The Complete Guide to IB Spanish Language B

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Are you considering taking Guide IB Spanish B as part of your IB Diploma?

If so, you are not alone. Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the world after Chinese, and a popular choice among IB students.

But what does it take to succeed in IB Spanish B? What are the benefits and challenges of learning this beautiful and diverse language?

In this post, we are introducing a comprehensive guide IB Spanish B that covers everything you need to know about the course, its curriculum, and assessment methods, as well as tips from our expert teachers to help you ace it.

Whether you are a beginner or have learned Español during your Middle Year Programme, this guide to IB Spanish B will help you make the most of your IB Spanish experience.

IB Spanish B Curriculum

First, the Spanish IB language B programme is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the Spanish language. Second, it is designed to help them understand the diverse cultures and societies where the language is spoken.

In fact, the IBO divided the course’s curriculum into four main areas:


This first component of the programme focuses on developing students’ ability to communicate effectively in Spanish, both orally and in writing.

So that its goal is to aid students in developing vocabulary and grammar, as well as giving them the skill to express their ideas and opinions in the target language.

Cultural Diversity

The second purpose of the course is to show students the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world, including its customs, traditions, and ways of life. This is done by introducing them to literature, films, and cultural artefacts, as well as engaging them in discussions on cultural topics, they learn to appreciate the Spanish way of life and heritage.

Text Types

Thirdly, Spanish Language B focuses on developing students’ ability to read and analyze different types of texts, including news articles, opinion pieces, literary works, and more. Students are expected to learn to identify and explore their key themes and ideas. At the same time, they develop the ability to write and respond to different types of texts.


Finally, formative and summative assessments are designed to provide students with regular feedback on their progress. The programme uses tests, essays, and oral presentations to determine student comprehension of the subject.

Maria F

Maria F

Maria is a certified teacher with a PGCE in Spanish & Italian from Bristol University. She also holds two master's degrees (Spanish as a foreign language and Spanish and Latin American Literature). She is currently teaching at a prestigious boarding school in Switzerland. Maria teaches IB Spanish A Literature and Spanish B.


Jean Pierre holds an MA in International Policy Studies from Monterey Institute. He teaches IB History, Spanish and TOK and is trilingual English/French/Spanish. Jean-Pierre has taught at a number of International Schools in the Middle East and more recently in Portugal where he is head of Humanities and lead TOK instructor.

SL and HL International Baccalaureate Spanish: What’s the Difference?

In addition, if you are interested in taking IB Spanish, you have two options to decide between: Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL).

In fact, both options cover the same topics and themes, but they differ in how deep and complex the material and the assessments are. Here are some of the main differences between HL and SL IB Spanish Language B:

Depth and Complexity of Material:

Guide IB Spanish B HL students go deeper and further into the material than their SL peers. They encounter more challenging texts and activities. Along with that, they need to show a more sophisticated understanding of the themes and concepts covered in the programme.

Assessment Requirements:

At the HL level, assessments are generally more difficult and require more in-depth knowledge of the material. For instance, the External exam is 30 minutes longer for HL students. When it comes to Internal assessment, they have a conversation with a teacher based on an extract from a literary work, in contrast to a discussion based on a picture for SL students.

Time Commitment:

HL level has more teaching hours than SL – a minimum of 240 vs 150. This is because the course’s material is deeper and more complex. Besides, HL students have to do more independent study and research.

University Requirements:

HL Spanish Language B is generally more valued by universities than SL Spanish B, as it shows a higher level of language proficiency and cultural knowledge. If you’d like to study Spanish or related subjects at university, HL is the one to choose.

Overall, HL and SL are associated with varying degrees of academic challenge and expectations of students. While IB Spanish SL provides a solid foundation in Spanish, HL is for those who love the language and want to explore it at a more advanced level.


IB Spanish Language B Assessment

The IB Spanish Language B Assessment consists of two parts: external and internal. The external assessment is worth 75% of the final grade and includes two papers: Paper 1 (productive skills) and Paper 2 (receptive skills). The internal component, in turn, is worth 25% of your final result. Essentially, it is an individual oral assessment.

IB Spanish External Assessment: Paper 1

Paper 1 tests your ability to write in Spanish on a variety of topics and themes. You have to choose one writing task from a choice of three based on a specific text type and syllabus topics. The text type could be an article, blog post, letter, speech, etc.

SL students must produce 250-400 words, and they have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the task. At HL, Paper 1 is 450-600 words, with 1 hour and 30 minutes to get the work done. Regardless of the level, Paper 1 brings up to 30 marks and is 25% of the total grade.

IB Spanish External Assessment: Paper 2

Paper 2 consists of two separate sections: listening and reading.

In the listening section, you have to answer questions based on three audio texts that are played twice. The audio texts could be interviews, podcasts, news reports, announcements, etc. You have either 45 minutes (SL) or 1 hour (HL) to complete this section. It awards 25 marks toward your final grade.

The reading part of the exam provides three texts in various formats – articles, blogs, reviews, reports, etc. After familiarizing yourself with their content, you need to answer a number of questions. Students have one hour to complete this section and get a maximum of 40 marks at both levels.

In total, you can earn 65 marks, contributing to 75% of the final result.

IB Spanish Internal Assessment

The individual oral assessment is designed to determine an overall proficiency in Spanish. It involves a presentation based on a stimulus: an image or an excerpt of literary work for SL and HL respectively.

You have 15 minutes to prepare your presentation. The oral presentation itself spans three to four minutes. After that, you have a discussion with your teacher based on the same topic as your presentation plus one of the topics you studied in your Spanish class. The discussion lasts for eight to ten minutes.

Internal Assessment awards 30 marks, which are worth 25% of the total grade.


Assessment Criteria

The IB Spanish Language B evaluates students using four criteria. These criteria apply to external and internal assessments alike.

  1. Communication. This criterion measures the ability to effectively communicate in Spanish, using appropriate vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and fluency.


  1. Language. The main area to focus on is the ability to apply appropriate linguistic structures and conventions in communication. These include grammar, syntax, and spelling.


  1. Message. Students should be able to convey a clear and coherent message, as well as express their ideas, opinions, and emotions.


  1. Cultural Understanding. This criterion assesses how well students understand Spanish-speaking cultures, analyse and interpret literary and cultural texts, as well as engage in discussions related to cultural issues.


IB Spanish Topics

The IB Spanish Language B course has five prescribed themes:

  • Identities
  • Experiences
  • Human ingenuity
  • Social organization
  • Sharing the planet.

These themes are broad and flexible to provide insight into various aspects of the Spanish language and culture.

Each theme has a guiding principle that helps explore the main idea in relation to yourself, others, and the world around you. For example, the guiding principle for identities is “explore the nature of the self and what it is to be human”.

To process the topic efficiently, it is divided into bite-sized areas. Each school has a chance to select these areas individually, although the IB Spanish guide provides a list of recommendations. When it comes to “Identities”, the possible areas include the following: lifestyles; health and well-being; beliefs and values; subcultures; language and identity.

The IBO who sets the exam does not prescribe the themes and topics to be exhaustive. You can choose to explore other topics that are relevant to your interests and needs, as long as they fit within the scope of the themes and the course objectives. You are able to make connections and comparisons across various themes and topics.

Students explore IB Spanish topics through a variety of activities, including class discussions, written assignments, oral presentations, and group projects. Besides expanding students’ vocabulary, the IB Spanish language B course focuses on grammar and language structures necessary for effective communication in Spanish.


Tips for Success in IB Spanish Language B

Learning Spanish as part of your IB programme can be both challenging and rewarding. To reduce the former and increase the latter, we’ve put together some Spanish learning tips. They can make your language learning journey more engaging and effective.


  • Regular practice. Try to incorporate Spanish into your daily routine by reading, writing, listening, or speaking. By doing so, you will become more comfortable with the language and improve your fluency.


  • Immerse yourself in the language. Watch Spanish-language movies and TV shows, listen to Spanish music, read books, newspapers, posts, etc. Regular exposure to Spanish media can help you develop a better understanding of the language and its cultural background.


  • Practice with native speakers. Seek out opportunities to practice with people who speak Spanish fluently. Not only will you improve your pronunciation and fluency, but you also gain valuable cultural insights that can enhance your language learning experience.


  • Hire a Spanish tutor. If you feel like you need additional support, consider taking on a Spanish tutor. A tutor can provide personalized guidance and help overcome any challenges you may be facing in your language learning journey.


  • Use technology to supplement classroom learning. There are many language learning apps and websites that can help you practice Spanish. Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel – these and other apps are handy solutions to bring more Spanish language into your life.
Ace IB Spanish Course with TutorsPlus

Are you ready to take on the challenge of the IB Spanish Language B course? It’s a fulfilling journey that will boost your communication skills and deepen your intercultural understanding in Spanish-speaking contexts. Hopefully this guide to IB Spanish B has answered your key questions.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need extra support, fear not! TutorsPlus is here to help. Our team of professional IB tutors can guide you through every step of the way. From preparing for assessments to improving your language skills and cultural knowledge, our tutors provide tailored sessions to fit your needs and goals.

TutorsPlus is the top choice for IB Spanish Language B students who want to unlock their full potential and enjoy the learning process. Contact us today at 022 731 8148 and, and get ready to succeed in your IB Spanish Language B course!

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