English Language GCSE Vs A Level

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Purdy7
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#1
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#1
I am thinking of taking the A level in English language, I received an 8 in the GCSE. Is there a big jump between the two? What may I expect from the A level?

Thanks.


PS I'm a mature student, that has done a level 3 in another subject just not specifically an A level.
Last edited by Purdy7; 3 years ago
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Tolgash
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#2
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#2
I am a student in year 12 currently taking English language at A-level, and this is my answer to your query.

English language at A-level is very different from what it is at GCSE, not just in difficulty, but also in content. In fact, I personally believe the immense increase in difficulty is due to all the new content that supplants your previous English language knowledge from Key Stage 4. In A-level language, you look at the 'theory behind language': studying the history of the English language, how it has evolved, and how it has become more diverse with different people (e.g. idiolects) within different contexts (e.g. in occupation, gender, etc.). You also learn about a child's language acquisition, and also how they develop their literacy (this spans 0-11 years). Theorists in the field of linguistics that discuss these different aspects of language are also very significant here for both diversity and change of the language, and its acquisition during the first eleven years alive (e.g. David Crystal, Noam Chomsky, etc.). There is a profound emphasis on grammar in the English language (e.g. word classes, clause types, verb tenses and moods, etc.). You also look into the prescriptivist v. descriptivist debate and the different approaches to language people take. A-level English language delves into linguistics more than anything else, and would be more suited for those with plans to study linguistics further.

The usual minimum requirement for English language at A-level is a grade 6 at GCSE, so you're more than alright with your 8. It all depends on the work that you put in really. I got a grade 9 in GCSE and am struggling to some extent, while another grade 9 student is coasting through the course with minimum difficulty.

I personally think it is awesome that a mature student is investing their time into English language at GCSE and at A-level as well. Good luck.

This comment was mostly copied from a previous one that I made, but I believe it still holds water as a substantial response in this case.
Last edited by Tolgash; 3 years ago
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Reviser4689
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#3
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#3
English language A level is the proper stuff; GCSE is merely jumping through hoops and providing what the examiner wants to hear. A level actually looks at language itself and why it is how it is. You study Gendet, power, child language (my fave) and dialects. Therrare a few theories to remmebre but the course is genuinely interesting and youlyo enjoy it if you're a fluent writer and have an intersstin the topics
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Amelia1504
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#4
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#4
Hi!

I took English language A level on a bit of a whim actually. I was stuck choosing another A level, and I got an 8 in GCSE, and so I thought yeah, why not! I love It, so much so that I'm going to continue it next year at university.

GCSE is just analysing texts etc whereas A level is looking at proper, real life stuff. You learn about the differences in how people use language and why, due to gender or age or social class. You learn about child language acquisition and the change of the English language over time. I love It! And I love that, unlike some subjects, you can see how this subject affects your life every single day, and I think that's just wonderful.

I would definitely, DEFINITELY recommend.
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Plantsarelife
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#5
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#5
Hi, all of your replies have been so useful! Could you please advise me on whether I should take it for A level?
I dropped from a 9 to a 5/6 in English Language GCSE in year 11 because I genuinely hated the exam papers and trying to find a way to write an essay the examiner is looking for. I was also had at time management and even though I could come up with some good analysis's, I'd never finish the paper and I just hated every lesson.
Thing is I actually like the new topics that the A level includes and it seems so much more interesting but I'm scared I'll flop the creative writing and just struggle like I did in my last year of GCSEs.
It seemed crazy to consider it but I need another A level along with business and maths so I'm considering all subjects!
If you could give me some advice, I'd really appreciate it!

(Original post by Amelia1504)
Hi!

I took English language A level on a bit of a whim actually. I was stuck choosing another A level, and I got an 8 in GCSE, and so I thought yeah, why not! I love It, so much so that I'm going to continue it next year at university.

GCSE is just analysing texts etc whereas A level is looking at proper, real life stuff. You learn about the differences in how people use language and why, due to gender or age or social class. You learn about child language acquisition and the change of the English language over time. I love It! And I love that, unlike some subjects, you can see how this subject affects your life every single day, and I think that's just wonderful.

I would definitely, DEFINITELY recommend.
(Original post by Reviser4689)
English language A level is the proper stuff; GCSE is merely jumping through hoops and providing what the examiner wants to hear. A level actually looks at language itself and why it is how it is. You study Gendet, power, child language (my fave) and dialects. Therrare a few theories to remmebre but the course is genuinely interesting and youlyo enjoy it if you're a fluent writer and have an intersstin the topics
(Original post by Tolgash)
I am a student in year 12 currently taking English language at A-level, and this is my answer to your query.

English language at A-level is very different from what it is at GCSE, not just in difficulty, but also in content. In fact, I personally believe the immense increase in difficulty is due to all the new content that supplants your previous English language knowledge from Key Stage 4. In A-level language, you look at the 'theory behind language': studying the history of the English language, how it has evolved, and how it has become more diverse with different people (e.g. idiolects) within different contexts (e.g. in occupation, gender, etc.). You also learn about a child's language acquisition, and also how they develop their literacy (this spans 0-11 years). Theorists in the field of linguistics that discuss these different aspects of language are also very significant here for both diversity and change of the language, and its acquisition during the first eleven years alive (e.g. David Crystal, Noam Chomsky, etc.). There is a profound emphasis on grammar in the English language (e.g. word classes, clause types, verb tenses and moods, etc.). You also look into the prescriptivist v. descriptivist debate and the different approaches to language people take. A-level English language delves into linguistics more than anything else, and would be more suited for those with plans to study linguistics further.

The usual minimum requirement for English language at A-level is a grade 6 at GCSE, so you're more than alright with your 8. It all depends on the work that you put in really. I got a grade 9 in GCSE and am struggling to some extent, while another grade 9 student is coasting through the course with minimum difficulty.

I personally think it is awesome that a mature student is investing their time into English language at GCSE and at A-level as well. Good luck.

This comment was mostly copied from a previous one that I made, but I believe it still holds water as a substantial response in this case.
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MdNabiul
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#6
Report 10 months ago
#6
I made the mistake of taking English Language and I'm not looking forward to my lessons. I thought it may not be that bad and could open more options into uni but at the last minute, I realised how much I hated English (maybe partly due to my teacher). When I applied for admission, it said the subjects I choose aren't firm choices, but when I went into my enrolment appointment, I couldn't change to any of the good subjects because they were closed because my college is oversubscribed!

I am now screwed and don't know what to do, especially since I only got a grade 5 in English Lit and Lang (the minimum requirements for my college). My vocabulary is quite poor also?

Any ideas on what I can do?
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