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English Language and Literature A Level at Aquinas College

Course description

If you enjoy reading and discussing literature but also have an interest in linguistic approaches to language, you will enjoy this course. English Language and Literature is a two-year linear course that allows you to engage with all three literary genres (poetry, prose and drama) but also allows you to be creative and investigative.

The first year of the course will provide a varied introduction to English Language and Literature studies, focusing on how and why we tell stories. There will be an exploration of different literary and non-literary texts in order to learn how these stories are told about people, societies and places in a different genre, from various points of view and in a variety of modes (speech, writing and blending modes such as blogs and internet forums). You will study two Anthologies (the AQA Paris Anthology and Poetic Voices) and a “fantasy” prose text (The Handmaid’s Tale).

The second year will provide you with the opportunity to explore the topic of conflict in a different genre and for different types of writing tasks. Firstly, you’ll study The Kite Runner to learn how the writer presents the conflict in and across different cultures and peoples. You will be able to write creatively, expressing new points of view based on your understanding of the novel, in addition to analysing your creative process. You will also examine how playwrights present conflict dramatically through your study of Othello. Finally, you will produce an independent comparative investigation of non-literary material and a literary text based around a theme (for example, war) or a linguistic device (for example, metaphor).

Course content

Examined Units (80% of A-level)
Paper 1 – Telling Stories (3-hour exam) Section A: Remembered Places (the presentation of place); Section B Imagined Worlds (point of view and genre in prose) and Section C Poetic Voices (the forms and functions of poetic voice)
Paper 2 – Exploring Conflict (2.5-hour exam) Section A: Writing about Society (the role of the individual in society, re-creative and evaluative writing based on set text) and Section B: Dramatic Encounters (conflict in drama)
Coursework (20 of A level)
NEA – Making Connections: investigation of one topic (free choice) based on the
study of a literary text and some related non-literary material.

Entry requirements

Grade 4 in both GCSE English Language and Maths + 4 grade Cs in other subjects (which could include English Literature grade 4) 

Future opportunities

English is a core subject and as such a valuable A level for any student considering an academic course at university. Many students who do A-level English go on to study for degrees in English, History and Law as well as a range of subjects relating to the media/creative industries, the social sciences and education.
English is also valued by employers; the core skills required to succeed in the subject, such as written/oral communication, writing for a range of audiences and purposes and analytical interpretation are essential skills in most workplaces.

Further information

The English department has several trips and events throughout the year, including visits to the theatre and universities. A trip to Paris is being planned for 2018-19.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Aquinas College directly.

Last updated date: 22 September 2017
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