The Benefits of the International Baccalaureate Organization for the Foreign Language Student
O'Leary, Erin M.
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In today's competitive world, teachers, students, and parents share the responsibility of maintaining, and reaching high standards of education to benefit the students. In the United States, programs, such as Advanced Placement (AP), have been provided to aid students' chances of furthering their education at an advanced and prestigious collegiate level. The popularity of preparatory programs, such as the AP, exists not only because of its educational benefits, but also due to its opportunity for providing financial rewards and receiving college credit. Internationally, similar programs to AP exist which provide students with an advantageous standing for college admission, yet differ in substantial ways from the AP program. A particularly popular and successful program, on the international level, which is often overlooked in regions of the United States is the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). My goal was to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the International Baccalaureate program for the foreign language learner. This goal has been completed through my direct involvement and observation of this model at Portage Northern High School. In addition to my direct observational methods, I further investigated the IBO through several means: reviewed research, conducted interviews with teachers, and obtained information from an IB foreign language French class. The Senior Individualized Project has strengthened my career as an educator who can provide knowledgeable input regarding the IBO program, which often lacks representation and understanding in certain regions of the United States.