The two are quite different. In short, English Literature involves analysis and study of novels, poetry and drama, as well as the context surrounding it.
English language focuses on the ways in which language is used in different contexts, and some technicalities of language, different effects of language. In A2, you learn stuff like how we learn to acquire language as children, and how language has evolved over time. You also get to investigate an area of language that interests you. I found language change and language and gender at AS awesome, as did I love doing my investigation.
I did both for A level, and was good at both (though I messed up for English Lit), and I've found that people who are good at English in general (in GCSE and so on) find both the A levels easy.
I always advocate that English Lit goes excellently with Psychology but to be honest so does English Language. You'll find some ideas that you pick up in in Psychology cross over in language in A2, particularly regarding theories of how children learn to speak etc. Generally, however, Literature is perceived as the more difficult, more challenging and slightly more impressive one.
If you like to read, and have an interest in literature, go for Lit. You might find Lang easier (most people do, and I definitely found it much easier). I enjoyed both, however.
I found English language much easier, but not as fascinating, as English lit. There were topics in both that I loved and hated but they are very different subjects so pick wisely!
And what you want to do at university will affect this. As the person below me said, if you want to do linguistics or anything pertaining to language, then pick English language, if not, literature will generally look better.
Last edited by HolyFuzazzle; 07-08-2012 at 11:32.
Remember that some Unis wont accept an A Level in your own first language as part of their offer on some courses. Literature is seen as the harder more academic subject so I would go for that. You have to be prepared to read a bit (not just the novels but criticism on it and other background info) but because I had good English teachers I was pretty much given all the material I could ever need.
Oh and adding to thatstudentdude - the two people who never met coursework deadlines in my set did Art (but they are known to be quite lazy). Ask your teachers what specification you're doing. We did AQA and we had two coursework pieces for the whole year of 1500 words each and even though it was the only subject I had coursework for it actually required the least amount of work as I had months to work on them (as opposed to my other subjects where I had weekly essays and exam practice to do). If you are doing AQA PM me and I'll let you know a bit more about the course and what I found hard or easy.
Last edited by MAM360; 07-08-2012 at 22:48.