English Language & Literature

A Level

This course is for students who want to become adventurous and critical readers and at the same time develop as writers and users of language in a variety of contexts. If you have studied both English Language and English Literature at GCSE level, you will have begun to appreciate the ways in which writers use language to create literature. This course provides a fully integrated study of literature and language and builds on the analytical skills you will have begun to develop at GCSE.

80% Examination
20% Coursework

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Course content

Across the two years, students learn a range of analytical approaches to enrich their appreciation of, and ability to write confidently about, the styles and techniques used by the writers of their set texts.
Students are introduced to the study of speech through analysis of transcripts of spontaneous speech as well as a variety of other written forms of speech.

Course Details

At A Level, students learn a range of analytical approaches to enrich their appreciation of, and ability to write confidently about, the styles and techniques used by the writers of their set texts.

Students are introduced to the study of speech through analysis of transcripts of spontaneous speech as well as a variety of other written forms of speech.

You will study a range of texts, including novels, plays, poetry and non-fiction writing.  You will also analyse unseen transcripts of spontaneous conversations and explore how speech is represented in literature.

The texts you study and the skills you develop in the first year will be essential for the second year of the course.  The novels, poems and plays that you write about in the first year will also be examined at A-level.

Over the two years, you will be reading a selection of novels, plays and collections of poetry. These will include Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Carol Ann Duffy’s Mean Time, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

There will also be an anthology studied alongside these books including a variety of different texts, such as transcripts of speech, advertisements and travel writing.

Assessment

Assessment for the A Level is though coursework (20%), which we start exploring in the second year, and through exams at the end of the final year (80%).

How the course is delivered

Like other A Level courses, English Language and Literature is taught in four seventy-minutes lessons per week. Groups may be taught by one or two teachers. Lessons focus on the core activities of reading, writing and discussion, all of which are approached in a wide variety of creative ways. Quizzes, games, group work, student presentations and dramatic interpretation are just some of the methods of engaging with texts and language that students experience on the course.

Departmental Enrichment

Enrichment activities offered to students of English Language and Literature in the past have included theatre trips, visits to the Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth and the chance to participate in a residential creative writing trip to Whitby.

The English Department at Wyke Sixth Form College

The English Department provides a wide range of specialisms and enthusiasms. We teach in the Ash Building in spacious classrooms which allow us to accommodate a variety of activities.

What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

Students can prepare themselves for the course by becoming more alert to the ways in which language is used in daily life. This could include:

  • reading a variety of literary texts – ask us for a booklist;
  • reading a range of non-fiction texts, eg. travel writing and biography;
  • reading a range of different newspapers and magazines;
  • watching the television news and noting the kind of language used;
  • listening to local and national radio stations;
  • noticing the written styles used on posters and leaflets;
  • becoming aware of the language of advertising; reading books on grammar and the way the English language works – try those by David Crystal and Stephen Fry’s The Ode LessTravelled is an excellent book if you want to write or understand poetry.

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