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English Language

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									English
A large number of sixth formers currently study English A-Level at Ermysted’s.
The Department offers two courses: English Language & English Literature. It is
possible to take both simultaneously. This booklet provides a brief outline to the
courses and attempts to provide some general information about English at A-
Level. Obviously, your teachers will be able to answer any further questions
which you might have.

The Examination Board which we currently follow is AQA.

English Language.

Introduction.
This course aims to enhance:
     your understanding of English;
     your skills of written and oral communication;
     your organisation and powers of argument;
     your analytical ability, initially of language in its various forms.

The results for this subject have been outstanding in the last two years. In 2003-4 the
pass rate at A/B was 92% and the school won a “Good Schools’ Guide” award for the
quality of these results. In 2004-5 84% of candidates gained A or B - nearly every
student in both year groups (which each consisted of over thirty boys) was awarded
one of the top two grades (the others achieved C’s).

Unlike many other A-Levels, a great deal of the material for this course is drawn from
our own day-to-day experience and a lot of the resources and topics under discussion
will be already familiar. Coverage of language and occupation, accent & dialect,
language and technology, how meaning is created (for instance in humour) and
language acquisition are all key parts of the specification. The Language curriculum
also involves a considerable degree of flexibility in terms of student choice, particularly
relating to coursework.

Combination with other A-Levels & Career Prospects.
English Language A-Level is particularly versatile. The qualities which it seeks to
develop are essential in a rapidly evolving world where articulacy and speed of
understanding are highly valued, in the professions and elsewhere. Anyone considering
a career in law, journalism, marketing, advertising, the media, education or business
would be likely to benefit from the course and it is increasingly well thought of at
University level and beyond. For example, The Medical School of Magdelen College,
Oxford actively encourages applications from sixth formers intending to study medicine
who have followed an Arts A-Level (such as English Language) – effective
communication is after all an essential part of a good Doctor’s armoury.
Accordingly, increasing numbers of pupils taking Science or Mathematics include
English Language in their choices and find it an interesting complement to their other
subjects, adopting as it does, an almost scientific approach to language study. Equally,
it can be sensibly taken with History, Geography, Business Studies, Economics,
French, German and English Literature.

Entry Qualification.
The course requires a grade B minimum (though students have been accepted with C
grades and succeeded in passing). The prime attributes are the abilities to listen, learn
and to work hard.

Relationship between A-Level & GCSE.
Though the course seeks to build on many of the skills and some of the knowledge
which you have gained at GCSE, it will also introduce a range of concepts many of
which will be completely new. In short, it is much different from English GCSE.

The Course.
Like all A-Levels, English Language is divided into six components – three at A/S and
another three at A2.

The A/S components are:
1.) Introduction to the Study of Language.
Introduction The aim of this module is to introduce you to ways of investigating and
understanding better the diversity of uses and contexts for spoken and written English
in the modern world and in your own lives. Your proficiency in responding to uses of
language in this module will be tested through your understanding of the essential roles
of purposes and contexts in language use; the importance of audiences; the diversity of
choices available in structure and style, and the significance of these factors in
constructing meanings. This investigation of language requires the systematic
application of the following descriptive frameworks to texts: lexical, grammatical (word,
sentence and text level), phonological, semantic and pragmatic. These concepts and
descriptive approaches together provide systematic frameworks in which you may learn
about the nature and functions of language.
Content This module will introduce you to some central concepts and to the elements
of language study necessary for you to be able to identify, describe and discuss
language in use (both spoken and written) on a systematic basis.
Assessment Assessment will be by one written paper of 1½ hours’ duration. You will be
required to answer questions based on unseen data.
2.) Language and Social Contexts.
Introduction The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the connections
between specific features of language in use and different social contexts, building on
the knowledge and experience gained in Module 1. Key concepts for this module are:
discourse and the factors which create different styles and variations in genre; register
and the specific linguistic features that create it; implicit meanings and the ways in
which these are created in texts; literal and metaphorical usage of language in different
contexts.
Subject Content There will be three prescribed topic areas. For the January and June
2005 examinations the topic areas for assessment will be:
    
    
                      Occupational Groups
Assessment Assessment will be by one written paper of 1½ hours’ duration. You will be
required to answer two questions, each from a different topic area. One question will be
offered on each topic. The questions will be based on unseen data/texts.

3.) Original Writing
Introduction The aim of this coursework module is to develop your own expertise as
writers, by requiring you to write for different audiences and purposes. The following
are examples of the types of original writing which you might submit:
     Writing to entertain - a short story; a stand-up comedy routine; a radio script.
     Writing to persuade - a piece of journalism; texts for an advertising campaign.
     Writing to inform - an account of an event; an explanation of a process; an article
        about an area of special interest.
     Writing to advise/instruct - planning for an event or occasion; making better use
        of computer software; advice on managing money.
You are advised to choose tasks that reflect your own interests and for which there is a
realistic audience.
Content You will choose your own programme of coursework in consultation with your
teachers. You will be required to submit a commentary with your writing in which you
should analyse and review
     your choice of vocabulary and syntactic structures
     your style of writing
     the overall structure and organisation of your text
     any changes made during drafting and re-drafting.
Assessment The coursework folder will contain two pieces of work and the associated
commentary - the total length of the two pieces together should be between1500 and
3000 words. The total length of the commentary (or commentaries) should be 1000-
1500 words.
The A2 Units are:
4.) Investigating Language (coursework).4 - Investigating Language
In this module you will apply your knowledge of conceptual frameworks gained in
Modules 1 and 2 to a small research project of your choice.
5.) Editorial Writing (exam). MODULE 5 - Editorial Writing
The emphasis in this module is on your ability to construct a new text from a variety of
sources. It will build on skills acquired in Module 3.
6.) Language Development (exam). MODULE 6 - Lang
In this synoptic module you will focus in a more rigorous manner than in Module 2, on
two specific areas of language study: language change and language acquisition.

Other Information:

2004/5 Numbers of candidates: A/S               A2            Passrate:

Grades:                           A/S
                                  A2

English Literature.

Introduction.
This course aims to develop:
     your appreciation and analysis of complex texts;
     your skills of written and oral communication and organisation;
     your ability to instigate and sustain independent research;
     your use of reference;
     your ability to argue a case.

In 2003-4 the A/B pass rate was 93% (the only student not achieving an A or B got a
C, having done the course in one year). In 2004-5 our achievement was less
impressive, though the mitigating factor of long-term staff indisposition was a factor
here. The study of Literature should deepen your understanding of your own and other
cultures.

Combination with other A-Levels & Career Prospects.
As with Language A-Level, anyone considering a career in law, journalism, marketing,
advertising, the media, education or business would be likely to benefit from the
course. It has always had a very high profile at University level and with employers who
value the qualities of independent and advanced thought and expression that it
develops.

English Literature combines well with History, Economics, Geography, French, German
and English Language. It can also provide a healthy balance of interests for those
taking sciences or maths.
Wide reading and theatre visits are part of the course. Various trips are organised and
students are encouraged to participate in debating and writing competitions. English
Literature is a very enjoyable A-Level to choose. Texts are interesting and lessons
involve much debate. The course is intellectually demanding and a rigorous test of any
candidate. Students generally enjoy the subject. Contrary to popular belief, you do not
need to be a Shakespeare geek to succeed.

The course stretches your writing ability to the highest level. Constant argument and
discussion extends your oral skills so that you can present a case forcefully and fully. It
is challenging because it makes you think for yourself.

Entry Qualification.
This course also requires a grade B minimum though again, students have been
accepted with C grades. At least some level of interest in reading is essential to
success here.

Relationship between A-Level & GCSE.
The course builds emphatically on many of the skills and the subject knowledge which
you have gained at GCSE. It will cover some new concepts, mainly critical in nature.

The Course.
English Literature is divided into six components – three at A/S and another three at
A2.

The A/S Units are:
1.) Introduction to the Study of Literature.
Introduction The aim of this module is to introduce you to your study of literature
through the critical assessment of one prose text. .
Content In addition to a consideration of writers’ choices of form, structure and
language, this module will introduce you to the idea of the contexts in which literary
texts are written and understood and to the idea that texts may be interpreted in
different ways by different readers.

In 2005, one of the following texts should be chosen:
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice; Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights; Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn; Alice Walker The Color Purple;Anthony Burgess A Clockwork
Orange; Ian McEwan Enduring Love; Graham Swift Waterland.
Assessment Assessment will be by one written paper of 1¼ hours’ duration. You will be
required to answer one question. A choice of two questions will be offered on each text.
You will be permitted to bring their text into the examination room. Texts taken into the
examination may contain only brief marginal annotation.
2.) Genre Study: Poetry and Drama.
Introduction The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of drama and
poetry. There will be a choice of texts within each genre. One question will be set on
pre-twentieth-century poetry and one question on twentieth-century drama. You must
answer both questions.
Content Authors available for study in 2005 include:
Poetry: Geoffrey Chaucer;                  John Milton;             ; Emily Jane
Brontë.
Drama: Arthur Miller;                       ;               ; John Osborne;
Caryl Churchill; Peter Shaffer.
Assessment Assessment will be by one written paper of 1¾ hours’ duration. You will be
required to answer two questions, one on pre-twentieth-century poetry and one on
twentieth-century drama, on the texts you have studied. You are not permitted to take
your texts into the examination room.

3.) Shakespeare.
Introduction The aim of this module is to enable you, through the detailed study of a
Shakespeare play, to increase their understanding of different critical interpretations
and of the importance of context.
Content You will study at least one Shakespeare play which you have not already been
taught at school.
Assessment Assessment will be by the production of a coursework folder which will
contain either one piece of work of approximately 1500 – 2000 words or two pieces of
750 – 1000 words each.

The A2 Units are:
4.) Comparing Texts (coursework).paring Texts
This module focuses on comparing two texts, one of which is prose.
MODULE 5 - Set Texts: Drama
5.) Set texts: Drama before 1770; Poetry before 1900 (exam).
This module focuses on the study of two set texts, one play written before 1770 and
one selection of poems produced before 1900.
MODULE 6 - Exploring Texts
6.) Exploring Texts (exam).
This module focuses on approaches to and methods of the study of literary texts. This
is a synoptic module.

Other Information:

2004/5 Numbers of candidates: A/S              A2                    Passrate:

Grades:                          A/S
                                 A2

								
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