Wright_Wrong
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I am planning on doing English for my A-levels. I'm best at both analysis of fictional text and creative writing, but I enjoy the creative writing much more. Which would be best for this, language or lit?
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National Careers Service
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(Original post by Wright_Wrong)
I am planning on doing English for my A-levels. I'm best at both analysis of fictional text and creative writing, but I enjoy the creative writing much more. Which would be best for this, language or lit?
Hi there,

It sounds like you are more drawn to literature however is there any reason why you couldn't take both language and literature?

Thanks - Sophie.
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Daisy02
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Language involves creative writing, whereas literature doesn't.
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Wright_Wrong
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(Original post by National Careers Service)
Hi there,

It sounds like you are more drawn to literature however is there any reason why you couldn't take both language and literature?

Thanks - Sophie.
I'm pretty set on what I want to study - drama, film studies, and one of the English courses. At the place I'm aiming to go to, there is a course that's both language and literature mixed together, but I don't know if I should do that one just because it seems like I would be missing out on a lot from either sides.
Thanks for the advice!
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abi9320
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both courses seem to suit you! I would recommend looking at the course outline your sixth form offers and choosing which you are more drawn to, whilst language offers a lot more opportunity for creative writing in literature coursework (on some exam boards) allow you to write a chapter to go in between, before or after the end of a book that you have studied
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RazzzBerries
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Literature
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abdelismail31
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do combined
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Tolgash
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I'm literally just copying a comment that I posted on another thread (with a few additions and style changes) because the question is exactly the same.

Literature at A-level is about analysing many prescribed poetry and drama texts, along with some unseen prose. Language and literature at GCSE both feed very well into A-level literature, as it is basically the same, except now sociohistorical context plays a far greater role (AO3), and the use of interpretations from professional literary critics is also a key element in your essays (AO5). A-level English literature prepares you well if you have any academic pursuits regarding English literature for tertiary education.

English language at A-level is very different from what it is at GCSE. In A-level language, you look at the 'theory behind language' and study 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 how they develop their literacy (this spans 0-11 years). Theorists about these different aspects of language are also very significant here for both diversity and change of the language, along with its acquisition during the first eleven years alive (e.g. David Crystal, Noam Chomsky etc.). The course has an intense focus on grammar in AO1 as well, so you'd better be comfortable with it and its metalanguage (e.g. word classes, clause types, phrase types, active and passive voice, verb tenses and aspects etc.). A-level English language delves into linguistics more than anything else, and would be more suited for those with plans to study linguistics further.

There are very few, if any, transferable skills from GCSE English language to its A-level counterpart. Your ability to write creatively will only really become useful during your non-exam assessment, which has very little weighting towards the final grade. Also, if you enjoy analysing and interpreting fictional texts, then you might find literature more congenial because your skillset would be more useful there.

The workload is pretty even between the two. Both subjects have a large increase of subject terminology from GCSE, but I'd say that A-level language definitely has more. Personally, A-level language feels like more of a jump. Ask your teachers if the combined course gives a good bit of both worlds, and factor in their response when you make your final judgement.

I'm taking both at A-level, and I'd recommend one thing: choose wisely.
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University of Huddersfield Student Rep
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(Original post by Wright_Wrong)
I am planning on doing English for my A-levels. I'm best at both analysis of fictional text and creative writing, but I enjoy the creative writing much more. Which would be best for this, language or lit?
Hello,

I'm a second year English Lit student and it sounds to me like English Lit is your jam - I did Welsh Board AS English Lit and that had a Creative Writing element which I really enjoyed! It's definitely worth having a good look through both courses and, I think I read further down but please correct me if I'm wrong, you could do Lit and Lang - so deffo have a look through the courses and see which one you vibe off. They're very very different in HE courses and this is really where they start to branch so do you're research.

Also, if you're loving Creative Writing, I would sooo reccomend looking at a '(insert course title here) with creative writing' degree - they are so so much fun and really help to improve your writing. You can do creative writing with a variety of courses, both English Lit and Lang, Drama/Theatre Studies, Music - even stuff like politics! Studying creative writing is very different to just writing - it's about learning to hone your writing and develop it but as a writer, it has helped so much with both my creative and academic writing!

Good luck, I'm sure you've got this!

Abbi

Student Rep, University of Huddersfield
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National Careers Service
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(Original post by Wright_Wrong)
I'm pretty set on what I want to study - drama, film studies, and one of the English courses. At the place I'm aiming to go to, there is a course that's both language and literature mixed together, but I don't know if I should do that one just because it seems like I would be missing out on a lot from either sides.
Thanks for the advice!
Looks like you have a few more responses and advice which is great.

I think it might help for you to look into what you are going to need to progress after A-levels. For example are you going to be applying for a specific degree and have you checked the entry requirements to see if they prefer language or literature?

I'd be more than happy to take a look at entry requirements if you can let me know the degree courses you're looking at.

Thanks - Sophie.
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University of Plymouth
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(Original post by Wright_Wrong)
I am planning on doing English for my A-levels. I'm best at both analysis of fictional text and creative writing, but I enjoy the creative writing much more. Which would be best for this, language or lit?
Hey Wright_Wrong,

I just completed my degree in English, so I understand why it’s difficult to choose!

As different exam boards offer different modules/teaching, I would ask the college to provide you with a syllabus outline from the different A level strands. This way you can see whether the combined A level includes everything you like – the analysis and the creative writing. I was really lucky to do my degree in just English – it meant that I had literature modules and creative writing modules. I went into it hating creative writing and loving literature, but now I really love and treasure the creative side!

You say you don’t want to miss out on a large amount of both sides – but if you’re undecided, why not have the best of both worlds?

Let me know if you have any questions. I did my A Level in English Literature so I’m happy to answer any questions you have!

- Seren, University of Plymouth Student Rep
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