Explain the differences between English language and literature at A level? Watch

Blancosdos
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What exactly do you do in English language?or English Lit.I don't want to do combined,thus i must either pick English lang or lit

Which one is more prestigious?
Also what's the difference,what do you do?#

Ideally id like a student who does both(or did)however if a A level student(or former)at least did one,i'll accept it

Thanks
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crashMATHS
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(Original post by Blancosdos)
What exactly do you do in English language?or English Lit.I don't want to do combined,thus i must either pick English lang or lit

Which one is more prestigious?
Also what's the difference,what do you do?#

Ideally id like a student who does both(or did)however if a A level student(or former)at least did one,i'll accept it

Thanks
I am only doing English Literature, but I was going to study English Language (or maybe the combined option) instead - although, I am glad I didn't.

English Literature is the study of, well, literature - novels, poetry, plays and so on. You analyse how texts are constructed, how they work, why writers use different techniques and try to deduce their intended impact. You look closely at the similarities and differences in how texts can be received in different time periods and use this to inform your interpretations of a text.

You get the opportunity to look at different lenses through which texts can be approached - Marixst, Feminist, Psychoanalytical, Canonical and so on. It is a great course for someone who likes to read (you can ignore the lies about how you have to read tonnes!) and likes to explore and argue new ideas.

English Language, on the other hand, deals more with lexicon, semantics, grammar and words. It looks more at how language is used for a particular purpose and focuses a lot on rhetoric. I'm sure you also do a unit on spoken language.

I can't give any more information about English Language, but I hope I gave you an insight into the English Literature 'side of things'.
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Blancosdos
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(Original post by kingaaran)
I am only doing English Literature, but I was going to study English Language (or maybe the combined option) instead - although, I am glad I didn't.

English Literature is the study of, well, literature - novels, poetry, plays and so on. You analyse how texts are constructed, how they work, why writers use different techniques and try to deduce their intended impact. You look closely at the similarities and differences in how texts can be received in different time periods and use this to inform your interpretations of a text.

You get the opportunity to look at different lenses through which texts can be approached - Marixst, Feminist, Psychoanalytical, Canonical and so on. It is a great course for someone who likes to read (you can ignore the lies about how you have to read tonnes!) and likes to explore and argue new ideas.

English Language, on the other hand, deals more with lexicon, semantics, grammar and words. It looks more at how language is used for a particular purpose and focuses a lot on rhetoric. I'm sure you also do a unit on spoken language.

I can't give any more information about English Language, but I hope I gave you an insight into the English Literature 'side of things'.
thanks
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Patrick2810
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Just so you know, lit is much more respected.
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CoolCavy
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language isn't facilitating but literature is, you should pick whichever you would prefer tho
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Blancosdos
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
language isn't facilitating but literature is, you should pick whichever you would prefer tho

What does facilitating mean?
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by Blancosdos)
What does facilitating mean?
oh sorry i didn;'t explain, facilitating means that the subject is respected by Russel Group universities. these are unis like Liverpool that are highly thought of/ old and prestigious. I'm not sure what the exact requirement is but i think they want one or two of these facilitating subjects at A level so if you are thinking of going to one of these it would probably be better to pick lit as it is respected by these unis. However if you will prefer language, take that as if you enjoy it you will get better marks
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JC_Costales
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(Original post by Blancosdos)
What does facilitating mean?
Facilitating basically means a subject that is considered as one your 'top' and 'hard' subjects that the universities usually prefer.
Other subjects classed as facilitating are :

- Sciences
- Mathematics
- Geography
- History
- Any classical/modern foreign language.

It doesn't mean that you can't do other subjects, it just means that the Uni's will probably consider these subjects more 'highly' than others.

Hope this helps
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by JC_Costales)
Facilitating basically means a subject that is considered as one your 'top' and 'hard' subjects that the universities usually prefer.
Other subjects classed as facilitating are :

- Sciences
- Mathematics
- Geography
- History
- Any classical/modern foreign language.

It doesn't mean that you can't do other subjects, it just means that the Uni's will probably consider these subjects more 'highly' than others.

Hope this helps
very well explained
here is a link for you Blancosdos :
https://successatschool.org/advicede...tating-Subject
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Ellismall
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I do English Language and it is not just about words and grammar, you also look at research and theories about language, how and why men and women speak in different ways, how language can be used for different purposes such as to persuade, inform and entertain or to assert power. In second year you study the history of English language, how it has developed over time and you analyse a range of different texts from different time periods and you have to analyse how the language has changed over time. Then you study language acquisition, how children learn language.

As for Russel Groups and facilitating subjects, it depends on what subject and uni, but I have looked into quite a few russel group universities and even emailed a lot of them and they have all said that they have no specific subjects requirements and don't really mind about what A levels subjects you have, it is more about grades.

Obviously it will depend on individual subjects and some of the very highly ranked universities will be more picky about subjects but people should not circulate this myth that all russel group universities require two facilitating subjects, because for quite a few of them the entry requirements are more flexible than you would think.

Having said that, English Lit is considered to be harder and is more respected. However unless you want to do an English lit degree, I doubt you will be disadvantaged for having English language instead.
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angryfeminist
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I study both subjects and have to agree with most of the comments of people on here. Both subjects do compliment each other really well, so depending on what you want to study at university level then it might be worth looking into both. I'm applying for an English Literature degree but happen to love both lit and language Language is seen as easier, and as people have mentioned it is one of the Russell Group's 'facilitating subjects'. For many degrees in English Literature, A Level literature is required and cannot be replaced by language, and for some English language degrees, an A level in literature is seen as more valuable. However, it really does depend on your interests. It boils down to whether you enjoy reading, analysing and writing essays or whether you would prefer a bit of creative writing and a more investigative approach, pulling apart language and using appropriate terminology.
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Helfus
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I'm surprised people think literature is harder than language.

The amount of terminology I need to learn for Language is absurd.
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The Empire Odyssey
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I agree with the person above me. I am better at Language than Literature, but still found Lang way harder than Lit. I've done grammar at uni and it's like nothing compared to A-level.

Having said that, when I was studying both English A-levels, English Lang was way more technical and you had to actually make sense. In that regard, I mean it was way more structured than Lit. In Lit, you could just pick out pretty much anything because one terminology or quote can be picked apart and all mean the same thing. For instance "this pathetic fallacy is a metaphor of.. it is also personifies.... it also uses a simile" and etc. So many lit terms correspond to one thing. However, language as about 5 or 6 separate units: grammar, lexis, semantics, morphology, phonology and pragmatics which all of them have at least over 30 terminology (uni it's like 100). But it's harder because you have to remember pretty much all of them, and how they relate to each other for different effects.

Language is far more technical than Lit. Lit, you can blag your way through an essay as long as you have a good quote. Lang is either "right or wrong" because if you get the wrong term, then your whole meaning of your very own point will become precarious.

I also found Lang to be boring because it was too structured. Lit was more engaging but found it way harder.
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Pandorax
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(Original post by Blancosdos)
What exactly do you do in English language?or English Lit.I don't want to do combined,thus i must either pick English lang or lit

Which one is more prestigious?
Also what's the difference,what do you do?#

Ideally id like a student who does both(or did)however if a A level student(or former)at least did one,i'll accept it

Thanks
Russel group universities accept English lit or English lit and lang combined,
I currently do combined.
A brief outline, would be that for the combined you approach texts with the same perspective as English lit, but combine terminology and spoken language features
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clairejacob917
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Hi I am thinking of redoing year 12 and I am also confused about whether to do English combine or one of them separately. In secondary school, I always preferred Eng Lang and I did better at it in GCSE but I also loved analysing text etc. I was thinking of doing English combined but it seems like all those courses are more literature-based? Which exam board did you do?
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hollyoliviax
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Be aware that if you do OCR Lit, it's a lot more work since you have to memorise the texts for the exam as opposed to having the books
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phoebecarys
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(Original post by Blancosdos)
What exactly do you do in English language?or English Lit.I don't want to do combined,thus i must either pick English lang or lit

Which one is more prestigious?
Also what's the difference,what do you do?#

Ideally id like a student who does both(or did)however if a A level student(or former)at least did one,i'll accept it

Thanks
I'm going into Year 13 this September and I am currently studying the new Edexcel courses for English Literature and English Language as separate A-Levels.

English Literature is considered to be more prestigious, it is more often asked for by universities for English courses where Language is not an acceptable replacement and it is more appealing to other university courses outside of English as it is considered to be facilitating (as mentioned by previous users, it opens up more doors).

Both courses require to you compare and analyse texts, though it is done in very different ways.

In English Literature we read a large selection of books (novels and plays), poetry anthologies and unseen poetry. In analysis you are typically expected to look at a particular theme (such as death) across two texts. To get high grades you should look at several potential interpretations of the texts, explore contextual factors and critique the writing. (You may say that x author has employed x technique and is successful/unsuccessful in achieving x because x. If they had done x instead it would have the effect of x. This is just a vague example). Complementary subjects for Literature include History and RS in particular as they help to shape an understanding of different cultures/societies/individuals which is what Literature is all about. You will benefit from doing a lot of focused further reading of other relevant texts and critical essays on the things you are studying.

In English Language we do not read any books or extended pieces of work. We explore things from a more technical perspective, looking at the breakdown of language into various components. Unlike Literature, you can derive meaning from every word, no matter how mundane, or at the very least be able to label it to a word class. Even supposedly minute details like affixes and abbreviations are important. These things are true across all of the components except creative writing (typically coursework) and you will be asked how speakers present themselves, how speakers show development in their language abilities and how language and identity link. You may also be expected to familiarise yourself with the IPA which looks scary at first but isn't really that bad. In creative writing you will need to be creative (obviously) and understand how different types of texts appeal to different audiences. Complementary subjects for Language include the sciences, foreign languages and politics. You will benefit from listening or thinking about the ways people around you speak and write, especially in day to day conversation, and considering the impacts of words.

If you want some more information or examples please ask me because I love English in both forms and am happy to talk more about the courses. Unless there are other subjects you'd really rather take there's no reason for you to not take both - they genuinely do complement each other really well.
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Blancosdos
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(Original post by phoebecarys)
I'm going into Year 13 this September and I am currently studying the new Edexcel courses for English Literature and English Language as separate A-Levels.

English Literature is considered to be more prestigious, it is more often asked for by universities for English courses where Language is not an acceptable replacement and it is more appealing to other university courses outside of English as it is considered to be facilitating (as mentioned by previous users, it opens up more doors).

Both courses require to you compare and analyse texts, though it is done in very different ways.

In English Literature we read a large selection of books (novels and plays), poetry anthologies and unseen poetry. In analysis you are typically expected to look at a particular theme (such as death) across two texts. To get high grades you should look at several potential interpretations of the texts, explore contextual factors and critique the writing. (You may say that x author has employed x technique and is successful/unsuccessful in achieving x because x. If they had done x instead it would have the effect of x. This is just a vague example). Complementary subjects for Literature include History and RS in particular as they help to shape an understanding of different cultures/societies/individuals which is what Literature is all about. You will benefit from doing a lot of focused further reading of other relevant texts and critical essays on the things you are studying.

In English Language we do not read any books or extended pieces of work. We explore things from a more technical perspective, looking at the breakdown of language into various components. Unlike Literature, you can derive meaning from every word, no matter how mundane, or at the very least be able to label it to a word class. Even supposedly minute details like affixes and abbreviations are important. These things are true across all of the components except creative writing (typically coursework) and you will be asked how speakers present themselves, how speakers show development in their language abilities and how language and identity link. You may also be expected to familiarise yourself with the IPA which looks scary at first but isn't really that bad. In creative writing you will need to be creative (obviously) and understand how different types of texts appeal to different audiences. Complementary subjects for Language include the sciences, foreign languages and politics. You will benefit from listening or thinking about the ways people around you speak and write, especially in day to day conversation, and considering the impacts of words.

If you want some more information or examples please ask me because I love English in both forms and am happy to talk more about the courses. Unless there are other subjects you'd really rather take there's no reason for you to not take both - they genuinely do complement each other really well.
Thanks for your reply.In the end I chose English lang&Lit(combined) for the best of both worlds.I do AQA>
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Ameba
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(Original post by JC_Costales)
Facilitating basically means a subject that is considered as one your 'top' and 'hard' subjects that the universities usually prefer.
Other subjects classed as facilitating are :

- Sciences
- Mathematics
- Geography
- History
- Any classical/modern foreign language.

It doesn't mean that you can't do other subjects, it just means that the Uni's will probably consider these subjects more 'highly' than others.

Hope this helps
I thought facilitating meant easy?

EDIT: To be fair, it could mean it can easily get you into a university. Or it can get you into a university more smoothly.
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TerribleGrades
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(Original post by crashMATHS)
I am only doing English Literature, but I was going to study English Language (or maybe the combined option) instead - although, I am glad I didn't.

English Literature is the study of, well, literature - novels, poetry, plays and so on. You analyse how texts are constructed, how they work, why writers use different techniques and try to deduce their intended impact. You look closely at the similarities and differences in how texts can be received in different time periods and use this to inform your interpretations of a text.

You get the opportunity to look at different lenses through which texts can be approached - Marixst, Feminist, Psychoanalytical, Canonical and so on. It is a great course for someone who likes to read (you can ignore the lies about how you have to read tonnes!) and likes to explore and argue new ideas.

English Language, on the other hand, deals more with lexicon, semantics, grammar and words. It looks more at how language is used for a particular purpose and focuses a lot on rhetoric. I'm sure you also do a unit on spoken language.

I can't give any more information about English Language, but I hope I gave you an insight into the English Literature 'side of things'.
Yeah I know what you mean. I do both and it uses a 'stylistic' approach which tries to approach the literary side of things; but it is mainly based onYeah I know what you mean. I do both and it uses a 'stylistic' approach which tries to approach the literary side of things; but it is mainly based on

(Original post by Blancosdos)
Thanks for your reply.In the end I chose English lang&Lit(combined) for the best of both worlds.I do AQA>
I do combined as l well how are you finding it?
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