Over recent years, the Department has expanded the number of courses it offers students for A Level study.
In addition to the traditional English Literature A Level course, English Language and Literature and Media Studies are also offered. Over half of the sixth form study one of these A Levels.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE A LEVEL
WHAT IS ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE?
This course enables students to explore the study of English Language and English Literature as closely linked disciplines, allowing them to study a far more varied range of texts than for a pure Literature course, yet still retaining a strong 'whole text' element. Students learn new ways of appreciating texts from both literary and linguistic perspectives, developing their own abilities as users of English as a result. They will also study the features of everyday spoken language and explore the ways we interact with each other. Students also develop their own writing skills through a variety of practical and realistic writing situations.
WHY STUDY ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE?
An Advanced GCE in English Language and Literature is welcomed as a qualification for many careers, and provides a very wide range of opportunities for courses in the Arts, Humanities, Media and Communications at degree level. The reading requirements for the WJEC course enhance its status for those who may wish to progress to English study beyond GCE level. At the same time, AS English Language and Literature can also be a simultaneously valuable contrast and complimentary course to scientific, technological and economics-based subjects, opening up greater breadth of interest, range of reference and facility with ideas and language.
HOW IS THE COURSE TAUGHT AND ASSESSED?
Students will have two teachers, and the emphasis in class will be on discussion and active explorations of a variety of texts. Teachers will also help them develop the study skills they need to become an effective, independent student of language and literature, by exploring the issues which arise from a combined study. Students will be expected to read widely around the subject and study intensively in their own time. Around four hours of homework is set per week. Two out of the four units are assessed by examination; two units are assessed via coursework.
HOW IS THE COURSE STRUCTURED?
Critical Reading of Literary and Non-Literary Texts
60% (30% of overall A Level)External Examination 2 ½ hours
This unit requires students to read critically a wide range of texts (poetry, transcription, fictional prose, journalism). The exam is split into two sections. Students will have to compare and contrast in both sections, exploring relationships between the texts and identifying and describing how meanings and effects are created. Students will apply an integrated analysis of the literary and linguistic methods and concepts used.
Section A: Pre 1900 Poetry Anthology and unseen text (close text)
Students will answer one question from a choice of two. The questions are designed to provide students with the opportunity to make connections between a poem from the anthology studies during the year in class and another text, previously unseen. The two texts will be linked by content, theme or style and students will be required to compare and contrast them.
Section B: Prose (open text with no annotations)
Students will study one core text in depth and, for wider reading, a partner text:
Creative Non-fiction In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (core text) and True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey (partner text).
Students will answer 1 question based upon their study of two prose texts. The question will be passage based and require a close literary and linguistic analysis. This key passage will then be related to the text as a whole and to their reading of the partner text in terms of characterisation, plot, setting, themes and style.
40% (20% of overall A Level)
|The coursework is based on a folder of work of approximately 3,000 words, comprising three pieces in total, each of approximately 1,000 words: