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English lit v lit-language

What’s the difference between English Lit Alevel and English Lit-Lang?
Original post by starry sam
What’s the difference between English Lit Alevel and English Lit-Lang?


Hi there!

I chose to study English Language at A-Level as my understanding is English Literature is more essay-based than Language. I believe Literature looks at longer pieces of prose such as poetry and larger bodies of work (novels etc) and is about the thematic context whereas English Language is more looking at specific language techniques, such as sibilance, syntax, etymology, phonology etc. I remember one of my exams for English Language consisted of looking at text from an encyclopedia and answering questions on it, and my other exam was looking at a recipe book and answering questions on how the language had been used to convey certain things.

I really enjoyed studying English Language - we read a script (The Crucible) and a couple of fiction books (The Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn) as selected by our tutors but I enjoyed looking closer at the specific language conventions personally! As I believe we had to write an essay pertaining to one of the fiction books and had to produce some work inspired by our understanding of The Crucible, with a focus on language, and I believe we got to pick our own text too, so I studied A Winter's Tale (Shakespeare) and we had to reimagine that text, so I rewrote the play as a poem. I hope that helps clarify the difference a bit, with some examples of the kinds of things you might be doing on English Language at least. I'm sure somebody else will jump in who studied English Literature to shed a bit more light on what it's like to study :smile:

All the best,
Jess
MA Illustration Student

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