Arran90
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#41
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I have never really understood why English literature is so popular at A Level when all it consists of is analysing fiction that isn't even written in 'proper' modern English. It really is one step away from a hobby subject. There might have been a decline in the number of entries over recent years but it's still one of the top subjects.

One might argue that English literature is popular because it is a facilitating subject. However psychology and law are also quite popular and they are not facilitating subjects. History is a facilitating subject so if one wants an essay type subject that has far more utility in terms of knowledge than English literature then one exists.

All a facilitating subject means is that it keeps options open when it comes to university courses. It doesn't mean that it's hard, academically rigorous, or even more valued than a non-facilitating subject is. There are not many university courses that demand a facilitating subject in any subject. Therefore if a course doesn't specify the applicant has to have an English literature A Level – then it isn't needed and may not be any advantage over another subject. This also applies to law degrees.

Sometimes I wonder whether even half the students currently taking A Level English literature would actually read the same materials in bed for enjoyment if there was no A Level in English literature.

In contrast, English language is an obscure A Level taken by only a small number of students.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5800058
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Ryan-1704
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#42
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For those interested, here is the change in entries for all subjects

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MinaBee
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#43
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(Original post by Ryan-1704)
For those interested, here is the change in entries for all subjects

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Wow at the graphs for languages. Such a shame :/
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username3917068
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#44
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#44
Our high school didn't offer Eng language (A-lvl was not the core curriculum).

Took A level Eng Lit because I genuinely enjoyed the subject. It's also possible to ********e your way through it which is very much my style; I'm good at creating the illusion of actually knowing what I'm talking about.
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Arran90
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#45
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(Original post by Ryan-1704)
For those interested, here is the change in entries for all subjects
Does the graph for English cover language, literature, or both?

(Original post by MinaBee)
Wow at the graphs for languages. Such a shame :/
Britain produces more than enough linguists for European languages. More facilities need to be created for teaching non-European languages.
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ThomH97
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#46
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(Original post by MinaBee)
Wow at the graphs for languages. Such a shame :/
The only shame there is that German is ahead of Chinese and Arabic.
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Arran90
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#47
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My rare pearl is an A Level in electronics. So few students take it that it usually gets lumped under the category of other sciences rather than in a category of its own.

Oh, and where is the graph for computer science? Will there ever be a day when more students take computer science than English literature for A Level?
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782446389
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#48
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(Original post by Ryan-1704)
For those interested, here is the change in entries for all subjects

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I'm surprised that Maths is in decline. Another real shame, of course, is that languages are in decline.
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Lemur14
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#49
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#49
(Original post by 782446389)
I'm surprised that Maths is in decline. Another real shame, of course, is that languages are in decline.
Maths was often taken as a 4th so now more and more people are only taking 3 then maths loses out!
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Munthaliyathe58
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#50
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Well in my case:
The university degree course and my career pathway (Chemical Engineering) are by no means linked with English Language and/or literature
I'm a former year 11 student that left school just 3 weeks ago, and my experience with both English Language and Literature at GCSE; the subject simply did not gravitate towards me and I did not enjoy it. Good day.
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shirleycarter
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#51
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I loved English at GCSE and before that too, and I love it at A-Level too. I've found though that a lot of people in my A-Level English Lang/Lit class took it as a filler subject, simply because English complements their other choices.
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Arran90
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#52
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There are times when I think that most students who take English literature for A Level do so simply because they enjoy the classics of literature and were good at the subject at GCSE level, rather than for any other reason with the possible exception of those planning on studying Law. As I have stated in #41 it's a hobby subject.
(Original post by shirleycarter)
I've found though that a lot of people in my A-Level English Lang/Lit class took it as a filler subject, simply because English complements their other choices.
How many of them would have taken English language at A Level rather than English literature as a complement to their other choices?
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shirleycarter
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#53
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My college offers either just Lit or Lang/Lit, I know at least 4 or 5 in my class of about 16 would have done Language on its own if it were offered.
(Original post by Arran90)
There are times when I think that most students who take English literature for A Level do so simply because they enjoy the classics of literature and were good at the subject at GCSE level, rather than for any other reason with the possible exception of those planning on studying Law. As I have stated in #41 it's a hobby subject.

How many of them would have taken English language at A Level rather than English literature as a complement to their other choices?
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myraxo
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#54
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I was personally going to choose English Lit but the teacher said you had to be very passionate about the subject and love the books you read. From GCSE , I was very good at analysing the texts but I only read because I had to, and didn’t actually find them interesting. So that’s why I decided against picking it.
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Lkathryn08
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#55
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I did English lit a-level along with biology, chemistry and maths.

I really enjoyed it and it was a nice escape from all the stem stuff. But as you can see the rest of my a levels were all stem and I am currently doing a stem degree. While I enjoyed it I didn’t really have any other facilitating subjects that went with English to pursue it further. I feel like o was constantly told by parents and other people that I wouldn’t be able to do as much by doing English as opposed to doing stem at degree level.

I did enjoy stem more which is why most of my choices were science and maths so I don’t think it swayed me completely and I don’t regret my choice to not continue with it. But I feel like there is a stigma about English higher education.
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Arran90
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(Original post by myraxo)
I was personally going to choose English Lit but the teacher said you had to be very passionate about the subject and love the books you read. From GCSE , I was very good at analysing the texts but I only read because I had to, and didn’t actually find them interesting. So that’s why I decided against picking it.
There are plenty of teenagers who enjoy reading modern or children's fiction, or watch films, but classical literature is a completely different ball game for them. I get the impression that classical literature is a Marmite subject - you either love or hate it.

This still doesn't explain the level of popularity English literature has at A Level - even back in the years before there was all this nonsense about facilitating subjects.

It is notable that English literature is very classless as an A Level and is taken both by public school students and council estate kids. Economics and Latin are dominated by students in independent schools whereas psychology and sociology are 6th form college subjects.
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MajorFader
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#57
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I loovveeed lit at GCSE, however it’s the A level that intimidated me. When I thought about it, I pondered whether I actually read a lot of books in my free-time because English Lit A level consists of incessant reading (or how it was described by someone too me). In the end, I got an A for Lit at GCSE by just memorising quotes the night before. Not really a realistic choice for me too pick at A level.

But I loved the subject as I said and looking back, I probably would have picked it alongside Further Maths (another regret).
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Punextended
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#58
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(Original post by Ccyxxx)
I hated english language a level, its not a clever A level. shouldnt be allowed to study english as a subject its ridiculous putting a label on everything and simply describing it, there are no real world applications like other subjects. English is dying because its a useless subject
I'm growing quite weary of it because of those exact reasons.
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lilbitfunny
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#59
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being a dyslexic student at a grammar school I think I felt dumb compared to my peers. therefore I didn't want to put in the effort. however, in my subjects that my dyslexia didn't affect (drama, maths, science and sorta computer science) I was ahead of my peers and then felt the drive to excel at them. so I then took a-levels that reflected the subjects I felt I was good at.
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1st superstar
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#60
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(Original post by Evil Homer)
The number of A-level entries in any of the English disciplines has been declining rapidly over the last four years, just look at the entry data below:

Attachment 835408

With these numbers seemingly spreading out to multiple subjects rather than just one, I wanted to know, why are students no longer interested in taking English?

Did you decide against taking English at A-level, if so why?

If you have still taken it, why? Are you still enjoying it or do you regret it now?

I personally think it's a shame if we continue to lose the amount of variation we have in our education system as students continue to flock to STEM.
sorry for replying 3 months late but imma gonna say something: IT DOESN'T HELP YOU FOR THE FUTURE TEACH ME HOW TO WRITE A CV NOT A PAGE ESSAY ON AN OLD 100-400 YEAR OLD BOOK we need a new education system!!!
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