Differences between English Language and English Literature?

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elb01
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(This is probably under the wrong topic but oh well)
I am taking both for the 2017 GCSEs but I am still unclear of the differences- they seem quite similar to me. I am unsure of what one to take for when I start sixth form as I have to pick my A Levels this school year. I am really interested in creative writing so what, out of the two, would be the best to take?
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by elb01)
(This is probably under the wrong topic but oh well)
I am taking both for the 2017 GCSEs but I am still unclear of the differences- they seem quite similar to me. I am unsure of what one to take for when I start sixth form as I have to pick my A Levels this school year. I am really interested in creative writing so what, out of the two, would be the best to take?
English Language GCSE as more creative writing exercises. It's also a general requirement to have a grade C or grade 3 as they now call it, for uni applications and jobs. So I say go for Language if you have to choose the one.

The differences is that Language is more in a non-fiction context. You'll be looking at how language is formed and used in different ways. How the writer uses language for different effects; to persuade, inform, describe, entertain, etc.

GCSE Literature is more to do with studying the appreciation of literature of our past and looking into how literature paints a picture of the historical, cultural and social context of our past by analysing the author's language to shape literal and figurative meaning.
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English-Student
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Since the other reply talked about the GCSE side, I thought I'd chip in as someone who did both Lang & Lit A Levels and is doing both at university now.

At A Level, Language and Literature are really quite different.

In Literature you'll focus on literary texts such as novels, plays and poems. You'll analyse these by focusing on literary techniques, considering wider context and the period they were written in, the background of the author, their relation to other texts and you'll look at what critics have had to say too. You'll have a very in depth focus of the texts you're studying and you'll know them very well and be able to make links throughout about the development of the narrative. (There probably will be some unseen poetry on one of the exams too)

In Language you'll focus on mainly non-fiction but maybe some literature too. They will be shorter excerpts and you'll likely be dealing with lots of new texts, that you won't need to know very well for the exam (as the exam will provide you with new texts to analyse on the spot, rather than revising lots of info). You'll be learning about grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax and analysing the texts this way. You'll learn about genres and techniques, but you won't have to research context in the same way as in Literature.

Both Language and Literature had a piece of coursework based on Creative Writing, but it isn't a significant part of either subject. Both subjects focus on the analysis of text, but in different ways.

Hope this helps and you enjoy whatever you decide to choose!
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CESA84
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Hi,

Do you know, or anyone else, where can I find the course contents for both Language and Literature?

Regards.
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English-Student
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(Original post by CESA84)
Hi,

Do you know, or anyone else, where can I find the course contents for both Language and Literature?

Regards.
The course contents will depend on which school/college you go to and what exam board they use. There won't be a generalised one you can find. If you know your exam board you might be able to find out some info online, but really it's best to contact your school/college so they can tell you exactly what you'll be studying.
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