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Spanish ab Initio Written assignment

Clarification for 2017:
This is the official document from the IB [Subject component upload requirements] where you can find the answers to your questions. Confirmed, you do not have to submit any comments for the written assignment. It is externally assessed.
What is it?
It is an independent research written paper based on the prescribed topics divided into three sections:
This paper should be use as an instrument to know better the target culture and the student's own culture. One of the most important outcomes is to show intercultural understanding. Check out the rubric to familiarize yourself with the requirements.

There is no need to fill out the old cover sheet for the written assignment since 2015. It isn't required by the IBO anymore.


  • To develop intercultural understanding by reflecting on differences and similarities between cultures
  • To describe aspects of the target language culture(s)
  • To compare aspects of the target language culture(s) with similar aspects in the student’s culture(s)
  • To develop language competence.
Formal requirements:

  • To develop intercultural understanding by reflecting on differences and similarities between cultures
  • To describe aspects of the target language culture(s)
  • To compare aspects of the target language culture(s) with similar aspects in the student’s culture(s)
  • To develop language competence.
When the students can/must have to work on their written assignment?

The students are not allowed to work on their written assignment during their first year. This is an assignment to be completed on the second year of the course. This doesn't mean the format, requirements are not to be explained and practice in class during the first year of the course.


Your writing should be of three short written answers set out under three separate headings (obviously in Spanish):
  • A - Description: in relation to a Hispanic culture.
  • B - Comparison: between Hispanic culture and your own
  • C - Reflection: respond to three questions.
    • Which aspect of your chosen topic surprised you?
    • Why do you think these cultural similarities/differences exist?
    • What might a person from the target culture(s) find different about your chosen topic in your culture(s)?
How many sources must I have?

Between 2 and 4 in Spanish (target language) with the possibility of listing more sources in other languages. Consider using different formats for your sources: articles, videos, pamphlets, interviews... 

Word count?

Students have to produce an assignment of 200-350 words. Work which falls significantly beneath this word count is unlikely to meet the requirements of the task and will, very probably, receive low marks. If the word limit is exceeded, the assessment will just be based on the first 350 words.

Use of dictionaries and reference material?

This is the only assessment that allows students to use dictionaries and reference material.

Sources, documents & related links:
  • ab Initio WA rubric [pdf]
  • Language ab Initio Subject Guide [IBO]
  • Assessment criteria for the written assignment
  • Clarifications for the written assignment [IBO] [En] [Spa]
  • To know more about what type of texts can you write for your written assignment click here [Antonio Luna]
  • If you are interested in more materials for Spanish ab Initio, click here
  • Teaching Spanish B as well? Check our Spanish B page or this post

9 comentarios:

  1. Anónimo1/11/2017

    This is very informative, thank you for sharing and creating this. Could you now explain if the written IA needs to be annotated or marked by the teacher please. I thought that the teacher should have no dealings with the work and this would be the independent work of each student. I await your response. Thank you.

  2. Hi Jakeya,
    Sorry for the delay, I've been pretty busy. The Written Assignment should not be annotated or marked by the teacher, this is an independent research paper for the students. The teacher must provides guidance but not check on the student grammar, structures... Copy from the ab Initio guide:
    The role of the teacher
    It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that:
    • the written assignment is completed during the final year of the course and submitted before the
    date stipulated by the IB
    • guidance is provided to the student in his or her choice of the topic and the source material
    • a copy of the assessment criteria is provided to the student
    • a copy of the formal requirements below is provided to the student.
    I hope this helps ;)

  3. I have a question about the topic. Would you consider the use of alternative medicine in a Hispanic country vs USA appropriate for the written assignment? This is my first time working on this assessment.
    Thanks a lot,
    Claudia Elliott

  4. Hi Sra Elliot,
    Sorry for the late response, I seem to be busier by the minute.
    Your topic sounds good to me, make sure there is a description of the idea, comparison between cultures/countries and remember to include the bibliography.

  5. Anónimo7/25/2018

    Hello Mr. Luna,
    Do you have a sample written assignment that has received a good score? I tried searching the internet but I can't find it.
    Thank you,

  6. Hola Samuel:

    Sorry for the late reply, I had a problem with comment notifications. Anyway, if you are still looking for samples for written assignment, you can find them here with examiner comments: https://ibpublishing.ibo.org/server2/rest/app/tsm.xql?doc=d_1_a1lan_tsm_1402_2_s&part=6&chapter=13&fbclid=IwAR2RwrngTvoBlKdCFX0ljXYAY3cEI4dMEDhrKr4W4e3EMfPNxRGlPjHCuVM

  7. Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks 澳洲代写

  8. i am not confident enough for my topic to write the assessment, could you please state if my topic is good and informative enough to write?
    my topic is: año nueva Espanol y ano nueva Tibetano!

  9. A round of applause for your mind blowing article. Much thanks to you, Fantastic.






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