language appeals form

This document is the academic appeals form that students use in my school when they have been advised not to undertake an Extended Essay in a subject based on their language performance in the subject in the the pre-IBDP course that they undertook, such as The Middle Years Programme or GCSEs. 

When students wish to write an Extended Essay in their second language, this will usually mean them wanting to do it in their Group 2, Language Acquisition subject. There are cases however, when a student’s mother tongue is different than the language the Diploma is being taught in. In these cases, the student may wishing to be writing their essay in a Group 1, 3,4,5 or 6 subject.

Similar to the Academic Appeals Form, this language appeal form asks the student to give a detailed explanation as to why they should be able to write the Extended Essay in the language they have chosen, focusing on future career choices, their interest in the language, subject and / or research area, their existing knowledge in the language, subject / research area and their recent performance them. It goes on to ask the student to put in a detailed proposal for the essay, similar to the student proposal form, including possible research questions and how they intend to tackle the research.

After the student has filled in their part of the form, the student’s language teacher is asked to give an evaluation of the student including recent assessment grades, their ability to work independently, their reading ability, their writing ability, relevant exam results in the target language, comments on previous essays, their ability to research and write in the target language, their interest in the subject / language, their attitude and work rate, their previous responses to targets and advice, their ability to access criteria, comments on the student’s previous inquiry / research-based work, and a response to the student`s proposal.

If the student is doing the essay in a non-Group 2 subject that is in their second language, the form is passed on to their subject teacher who gives a similar appraisal of the student’s performance from the point of view of the subject, which may or not be affected by their language ability.

After the student’s and teacher’ comments, I work with all parties to come to a resolution. If the teacher(s) do not recommend the student does the essay based on their language ability, I back their decision and work with the student to find a subject better suited to them. In this case it may be their Group 1 subject, but there are times when a student takes both Group 1 and Group 2 subjects in their second language. It must be remembered, however, that every student has the right to do the Extended Essay so not all subjects can say “no”. I have had situations where students have had to add to their proposals before the teacher will make a final decision.

Final decisions are reported back to parents, including an explanation of the rationale.