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Looking into becoming an English teacher.. which English a-levels do I need to take? Watch

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    I'm currently in Year 11 and in the process of choosing my A-levels.
    I'm definitely doing Spanish, French and English Language but I'm debating between Geography and English Literature.
    Recently I've been thinking more and more about becoming a teacher, like teaching English as a foreign language abroad or becoming a foreign languages teacher, but the thought of teaching English in this country also appeals to me.
    My English teacher says English Literature isn't a complete necessity to become a teacher, but it does help you.
    Any thoughts on going down this route?
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    If you want to teach english, I'm thinking ENGLISH might be more useful than geography. Possibly.
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    (Original post by Harry.C)
    If you want to teach english, I'm thinking ENGLISH might be more useful than geography. Possibly.
    Yeah, I'm just trying to keep all my options open though. I change my mind quite often, although I come back to this conclusion. I'm just worried I'll take both English's and then regret not taking Geography.
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    Take all four then. Drop down to three in the second year.
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    (Original post by h0llyyx)
    I'm currently in Year 11 and in the process of choosing my A-levels.
    I'm definitely doing Spanish, French and English Language but I'm debating between Geography and English Literature.
    Recently I've been thinking more and more about becoming a teacher, like teaching English as a foreign language abroad or becoming a foreign languages teacher, but the thought of teaching English in this country also appeals to me.
    My English teacher says English Literature isn't a complete necessity to become a teacher, but it does help you.
    Any thoughts on going down this route?
    There are people on my English Language course planning on going into Secondary English without Literature so I guess it's not a massive issue. I wouldn't want to do it myself, Secondary English is equally Literature based so I wouldn't be able to count on my Language knowledge to pull me through

    It's up to you OP, you can still do an English (Lit & Lang) degree with only Language at A Level so maybe do Geography if it makes you happy?

    I want to be a Primary School teacher so it's not as big an issue for me :p:
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    I'd recommend doing both lit and language at A level if you're thinking of secondary English teaching. To do a PGCE in secondary English, you need to have 50% of your degree in English or a related subject (linguistics is also accepted by some universities) but it would certainly help your application if you could also show you had a background in the other subject at A level. Generally, it is more common for people to study English literature at university then go onto the PGCE but this isn't essential, it is more of a reflection of the fact that English literature is the more popular A level to take which in turn becomes the route people go down at university. If you want to teach EFL, then English language will help you much more than English literature as it is a lot more about language acquisition and how we learn languages.

    In year 11 I was in a similar situation to you and ended up doing both of the English subjects at AS level (ironically, along with French, Spanish and geography) thinking that I would decide which one I wanted to continue at A2 as I wanted to keep my options open for an English degree. In the end, I dropped Spanish and continued with both for the full A level and went on to do a linguistics degree as I am in love with language rather than literature. I considered secondary English but I'm a primary teacher instead now specialising in languages. I'm also a qualified EFL teacher so have a lot of experience there too.

    Do you have an option of doing 5 AS levels? In my experience it was perfectly manageable, the hardest part was studying two similar languages and separating them in my head.
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    Take all four then. Drop down to three in the second year.
    She has listed 5 subjects, 3 she is taking and 2 she is debating over :p:
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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    I'd recommend doing both lit and language at A level if you're thinking of secondary English teaching. To do a PGCE in secondary English, you need to have 50% of your degree in English or a related subject (linguistics is also accepted by some universities) but it would certainly help your application if you could also show you had a background in the other subject at A level. Generally, it is more common for people to study English literature at university then go onto the PGCE but this isn't essential, it is more of a reflection of the fact that English literature is the more popular A level to take which in turn becomes the route people go down at university. If you want to teach EFL, then English language will help you much more than English literature as it is a lot more about language acquisition and how we learn languages.

    In year 11 I was in a similar situation to you and ended up doing both of the English subjects at AS level (ironically, along with French, Spanish and geography) thinking that I would decide which one I wanted to continue at A2 as I wanted to keep my options open for an English degree. In the end, I dropped Spanish and continued with both for the full A level and went on to do a linguistics degree as I am in love with language rather than literature. I considered secondary English but I'm a primary teacher instead now specialising in languages. I'm also a qualified EFL teacher so have a lot of experience there too.

    Do you have an option of doing 5 AS levels? In my experience it was perfectly manageable, the hardest part was studying two similar languages and separating them in my head.
    There is the option to do more than 4 A-levels but this option is only open to students who are expected to gain 6 or more GCSEs at A/A*. I'm going to my current school's 6th form, and at my local college I'd be allowed to do 5 A-levels but school won't let me unfortunately as I'm only predicted about 3 A's and the rest B's.
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    (Original post by h0llyyx)
    I'm currently in Year 11 and in the process of choosing my A-levels.
    I'm definitely doing Spanish, French and English Language but I'm debating between Geography and English Literature.
    Recently I've been thinking more and more about becoming a teacher, like teaching English as a foreign language abroad or becoming a foreign languages teacher, but the thought of teaching English in this country also appeals to me.
    My English teacher says English Literature isn't a complete necessity to become a teacher, but it does help you.
    Any thoughts on going down this route?
    If you're going to teach it at secondary level you will need an English related degree at uni before teacher training and most English courses ask for an English A-level (Eng Lit, Eng lang or combined)
    Just re-read your post and realised that you've already picked English Language...
    I'm studying Literature at university and didn't study English langauge at A-level. I would personally suggest that you did English Literature alongside it because it may help with your work at university but in terms of what you eventually want to do, I think English Language would be fine and probably more relevant if you only wanted to do one English subject.
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    English, History and something mathsy or sciencey as a contingency
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    Don't take English language, take English Lit, Spanish, French, and then you have room for Geography.
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    (Original post by h0llyyx)
    There is the option to do more than 4 A-levels but this option is only open to students who are expected to gain 6 or more GCSEs at A/A*. I'm going to my current school's 6th form, and at my local college I'd be allowed to do 5 A-levels but school won't let me unfortunately as I'm only predicted about 3 A's and the rest B's.
    Your other option is to take one of your subjects as an additional AS level in your A2 year, so you'd end up with 3 A levels and 2 AS levels. Or alternatively, put yourself down to provisionally do all 5 subjects and say you haven't decided which you want to do and see what happens on GCSE results day. You might find you get the grades required, although obviously, this would be a lot more work in the AS year so you'd need to be able to cope with it.

    If you can only take 4 subjects, I'd recommend you do both lit and language, then both your languages if you're interested in MFL teaching. Then, you can always take AS geography the following year if you want Alternatively, take only 1 language and do geography instead as you can always continue with the other language at university or later in life. As I said, I dropped Spanish and carried on with French to A2 but its actually Spanish that I teach in school now as I continued with it at university as my outside course. Having both English subjects at A level will open more doors to you as a teacher than having two languages at A level as you can pick languages up/continue them easier without studying them formally than you can with English.
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    English Literature is definitely worth taking; if you're going to teach English at secondary school, you'd probably be teaching English Literature, and 'developing a sensitivity to literature' (or whatever) would be a lot more worthwhile than taking Geography in genera. Why do you say you're "definitely" taking Language, though? It should be worthwhile to get a good grasp of the basics of the language from the A-level (not exactly sure how it works), but taking both English and Geography, along with the 2 languages may also be a viable option. There are no courses in the country that I know of that require English Language A-level, so those four would be the most effective with a view to "keeping your options open".
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    (Original post by Killer Bean)
    English Literature is definitely worth taking; if you're going to teach English at secondary school, you'd probably be teaching English Literature, and 'developing a sensitivity to literature' (or whatever) would be a lot more worthwhile than taking Geography in genera. Why do you say you're "definitely" taking Language, though? It should be worthwhile to get a good grasp of the basics of the language from the A-level (not exactly sure how it works), but taking both English and Geography, along with the 2 languages may also be a viable option. There are no courses in the country that I know of that require English Language A-level, so those four would be the most effective with a view to "keeping your options open".
    Because for a long time my main interest was, and still is, language. I enjoy foreign languages, and English, Spanish and French are the subjects I attain the highest grades in. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy English Lit too but I'm fascinated by the whole linguistic side of things.. grammar, syntax, everything! I enjoy that part more than the Lit side - and it's the same in my foreign languages, I don't enjoy the vocab learning and reading texts as much as I enjoy pulling the language apart and going into the grammar and tenses, etc. So I was wondering if it would be possible to get by on an English Language A-level and degree combined with a foreign language.
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    (Original post by h0llyyx)
    Because for a long time my main interest was, and still is, language. I enjoy foreign languages, and English, Spanish and French are the subjects I attain the highest grades in. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy English Lit too but I'm fascinated by the whole linguistic side of things.. grammar, syntax, everything! I enjoy that part more than the Lit side - and it's the same in my foreign languages, I don't enjoy the vocab learning and reading texts as much as I enjoy pulling the language apart and going into the grammar and tenses, etc. So I was wondering if it would be possible to get by on an English Language A-level and degree combined with a foreign language.
    Yeah, that sounds very reasonable. I would still be wary of the A-level though - it's not held in as high an esteem as the other four. That leads me to suspect that the A-level itself is a bit watered down and sterile, like Psychology, for which I can speak about with personal experience: although I'm quite passionate about psychology s an academic practise, the A-level is . . . ****. I'm not actively trying to put you off, but do be wary of it - if you're excited about the A-level, take it by all means. I just suggest that you have a look at the actual course and make sure it appeals to you before you invest time into studying it. You may find that you'd be better off reading around something like this with freedom and independent rather than doing an A-level in it.

    Aside from that though, I don't think it particularly matters which you take. Most of the top English Literature courses will often ask for English Literature, or at least 'English Language & Literature' (something to consider if possible), but that's not by any means the only, or even best, way of becoming an English teacher. Ultimately, I think you should just pick whichever A-level you find the most exciting (within reason :p:).

    I recognise I've been a bit vague here, but that's mainly because I'm more of a science guy than an arts guy, so sorry if my posts haven't been of much use, though I hope they have. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
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    English Literature.
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    (Original post by Killer Bean)
    Yeah, that sounds very reasonable. I would still be wary of the A-level though - it's not held in as high an esteem as the other four. That leads me to suspect that the A-level itself is a bit watered down and sterile, like Psychology, for which I can speak about with personal experience: although I'm quite passionate about psychology s an academic practise, the A-level is . . . ****. I'm not actively trying to put you off, but do be wary of it - if you're excited about the A-level, take it by all means. I just suggest that you have a look at the actual course and make sure it appeals to you before you invest time into studying it. You may find that you'd be better off reading around something like this with freedom and independent rather than doing an A-level in it.
    Having studied both literature and language at A level, I'd say it isn't watered down and from what the OP is suggesting in terms of her future plans, I'd seriously recommend doing it if she wants to do anything involving MFL or EFL teaching. Even now, 6 years on with my degree and extensive teaching experience behind me, I still fall back on stuff I studied at A level English language. I think one of the main reasons literature is generally held in higher regard is simply because its a subject that all schools offer, whereas only some will offer English language as separate because for the A2 coursework option it involves a lot of individual work rather than a "we'll all read these 2 texts and write a comparative essay" which schools can get away with for the A2 lit coursework. This was the reason I was given for why my secondary school didn't offer it, as they didn't have the time to devote to each student.

    English language A level is the pure basics of linguistics and general language study, but it is the "proper" basics and you'll constantly fall back on it at any stage of further study in languages. When I started linguistics at university, in my CELTA English language course and also in my PGCE (Primary) I noticed that we were constantly returning to things I had done at A level which put me at a great advantage in comparison to the others.

    I buy your point about geography though, so much of the teaching we do now is about global and cultural diversity
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