Why is English Lit seen as superior to English Language? Watch

rainbow drops
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#21
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#21
the english language syllabus at my school looks painfully easy. in my english literature class one time, my teacher asked all the english language students to identify something in a sentence (it was the definite article) and none of them could even do it... at my school, it tends to be a subject that a lot of idiots who are determined to mess around in lessons take.
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EvenStevens
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#22
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#22
True...

About 95% of my Language class were complete berks.

Most of them got Ds or Us.

I took it seriously, though. I was the only one in the entire year to get an A in the courseworks. Too bad one dodgy exam in the summer brought me down to a high B for my final grade (about 5 UMS off).

I must say, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the subject and found it extremely interesting. The language component was what I found the most exciting at GCSE level hence why I took it. Literature bored me. I was good at it... I just hated it.
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paperclip
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#23
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(Original post by sadie-kiki)
Because it just is.
Lang. =>speaking and writing stories-(at least that's the impression that I get from friends who do Eng. Lang...please correct me if I'm wrong!)
Lit.=>Reading and being able to make intelligent comment / write good essays on some of the best writing of all time. Plus the good bits of Lang. ie. Reading-improves your prose style-a good prose style generally means an ability to speak coherantly/with style. And there's always the fact that Literature is so much more interesting!
i do combined, so it could be different but:
lang = breaking down the piece of writing and analysing the effect of each individual device

lit = commenting on a piece of writing, identifying some dramatic devices, the text as a whole

quite a lot of your comments on lit seem really subjective "best writing of all time" and i find good essays and intelligent comments more relevant to language

most people in english lang and lit combined found the literature part a lot easier then the language part. in my exams last year i got A in lit, D in lang and C in coursework (a bit of both)...
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The_Bear
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#24
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(Original post by EvenStevens)
Taking this into account, surely subjects like Maths and Physics could be deemed as "inferior" as all they are are series of strict rules and terms that are easily learnt and applied.
Maths and Physics have far more rules and connections, in fact infinite rules, infinite calculations. But you know that already, noone who is intelligent enough to be able to use a computer would argue that the rules of science are as limited as the rules of language (in fact extending the rules of language is in direct contradiction to its basis).

edit: I see how people would argue that Language is harder than Literature. Language is easier to get wrong, Literature is easy to mark well as you know what the markers are looking for (I got full marks at A-level for English Lit, I didn't believe what I wrote but I knew the markers would believe it).

I am talking from an education viewpoint and not exams. Exams are a waste of time, insultingly easy at points, becoming a rounded person with varied interests is what education should be about and unquestionably English Language is not going to give you that.
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Demoskratos7
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#25
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#25
It's harder.
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kjc_us
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#26
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#26
I agree with the reasoning here.

But why then, is it easier to get an A* in GCSE English Lit. than it is for Language?
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LukeatForest
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#27
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English Language didn't seem to be at all rigid to me. It has a marking structure much in the same way that English Literature does. The obvious difference is that you must call upon the creativity inside you rather than refer to exterior texts. I think it's a little naive though to suggest that reading books and analysing them is somehow considerably easier than attempting to emulate the aforesaid books in trying to write (or at least trying to write a passage therein) something of a similar ilk. Now, I personally have never found English Language more difficult than English Literature, I admit, but my writing style is rather fluent and enjoyable so I do not find that particularly surprising.
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Sam o0o
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#28
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I haven't really read through the posts, so sorry if I repeat what others said.

I do English Language, and it isn't easy like everyone says. It isn't just learning a list of rules etc and regurgitating them, but actually applying them to real-life situations, how English is used in various situations, for different purposes etc.
It's also fairly new, only 15 or so years since it started being taught, so that's obviously going to go against it.

In some ways, you could say it's harder than Lit, given that there is no set answer when analysing novels etc. But it totally depends on how you think, and what you find interesting.
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thanette
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#29
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(Original post by The_Bear)
English language - strict rules and terms that are easily learnt and only an absolute moron with the mental age of a 3 year old could fail.

English literature - no right answer, millions of creative questions.

Combined is better than just language.

'Just because it is more traditional' isn't a great validation at all. You use much of the knowledge gained in English Language-e.g. structure, literary terms, sentence types etc etc etc to analyse literature anyway.

Also, the depth of knowledge is far, far much more broad than what a 3 year old would be learning-if anyone here has completed a linguistics/lang degree they would know that-and also about much more than grammar.

You could also argue what constitutes 'intelligent comment' is completely arbritrary-so, so many 'right answers'; therefore English Literature is 'easier- no completely right or wrong answer.

Anyway, both are interesting and interlinked in my opinion-both are just as necessary for a full understanding of a variety of communications and texts.
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thanette
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#30
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#30
Seconded, Sam.
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thanette
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#31
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(Original post by kjc_us)
I agree with the reasoning here.

But why then, is it easier to get an A* in GCSE English Lit. than it is for Language?
More related to the context; talking about the social, moral, historical awareness for the A/A* grades- which, if you have strong debating/arguing skills and can proffer creative views (elaborating about what you think is the moral purpose of the book/play in relation to its context) is easy to do.

Language is often more clear-cut in what is right and wrong-less room for 'interpretation'.
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Profesh
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#32
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#32
Because English Lit. incorporates English Lang., and more besides.
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Botticello
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#33
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It has more of a classical, analytic style than language, which is the only one i did, where you just apply the same rules over and over and over again.
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Sam o0o
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#34
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English Language GCSE is nothing like A-level. That "write a letter to the council", "write about who you admire" is nowhere to be seen. Whereas Lit A-level is a progression, albeit harder...obviously.
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Profesh
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(Original post by kjc_us)
I agree with the reasoning here.

But why then, is it easier to get an A* in GCSE English Lit. than it is for Language?
Because English Lang. at GCSE-level assesses your argumentative/rhetorical flair and prose-style rather than your ability to regurgitate, and so people with none tend to fail miserably; whereas English Lang. at degree-level is an entirely different vessel of halibut.
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gravityisamyth
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#36
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Um...I never knew Lit was considered harder, but from the impression I got from those who did Language A Level, it was by no means easy.

I found Lit difficult but still interesting, although a lot of the stuff we studied just seemed to point out how messed up society is.
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kjc_us
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(Original post by Profesh)
Because English Lang. at GCSE-level assesses your argumentative/rhetorical flair and prose-style rather than your ability to regurgitate, and so people with none tend to fail miserably; whereas English Lang. at degree-level is an entirely different vessel of halibut.
That would make sense. Thanks.
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kjc_us
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#38
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(Original post by thanette)
More related to the context; talking about the social, moral, historical awareness for the A/A* grades- which, if you have strong debating/arguing skills and can proffer creative views (elaborating about what you think is the moral purpose of the book/play in relation to its context) is easy to do.

Language is often more clear-cut in what is right and wrong-less room for 'interpretation'.
Yeah, true.
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Franc Vouloir
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#39
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(Original post by gravityisamyth)
... from the impression I got from those who did Language A Level, it was by no means easy.
You must have got the wrong impression. It is.
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gravityisamyth
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#40
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(Original post by Franc Vouloir)
You must have got the wrong impression. It is.
Lol probably, though I guess, individual differences and all that, no one is going to find the same things easy and hard and so on.
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