English at A level Watch

Manip01
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Going into year 12 soon and I picked psychology and Spanish as my two A level subjects and I want to pick English as my 3rd option as it's very nurturing and just a nice subject personally overall. The dilemma is I don't know what English to pick?So getting to the point can anyone of you help decide between picking English language A level, English lit, and lang a level or whether to pick English literature at A level? Also, can you tell me what you do in classes? Many thanks
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999tigger
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(Original post by Manip01)
Going into year 12 soon and I picked psychology and Spanish as my two A level subjects and I want to pick English as my 3rd option as it's very nurturing and just a nice subject personally overall. The dilemma is I don't know what English to pick?So getting to the point can anyone of you help decide between picking English language A level, English lit, and lang a level or whether to pick English literature at A level? Also, can you tell me what you do in classes? Many thanks
Look at the specification. Example aqa and dl the main spec for a detailed look.

Language focuses on language and the ways things are written plus technique.
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/engl...on-at-a-glance

Literature what someone else has written Shakespeare, Pre 20th century text, poems etc.

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/engl...on-at-a-glance
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/engl...on-at-a-glance

Classes are ermrmmm you just talk about what you are studying. Themes, characters, techniques, plot for literature.

Literature is considered a facilitating subject, but they are both well respected.
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tanisha04
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English language doesn’t feel like an A level. But the questions you get in exams can be so broad so you need to know a lot of stuff but a lot of it is independent study.
In lessons we learn a lot about theorists and what they say about language. There’s also a lot of terminology that needs to be learnt for the exams.
Also there’s a child language acquisition section where you learn about how children acquire language and the stages they go through. Learning what theorists have said about child language acquisition and more terms.
It is heavily based on how you answer the question.

English lit feels like an alevel. You know what you need to revise and your aware if you’ve revised enough. If you like analysing books, talking about themes and characters then go for English lit but if not go for English Lang. I wouldn’t recommend English Lang and lit combined because unis don’t really like it and your either going to end up hating the language part of it or the literature part of it. So best stick to one so you don’t know what the other one is like!
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Manip01
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Look at the specification. Example aqa and dl the main spec for a detailed look.

Language focuses on language and the ways things are written plus technique.
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/engl...on-at-a-glance

Literature what someone else has written Shakespeare, Pre 20th century text, poems etc.

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/engl...on-at-a-glance
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/engl...on-at-a-glance

Classes are ermrmmm you just talk about what you are studying. Themes, characters, techniques, plot for literature.

Literature is considered a facilitating subject, but they are both well respected.
Thanks this was helpful, I'm just mainly concerned that I do pick English language it's considered as a 'soft' subject by universities and job employers in the future.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Manip01)
Thanks this was helpful, I'm just mainly concerned that I do pick English language it's considered as a 'soft' subject by universities and job employers in the future.
99% universities wont care. Employers wont care. Just get the grade.
Who said it was soft? Who have you been listening to? Its just not facilitating, which has a different meaning.
Last edited by 999tigger; 3 months ago
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Manip01
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Hahaha, you do make valid points but I am going into the law industry after college possibly doing a Law degree for uni so don't you feel like lit's better. Furthermore, people in the sixth form above are saying that English language is seemed as less regarded and demanding which can impact employers picking you from people that take A level Maths, biology, chemistry, etc.
And personally, I just fell like I'm taking an A level subject that is not valued by many people expect your teachers and classes. And compared to what my peers are taking I feel dumb.
(Original post by 999tigger)
99% universities wont care. Employers wont care. Just get the grade.
Who said it was soft? Who have you been listening to? Its just not facilitating, which has a different meaning.
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ChelseaN2003
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(Original post by Manip01)
Going into year 12 soon and I picked psychology and Spanish as my two A level subjects and I want to pick English as my 3rd option as it's very nurturing and just a nice subject personally overall. The dilemma is I don't know what English to pick?So getting to the point can anyone of you help decide between picking English language A level, English lit, and lang a level or whether to pick English literature at A level? Also, can you tell me what you do in classes? Many thanks
Some colleges do a combination of both, that’s what I’m going to do.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Manip01)
Hahaha, you do make valid points but I am going into the law industry after college possibly doing a Law degree for uni so don't you feel like lit's better. Furthermore, people in the sixth form above are saying that English language is seemed as less regarded and demanding which can impact employers picking you from people that take A level Maths, biology, chemistry, etc.
And personally, I just fell like I'm taking an A level subject that is not valued by many people expect your teachers and classes. And compared to what my peers are taking I feel dumb.
Show me some concrete evidence where it isnt valued?
Get the people from sixth form to link you where its better?
Show me where employers or unis say differently?

Unis will only be bothered about grade in 99% of the cases.
Anyway thats my advice. Believe your sixth form friends or whats in your head.
Last edited by 999tigger; 3 months ago
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Tolgarda
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At A-level, English literature is about literature and English language is about linguistics. Take your pick. I take both separately!
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coffeerush24
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(Original post by Manip01)
Going into year 12 soon and I picked psychology and Spanish as my two A level subjects and I want to pick English as my 3rd option as it's very nurturing and just a nice subject personally overall. The dilemma is I don't know what English to pick?So getting to the point can anyone of you help decide between picking English language A level, English lit, and lang a level or whether to pick English literature at A level? Also, can you tell me what you do in classes? Many thanks
I take Lit and i love it , stressful but enjoy it very much. Lit from what i believe is more reading and analysis of text good if your a critical thinker however i have friends that do language and thats more of the creative branch of English so if you enjoy writing articles and stories i would say choose that one instead.
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Manip01
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Thanks for replying to my dilemma haha! I'm liking the sounds of English Language more. Do you think for a law degree Language is useful?
(Original post by coffeerush24)
I take Lit and i love it , stressful but enjoy it very much. Lit from what i believe is more reading and analysis of text good if your a critical thinker however i have friends that do language and thats more of the creative branch of English so if you enjoy writing articles and stories i would say choose that one instead.
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Manip01
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Thanks for replying but can you give me more of an insight to the workload between the two and homework you get as your taking both!
(Original post by Tolgarda)
At A-level, English literature is about literature and English language is about linguistics. Take your pick. I take both separately!
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Manip01
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Fair enough and thanks for replying it was quite punchy, sharp and persuasive. I feel like you've helped me pick what English I would like to study!
(Original post by 999tigger)
Show me some concrete evidence where it isnt valued?
Get the people from sixth form to link you where its better?
Show me where employers or unis say differently?

Unis will only be bothered about grade in 99% of the cases.
Anyway thats my advice. Believe your sixth form friends or whats in your head.
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Manip01
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Awhh okay thank you for replying, I will definitely not choose lit and combined but now I'm on a virtual crossroad, as I'm unsure whether to pick lit a level or lang. I'm definitely subsided to English language. Also, how are the workload and the effort you have to put into both lit and lang? And also how much homework do you get for lit and lang separately?
(Original post by tanisha04)
English language doesn’t feel like an A level. But the questions you get in exams can be so broad so you need to know a lot of stuff but a lot of it is independent study.
In lessons we learn a lot about theorists and what they say about language. There’s also a lot of terminology that needs to be learnt for the exams.
Also there’s a child language acquisition section where you learn about how children acquire language and the stages they go through. Learning what theorists have said about child language acquisition and more terms.
It is heavily based on how you answer the question.

English lit feels like an alevel. You know what you need to revise and your aware if you’ve revised enough. If you like analysing books, talking about themes and characters then go for English lit but if not go for English Lang. I wouldn’t recommend English Lang and lit combined because unis don’t really like it and your either going to end up hating the language part of it or the literature part of it. So best stick to one so you don’t know what the other one is like!
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Manip01)
Thanks for replying but can you give me more of an insight to the workload between the two and homework you get as your taking both!
Of course, I most certainly can.

Your first concern is the workload, so let's go over that. For literature, a lot of independent reading is required. You do not read the prescribed texts in class as you would at GCSE. All of that work is up to you, so you better ensure that the texts you are reading are ones you can enjoy, or the subject can get a little tedious. Depending on your awarding body and teacher, you'll probably have to learn textual quotes and quotes from literary critics to fulfill AO5. In English language, the workload is dependent on your prior knowledge, but you'll probably spend a lot of time learning and revising theories for child language acquisition and for the theories that correspond with the topics for the second paper (e.g. political correctness, language and gender, language and occupation etc.). If your knowledge of grammar (particularly the metalanguage of grammar) is a little on the weaker side, you will probably be spending a decent amount of your time revising those terms for both papers, especially the first.

Both of these courses contain non-exam assessment components that are twenty per cent of your final grade. Once again for literature, in these controlled assessments, independent reading will be necessary (and a lot of it!). You'll spend a lot of time writing up close-reading analyses of different texts. English language involves two pieces of NEA: the original writing and language investigation. Your original writing requires a style model that you will have to find from some time of research, and the style model will have to be annotated. Your linguistic investigation also needs a lot of planning and writing up.

Homework is pretty much identical for these two subjects, and that's basically just essays for me. All I have to do is write essays on what we've studied and read. This can get tiring sometimes, but it certainly isn't the worst thing in the world if you like English.
Last edited by Tolgarda; 3 months ago
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tanisha04
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I don't do both english literature and language but i would say that English Literature has a bigger workload than English language and it can really get to you if you hate a particular book you are studying, but in the same way, English language can also become quite stressful nearer to exams. In terms of homework it obviously varies on the school you go to and the teachers you have but i personally have had the least homework for English language out of my A-levels. To get a better understanding look at the AQA specifications and past papers for both english lit and lang to see the difference (something i wish i had done before picking my alevels)

Original post by Manip01)
Awhh okay thank you for replying, I will definitely not choose lit and combined but now I'm on a virtual crossroad, as I'm unsure whether to pick lit a level or lang. I'm definitely subsided to English language. Also, how are the workload and the effort you have to put into both lit and lang? And also how much homework do you get for lit and lang separately?
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Manip01
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
Of course, I most certainly can.

Your first concern is the workload, so let's go over that. For literature, a lot of independent reading is required. You do not read the prescribed texts in class as you would at GCSE. All of that work is up to you, so you better ensure that the texts you are reading are ones you can enjoy, or the subject can get a little tedious. Depending on your awarding body and teacher, you'll probably have to learn textual quotes and quotes from literary critics to fulfill AO5. In English language, the workload is dependent on your prior knowledge, but you'll probably spend a lot of time learning and revising theories for child language acquisition and for the theories that correspond with the topics for the second paper (e.g. political correctness, language and gender, language and occupation etc.). If your knowledge of grammar (particularly the metalanguage of grammar) is a little on the weaker side, you will probably be spending a decent amount of your time revising those terms for both papers, especially the first.

Both of these courses contain non-exam assessment components that are twenty per cent of your final grade. Once again for literature, in these controlled assessments, independent reading will be necessary (and a lot of it!). You'll spend a lot of time writing up close-reading analyses of different texts. English language involves two pieces of NEA: the original writing and language investigation. Your original writing requires a style model that you will have to find from some time of research, and the style model will have to be annotated. Your linguistic investigation also needs a lot of planning and writing up.

Homework is pretty much identical for these two subjects, and that's basically just essays for me. All I have to do is write essays on what we've studied and read. This can get tiring sometimes, but it certainly isn't the worst thing in the world if you like English.
Awh, thank you for your long practically essay based insight on what the course entails and the workload. Highly appreciated. Personally, I feel like reading this I want to take English for A level instead of English literature but I'm still unsure and in confusion!
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Manip01)
Awh, thank you for your long practically essay based insight on what the course entails and the workload. Highly appreciated. Personally, I feel like reading this I want to take English for A level instead of English literature but I'm still unsure and in confusion!
Don't worry. In your first two weeks of sixth form, there's a high chance you can take both courses and drop whichever one that you are satisfied with.
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antonia x
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As an English Language student who has now finished the course and is (fingers crossed) going to study Law at Durham in October, I can't believe people have told you it is less valued! English language was definitely my favourite subject, although there is less content, it still requires critical thinking and analytical skills, sophisticated writing expression and lots of reading- all needed for law! The best thing about a Law degree is no certain set of subjects are required so you can do both English lit and lang or Chemistry or Biology, it doesn't matter- don't be fooled by the rumours. Studying English led me to write an EPQ and was a main talking point in my Cambridge interview with a Law professor who definitely didn't view it lowly! I know this response is a bit late but I just wanted to emphasise that English language is equally valued and really well suited to law so I would 100% recommend it if you're passionate.
(Original post by Manip01)
Awh, thank you for your long practically essay based insight on what the course entails and the workload. Highly appreciated. Personally, I feel like reading this I want to take English for A level instead of English literature but I'm still unsure and in confusion!
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Manip01
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Sooo helpful thank you!!!! I think I might do English and lit and lang A levels separately!!
(Original post by tanisha04)
English language doesn’t feel like an A level. But the questions you get in exams can be so broad so you need to know a lot of stuff but a lot of it is independent study.
In lessons we learn a lot about theorists and what they say about language. There’s also a lot of terminology that needs to be learnt for the exams.
Also there’s a child language acquisition section where you learn about how children acquire language and the stages they go through. Learning what theorists have said about child language acquisition and more terms.
It is heavily based on how you answer the question.

English lit feels like an alevel. You know what you need to revise and your aware if you’ve revised enough. If you like analysing books, talking about themes and characters then go for English lit but if not go for English Lang. I wouldn’t recommend English Lang and lit combined because unis don’t really like it and your either going to end up hating the language part of it or the literature part of it. So best stick to one so you don’t know what the other one is like!
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