start by looking at each marking band, starting from the lowest band, and rule out each one until you get to the band that seems to fit. Then if you think it is at the lower end of the band, give the lower mark, and if it is at the higher end, give a higher mark. There are a number of criteria to look at, so you need to look at the overall picture using your judgement and the descriptions of the criteria.
      I interpret ‘vocabulary is appropriate to the task’, to mean that the student has only the language necessary to give a relevant answer to the question; but that ‘vocabulary is appropriate to the task, and varied’ would have to include additional descriptive vocabulary such as adjectives, adverbs, or additional information beyond a simple relevant answer.
      When it comes to grammar, ‘basic grammatical structures’ would tend to mean simple sentences with no advanced grammatical patterns, whereas more complex sentences would include sentences with two parts, sentences with reasons, sentences including clauses ending in ‘…koto ga dekimasu’ or ‘….koto ga suki desu’. Also, verbs in the plain form with ‘tsumori desu’, or ‘yotei desu’ would be further examples of more complex structures. I have attached above a document with a list of ab initio grammatical patterns that students need to gain the top marks in both the oral and written exams.
      I hope this helps! がんばって!Anne

  2. Hi Anne,

    Thank you so much for your resources as always! I was wondering where I can download the Ib Ab Initio Oral booklet? I can see you’ve mentioned it here a couple of times but I can’t see a link?

    Thank you so much!

    • Dear Nicola,
      Thanks for reminding me to upload the oral exam book. Hopefully you can see it now!

      • Hello,

        How similar is the ab-initio oral guide to the requirements of the SL oral?

        Thank you

        • Hi Yuki,
          The ab initio and SL individual oral assessments are quite similar, but there are some key differences.
          Duration: ab initio 7 – 10 mins; SL 12 – 15 mins. The SL presentation is much longer and the general discussion is also expected to be longer and with more detail.
          Opinions and interpretation: SL students are expected to express their opinions and show some level of interpretation and analysis, whereas this is not expected in the ab initio course to any advanced level.
          Language: in the SL course students are expected to be able to use some idiomatic expressions and basic grammatical patterns are expected to be used correctly. Errors are allowed in complex grammatical patterns only.

          It is important to note that both exams require students to demonstrate some understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture

          I hope this helps! がんばって!Anne

  3. 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.

  4. 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,
      Anne

  5. 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,
      Anne

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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,
      Anne

  9. 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,
      Anne

  10. 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

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

  12. 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.
      がんばって
      Anne

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.
      がんばって
      Anne

  17. 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.

  18. 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,
    Rachel

  19. 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,
    Burno

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

  20. 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.
      Ganbatte!
      Anne

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

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