iz.05
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hi, i was just wondering if anyone had any information on english language as an a-level? it doesn't seem to be as popular as english literature, which surprises me. i am really struggling to choose between the two a-level options (i'm aimed to get a 9 in both the gcses; i don't feel like one is harder than the other). i find the sound of english language really interesting, particularly because the course sounds like it would go well with my other choices (sociology & biology, possibly chemistry also). however, i really am unsure as to whether it is seen as a 'facilitating' subject as it seems to be seen as the 'softer' option... and i am aiming to do law, so i really don't want my a-levels to limit the possibility i have to go into that field. any advice? thank you!
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emilyreader97
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I studied English language, Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A-level and dropped English literature at the end my AS year. I felt that lit was a lot harder, more time-consuming and a lot more coursework heavy, so I think it affected my grades and I wish I had dropped it sooner. It also took the enjoyment out of reading for me, and some of the texts weren't great, so that affected how motivated I was to do well. English language was interesting, but it was quite straight forward, and I got an A in it relatively easily compared to my other subjects. You also get to explore different topics and express your opinions more. I also think English Language is really good at enhancing your essay writing skills and grammar, and this helped me a lot at Uni - I studied Biomedical Sciences - where I had to do a lot of essay writing. If that's the same for Law then it will be beneficial. Hoped this helped somewhat - but I am biased, and it was a few years ago now.
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Bookworm_88
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(Original post by iz.05)
hi, i was just wondering if anyone had any information on english language as an a-level? it doesn't seem to be as popular as english literature, which surprises me. i am really struggling to choose between the two a-level options (i'm aimed to get a 9 in both the gcses; i don't feel like one is harder than the other). i find the sound of english language really interesting, particularly because the course sounds like it would go well with my other choices (sociology & biology, possibly chemistry also). however, i really am unsure as to whether it is seen as a 'facilitating' subject as it seems to be seen as the 'softer' option... and i am aiming to do law, so i really don't want my a-levels to limit the possibility i have to go into that field. any advice? thank you!
I'm currently doing English Lang A-level...it's very much more broad in terms of what you write about and you learn about a variety of topics (How babies learn language, English as a global lang (British vs American english), How has English changed over time, Lang and gender/societal status) Most of it's based off GCSE skills rather than knowledge. A lot of it is literally practicing essay writing and also knowig your fundamental lang basics (lexis, grammar, semantics, pragmatics etc.) Even though it may be seen as less prestigious perhaps than lit, I would argue it's more relevant as it's really good for any humanities subjects (or law in your case) that you want to study at Uni. I also do Biology and Chem. unlike you I'm thinking of going into STEM, but regardless, showing that you have essay writing skills is still good in showing you're a good all-rounder and can write eloquently especially if you're thinking of RG Unis. Not much emphasis is put on facilitating etc. subjects, it's more your grades and to a lesser extent the combo of your subjects.
Hope that helps!
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artful_lounger
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It's a mix of linguistics and what could generally be called "writing" (creative writing, writing for a given audience/style, argumentation/rhetoric) as far as I can tell.

The term "facilitating subject" is no longer used by it's originators, the Russell Group, because they found it caused confusion among applicants. English language is perfectly acceptable by unis generally, and for example is listed as a "preferred" subject on both LSE and UCL's lists of such things.

I think part of the lack of popularity is it's also just not as commonly taught as A-level English lit. It's very different from English lit though.
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iz.05
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(Original post by emilyreader97)
I studied English language, Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A-level and dropped English literature at the end my AS year. I felt that lit was a lot harder, more time-consuming and a lot more coursework heavy, so I think it affected my grades and I wish I had dropped it sooner. It also took the enjoyment out of reading for me, and some of the texts weren't great, so that affected how motivated I was to do well. English language was interesting, but it was quite straight forward, and I got an A in it relatively easily compared to my other subjects. You also get to explore different topics and express your opinions more. I also think English Language is really good at enhancing your essay writing skills and grammar, and this helped me a lot at Uni - I studied Biomedical Sciences - where I had to do a lot of essay writing. If that's the same for Law then it will be beneficial. Hoped this helped somewhat - but I am biased, and it was a few years ago now.
(Original post by Bookworm_88)
I'm currently doing English Lang A-level...it's very much more broad in terms of what you write about and you learn about a variety of topics (How babies learn language, English as a global lang (British vs American english), How has English changed over time, Lang and gender/societal status) Most of it's based off GCSE skills rather than knowledge. A lot of it is literally practicing essay writing and also knowig your fundamental lang basics (lexis, grammar, semantics, pragmatics etc.) Even though it may be seen as less prestigious perhaps than lit, I would argue it's more relevant as it's really good for any humanities subjects (or law in your case) that you want to study at Uni. I also do Biology and Chem. unlike you I'm thinking of going into STEM, but regardless, showing that you have essay writing skills is still good in showing you're a good all-rounder and can write eloquently especially if you're thinking of RG Unis. Not much emphasis is put on facilitating etc. subjects, it's more your grades and to a lesser extent the combo of your subjects.
Hope that helps!
hi, sorry i only replied now, but thank you so so much for the responses! i definitely think i’m going to take it. i’m really glad you both think it would be useful - i’ve spoken to my current english teacher about the course and i really do think i’m going to enjoy it, which will make it even more worthwhile
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iz.05
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
It's a mix of linguistics and what could generally be called "writing" (creative writing, writing for a given audience/style, argumentation/rhetoric) as far as I can tell.

The term "facilitating subject" is no longer used by it's originators, the Russell Group, because they found it caused confusion among applicants. English language is perfectly acceptable by unis generally, and for example is listed as a "preferred" subject on both LSE and UCL's lists of such things.

I think part of the lack of popularity is it's also just not as commonly taught as A-level English lit. It's very different from English lit though.
thank you for your reply! sorry this is quite a late response i’m really surprised to hear that the term isn’t used anymore, but it would make a lot of sense as it’s confused me personally haha. i’m pretty set on taking it, it sounds great
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