Need help deciding between a-level lit or Lang

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Daek
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I started off with choosing a-level combined literature and language, but after two weeks it’s been really difficult for me. I haven’t started the main syllabus yet but we were given 40 minutes to write an essay on a random text we were given and to apply language techniques we only learnt yesterday, I didn’t know how to use them and I froze only writing 3 small paragraphs (not good ones). So I’m wondering which is easier, lit or Lang and which has less techniques to learn because I’m struggling. Side note: I’m set on taking English.
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S.carter
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Well, essay writing will get easier the more you practice. For both subjects you’ll be expected to write good essays in the exams on unseen questions or unseen texts. If you’re struggling, talk to your teacher so they can help. However don’t expect to start a course and immediately do really well because that isn’t the case. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.
I take both subjects separately and they’re both a lot of work. Language has a lot of theories and terms to learn and it’s arguably harder to write decent answers in the exam as you need to annotate a text in about 5 minutes.
Literature requires a lot of reading (no surprise there), so unless you genuinely enjoy reading and analysing it probably isn’t for you. There are a lot of quotes, critic interpretations and context to memorise.
In the end, you need to pick a subject you’ll enjoy most.
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Kayyem2
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(Original post by Daek)
I started off with choosing a-level combined literature and language, but after two weeks it’s been really difficult for me. I haven’t started the main syllabus yet but we were given 40 minutes to write an essay on a random text we were given and to apply language techniques we only learnt yesterday, I didn’t know how to use them and I froze only writing 3 small paragraphs (not good ones). So I’m wondering which is easier, lit or Lang and which has less techniques to learn because I’m struggling. Side note: I’m set on taking English.
Hi there,

I'm in Upper Sixth and do English Literature at A Level, and I love it! In terms of which is easier, I haven't had the experience of Language or the combined course, so I can't say for certain. But as far as I'm aware, with the combined course you sort of have to juggle the two types of English - focusing on learning specific techniques as well as the literature side of things. But with literature it's a lot more text-focused, learning the process of writing a good essay about a text, rather than memorising specific techniques as such. I would consider whether you prefer the idea of how the English language works, with sentence structure, phonetics and linguistics [= English language]; OR whether you prefer looking at genres, texts, authors and their background, and learning how to analyse the meaning of texts in depth [= English Literature. Or, maybe you like to see how they interact, in which case I would stick with the course you're doing.

Another thing to consider is that if you might be thinking about doing English at university, just be aware that lots of unis don't accept English Language A level for the course, and sort of frown upon English Language & Literature. So just bear in mind that Literature might be more suitable if you are wanting to keep your options open for English at university, but don't base your decision purely on that - make sure you enjoy it.
Hope this helps
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