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AS/A Level English Language and Literature

Teacher in charge of Subject

Ms H Pearce
Head of English
hpearce@commonweal.co.uk

Overview

English Language and Literature offers you the opportunity to cultivate an interest in reading across a range of literature and also develop an understanding of the key aspects of linguistics, looking closely at how language works, through the study of the broadest range of texts.  In addition, it also provides opportunities for you to develop your own original and creative writing skills.

It is a subject which combines effectively with a mix of subjects: it is, for example, a perfect complement to subjects such as History and Psychology, but it also works well with Science A Levels because of the wide range of skills you develop.

The course offers you the chance to develop your knowledge and understanding of poetry, plays and novels, past and present as well as non-fiction texts and spoken language.  You will develop important skills such as critical analysis; it will help you become a well informed and effective communicator, and an independent thinker.

  1. Course Title

    AS/A Level English Language and Literature

  2. Exam Board and Specification No.

    AQA (7706,7707)

What do I need to have studied/have knowledge of?

English Language and Literature offers you the opportunity to cultivate an interest in reading across a range of literature and also develop an understanding of the key aspects of linguistics, looking closely at how language works, through the study of the broadest range of texts.  In addition, it also provides opportunities for you to develop your own original and creative writing skills.

It is a subject which combines effectively with a mix of subjects: it is, for example, a perfect complement to subjects such as History and Psychology, but it also works well with Science A Levels because of the wide range of skills you develop.

The course offers you the chance to develop your knowledge and understanding of poetry, plays and novels, past and present as well as non-fiction texts and spoken language.  You will develop important skills such as critical analysis; it will help you become a well informed and effective communicator, and an independent thinker.

What will I learn on this course?

In order to study this fascinating subject it is recommended you should have good pass GCSE qualifications in English and English Literature.  You will need to be prepared to study and analyse spoken language, non-literary and literary texts, and comment on styles of writing, including your own creative writing; spoken and written grammar is also taught and referred to consistently on the course.  Reading will cover texts from many historical periods as well as contemporary texts.

Those students who have studied English Language and English Literature at GCSE will find they will be developing the skills they acquired at GCSE; however, they will learn to analyse texts in a linguistic framework, and learn about how spoken language works.

Students taking English Language and Literature need to be aware that language use is affected by context, and is in a continuing state of flux.  Therefore, they need to be interested not just in language and literature, but also in exchanging ideas and the world around them.

What will I learn on this course?

The course will enable you to:

  • develop an understanding of the ways in which forms and meanings in language are shaped
  • write creatively and analytically
  • compare spoken and written language
  • pursue your interest and enjoyment in literature and language
  • study a range of literary and non-literary texts and make informed opinions on them
  • understand how culture, history, society and context influence texts

What key skills will I develop?

The course will enable you to:

  • become an independent and confident reader and thinker
  • develop your understanding of how language works
  • talk and write critically and persuasively about a broad range of texts of different types and periods
  • make your own informed judgements on plays, novels and poems
  • apply ideas from texts to your own experience
  • develop a detailed understanding of the features of spoken language
  • experiment with original writing

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 Telling Stories Exam 3 hours 40%
You will sit an exam comprising of three sections. Section A will ask you to compare two texts from an Anthology that you will have studied about Paris and how places are represented.
Section B is all about Imagined Worlds and how point of view and genre in prose is established. You will study one set text from a list that includes Frankenstein, Dracula, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Lovely Bones.

Section C will require you to study poetry. You are likely to study the poems of Carol Ann Duffy.

Paper 2 Exploring Conflict Exam 2 hours 30 minutes 40%
This is the second exam you will sit. Section A is a re-creative writing task and critical commentary of your own writing using a set text. The texts include Into the Wild, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, The Great Gatsby and The Kite Runner. The unit is concerned with the role of the individual in society.

Section B is all about Dramatic Encounters. You will study one text from Othello, All My Sons, A Streetcar Named Desire or The Herd

There is also a non-exam assessment worth 20%
This unit will require you to undertake a personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse.

What could this course lead to?

English Language and Literature is a high-currency A level.  Students with AS or Advanced GCE English Literature and Language have a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities. You will learn and use a wide variety of transferable skills during the course.  These include: writing for a variety of purposes, responding critically to literary texts, expressing informed and independent opinions, investigating how language is used in many different contexts, and identifying and developing the links between different parts of the subject.  These skills are in demand from employers, universities and colleges and are also valuable in their own right.

English (in various forms) can be studied as a single subject in higher education or can be combined with a wide variety of other subjects.  A level English Language and Literature could form a good basis for study in any Arts-based subject, or, for example, History, Media, Film or Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Law, and Languages.  The vast majority of universities (including the very best) do not mind whether students intending to study English at university have an A level in English Language, English Literature or English Language and Literature.

Additional events, trips or enrichment activities

Possible trips and visits include:

  • theatre visits
  • literature festivals
  • conferences
  • museums
  • libraries

Are there any additional costs for this course?

You will want to have your own copies of set texts in order to write your own notes and comments in them; their cost is modest.  You will also have the opportunity to take part in trips and visits, these are optional, but we believe they will enrich your enjoyment of English. Costs may vary but would normally be around £25 (funding can be found in cases of hardship).

Who do I contact if I have any further questions?

Ms H Pearce – hpearce@commonweal.co.uk