Is A-level English literature more respected than English language? If it is, why? Watch

Tolgarda
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I'm studying both A-level English literature and language, and I have noticed a bit of a discrepancy in the perceptions of the two subjects.

English literature at A-level seems to be a respected, traditional subject that people seem to relish and hold in high regard. I assume that it is quite popular seeing as many people must use it to advance because it is listed as a facilitating subject. It all seems rather rosy for this subject.

On the other hand, English language at A-level, despite having a case for being slightly more challenging, is a bit of the opposite. It doesn't seem to get a look in by other students, and it doesn't seem to be liked as much (as I've seen in my classes). It's not really a facilitating subject either, so I don't think many use it to advance to higher education with their other A-levels.

Have I got this mixed up? Why is English literature painted in such a positive light, when its equally as challenging counterpart, English language, seems so dreary. It would be interesting to know.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
I'm studying both A-level English literature and language, and I have noticed a bit of a discrepancy in the perceptions of the two subjects.

English literature at A-level seems to be a respected, traditional subject that people seem to relish and hold in high regard. I assume that it is quite popular seeing as many people must use it to advance because it is listed as a facilitating subject. It all seems rather rosy for this subject.

On the other hand, English language at A-level, despite having a case for being slightly more challenging, is a bit of the opposite. It doesn't seem to get a look in by other students, and it doesn't seem to be liked as much (as I've seen in my classes). It's not really a facilitating subject either, so I don't think many use it to advance to higher education with their other A-levels.

Have I got this mixed up? Why is English literature painted in such a positive light, when its equally as challenging counterpart, English language, seems so dreary. It would be interesting to know.
Its ironic really at GCSE the more important one is language.
At GCE then Luterature is more respected because its a facilitating subject and language is not.
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username4316350
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respected by who
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by SJW-)
respected by who
By my peers, and a majority of the student population. It is a facilitating subject, so many students probably have it in their A-level combination because it helps them advance to higher education and get on with their degree. This TSR article finds it suitable for many subjects: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...ected-a-levels

I've heard from my friends that attend other schools that literature seems to be popular there as well, and some don't even offer English language, but do have drama! What?

While literature is seen as a facilitating subject, language was seen to have limited suitability in 2014 by Trinity College, Cambridge: https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...s-discriminate

(Original post by 999tigger)
Its ironic really at GCSE the more important one is language.
At GCE then Luterature is more respected because its a facilitating subject and language is not.
I think it's a bit of a cruel irony really. English language is literature's equal, in my opinion. We have only one teacher in my school with the capacity to teach language due to her linguistics degree, and she can teach literature too. All of the other teacher's in our school's department are teaching it for the first time, learning as they go along. I questioned the reason behind this shortage of qualified teachers for the course, and the answer was that there weren't many there.
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connor.beja
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I must say I haven't heard of any school or college around me offering English Language A level. I'm doing Lang & Lit (combined) which is a thing on its own, but I'm much happier doing this subject than I would be doing just English lit. Creative writing is what I liiiive for.
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MinaBee
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A-level English language is still relatively ''new'' in comparison to A-level English lit. Maybe that has something to do with it?
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by connor.beja)
I must say I haven't heard of any school or college around me offering English Language A level. I'm doing Lang & Lit (combined) which is a thing on its own, but I'm much happier doing this subject than I would be doing just English lit. Creative writing is what I liiiive for.
I think while the combined English course gives the best of both worlds with some good breadth, the pure course for either English subject delves into some serious depth. I have a friend that took the combined course, and it sounds a little different to what I'm taking. I'm not sure how that's perceived, but I believe that it is even more popular than pure English language A-level.

Also, how much creative writing is in your course? We barely have any in our English language course.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by MinaBee)
A-level English language is still relatively ''new'' in comparison to A-level English lit. Maybe that has something to do with it?
That's actually a valid point. I think the course contains enough rigour to supplant lit. in the future.
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connor.beja
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
I think while the combined English course gives the best of both worlds with some good breadth, the pure course for either English subject delves into some serious depth. I have a friend that took the combined course, and it sounds a little different to what I'm taking. I'm not sure how that's perceived, but I believe that it is even more popular than pure English language A-level.

Also, how much creative writing is in your course? We barely have any in our English language course.
I wish there was more, really. At AS we had to write two 200 word creative pieces that were different types of texts (off the top of my head I think mine last year was the opening to a gothic novel and a travel blog? Don't take my word for that) and then compare the two. At A2 we're doing coursework which involves writing a massive essay comparing two books of a certain genre, and then writing a 1000-1500 word piece of the same genre.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by connor.beja)
I wish there was more, really. At AS we had to write two 200 word creative pieces that were different types of texts (off the top of my head I think mine last year was the opening to a gothic novel and a travel blog? Don't take my word for that) and then compare the two. At A2 we're doing coursework which involves writing a massive essay comparing two books of a certain genre, and then writing a 1000-1500 word piece of the same genre.
That's actually pretty sweet. I feel that in the pure language course, the luxury of fitting that in isn't really there because it's so intense with the linguistic aspect of language. That being said, I do believe that we have to produce a 750-word creative piece for coursework.
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connor.beja
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
That's actually pretty sweet. I feel that in the pure language course, the luxury of fitting that in isn't really there because it's so intense with the linguistic aspect of language. That being said, I do believe that we have to produce a 750-word creative piece for coursework.
Weirdly enough, we don't seem to do very much in the way of linguistics with my course. The only things it seems to change from English lit are open-book exams (BRILLIANT), the use of terminology (stuff like "compound adjective" and "fricatives") and creative writing. I was expecting to cover a bit about how the English language has evolved and regional forms of the language and stuff.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by connor.beja)
Weirdly enough, we don't seem to do very much in the way of linguistics with my course. The only things it seems to change from English lit are open-book exams (BRILLIANT), the use of terminology (stuff like "compound adjective" and "fricatives") and creative writing. I was expecting to cover a bit about how the English language has evolved and regional forms of the language and stuff.
So I see you look more at the grammatical aspect of language analysis too, which is nice. Also, open-book examinations, what? But how? That's pretty awkward, considering the GCSE changes.

Also, all the things you mentioned below pretty much encompass a fraction of our second paper in language, coming under 'diversity and change'. That's the sort of depth that I think you may be missing.
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999tigger
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Its not much of a distinction and nothing I would lose sleep over. Lit probably yeaches you slightly different skills, which are more relevant to some degrees.
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connor.beja
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
So I see you look more at the grammatical aspect of language analysis too, which is nice. Also, open-book examinations, what? But how? That's pretty awkward, considering the GCSE changes.

Also, all the things you mentioned below pretty much encompass a fraction of our second paper in language, coming under 'diversity and change'. That's the sort of depth that I think you may be missing.
Mate, I consider open-book exams a gift from God. No more learning quotes for me (except for, of course, my unit 3 Shakespeare exam, which is the hardest kind of literature to learn quotes for). Both of my exams last year were open-book and it really makes things so much less stressful, you just have to know your way around the book and what bit happens when and you're sorted.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Its not much of a distinction and nothing I would lose sleep over. Lit probably yeaches you slightly different skills, which are more relevant to some degrees.
Obviously, I'm using a bit of emotive language here because I love English, but I was just a bit curious. I also agree with your points.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by connor.beja)
Mate, I consider open-book exams a gift from God. No more learning quotes for me (except for, of course, my unit 3 Shakespeare exam, which is the hardest kind of literature to learn quotes for). Both of my exams last year were open-book and it really makes things so much less stressful, you just have to know your way around the book and what bit happens when and you're sorted.
I think that definitely makes it a bit softer than the pure literature course, which can be nasty with all of its closed-book crap. That still really does bloody surprise me. There's probably something else that I'm missing, but an open-book literature exam just seems like pure piss for someone with an aptitude for inference. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but that probably stems from jealousy.
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connor.beja
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
I think that definitely makes it a bit softer than the pure literature course, which can be nasty with all f its closed-book crap. That still really does bloody surprise me. There's probably something else that I'm missing, but an open-book literature exam just seems like pure piss for someone with an aptitude for inference. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but that probably stems from jealousy.
I wouldn't blame you for the jealousy, I'm extremely upset over just having to do one closed-book exam. I haven't noticed any difference in the effect it has on my essay writing, though, as the conclusion you reach can't just be pulled out of the book. In fact, because the book is there for you, they (they being the examiners) generally expect a higher standard of essay because there isn't the additional stress of having to remember quotes. So I suppose that's one good thing about closed-book.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by connor.beja)
I wouldn't blame you for the jealousy, I'm extremely upset over just having to do one closed-book exam. I haven't noticed any difference in the effect it has on my essay writing, though, as the conclusion you reach can't just be pulled out of the book. In fact, because the book is there for you, they (they being the examiners) generally expect a higher standard of essay because there isn't the additional stress of having to remember quotes. So I suppose that's one good thing about closed-book.
As with everything, there are pros and cons that can be weighed out. I've never had an open-book literature examination before, so I'm not sure how my essay writing would be affected, but those are questions for another time. Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience.
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entertainmyfaith
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might be seen as an easier subject? :dontknow: lang&lit's seen as a facilitating subject but i don't think lang on its own is.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by entertainmyfaith)
might be seen as an easier subject? :dontknow: lang&lit's seen as a facilitating subject but i don't think lang on its own is.
Now, if someone made this argument, I would be quite interested to hear their justification for it. I do really think that they're on an even footing.
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