Outline Guide For TOK Oral Presentation

This should be done prior to completing the TOK Presentation Planning Document.  After completing this outline, you should be able to copy & paste and/or summarize text written here to that document.



Our main Knowledge Question is:

  • What is the relationship between the ways of knowing sense perception and reasoning in the creation of language?


Our real life situation that got us thinking about our main Knowledge Question is:

  • While sitting in English class, we had to analyze poetry, and I sat there for a few good minutes contemplating what makes a word have meaning; what makes a collection of squiggles on a paper have such an effect on society? That got me thinking about how languages are formed, and what circumstances must be present in order for a new language to blossom.



First Secondary Knowledge Question (this should be one of the knowledge questions or linking questions you developed that would contribute to a further understanding of your Main Knowledge Question — the number of secondary Knowledge Questions is dependent on the number of people in your group.  Repeat this frame for each secondary Knowledge Question):

  • To what extent is language a reflection on the concepts a society considers precious?


Claims/Contrasting Claims/Different Perspectives on First Secondary Knowledge Question:

1. Definition of Language

2. Looking at the world’s oldest languages

3. Untranslatable words2

4. Personal connection


How is each Claim/Contrasting Claim/ Different Perspective Supported by what we learned in the TOK textbook, classroom materials and activities, and class discussion?

  • 1. In TOK, we often learn to find the sources of knowledge, which is why I am choosing to define the word “language.” By defining it, it will help to create a better understanding of the term and thus gain a better understanding of how the concept came to be.
  • 2. Again, looking at the world’s oldest language will be like looking at the origins. This will set up a “way of knowing” for I will be looking at “how do we know what we know?”
  • 3. In TOK this year we explored untranslatable words, which shows the extent to which a society values certain concepts.


What are examples and stories that can help illustrate the claims and different perspectives you discuss for this secondary knowledge question?

  • Please see “perspectives”


How does learning about this second knowledge question help contribute to your understanding the main Knowledge Question and a possible response to it?

  • By understanding the circumstances necessary for a new language to develop, one must take into consideration the different ways of knowing we experience as humans. In terms of sense perception, it is our senses that enable us to determine what is important to us as a society, creating a necessity for words to be made. Furthermore, by comprehending the fact that the written and spoken word is a collection of symbols and sounds to make sense of the world around us, we understand the extent to which our senses help to guide us.


How is this secondary Knowledge Question connected to your Real-Life Situation?

  • This secondary knowledge question is connected to my real-life situation, for it shows the extent to which cultures have created languages that reflect their societal values. Because of our culture, because of our set of societal values, we can make sense of our worlds with language. A word is not a simple collection of sounds and symbols with meaning, but rather a complex system of sounds and symbols that originate from a desire to make sense of the world around us. Each word has its own origin and was carefully planned out in order to express the things that we value most.



What is your answer to your Main Knowledge Question and what implication does it have for your real-life situation?

Conclusion: Two necessities of language

  • Have a society with similar beliefs
  • Have a desire to express the world around one