Sixth-form a-level-english

IB: Group 1

English Language A: Literature

What could this course lead to?

As a traditional academic subject English is suitable for a wide range of courses in higher education.

GCSEs required

English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE or equivalent at Grade B or above.

What will I be studying?

English is a five term course, during which 10 literary texts are studied for Standard Level and 13 literary texts for Higher Level. At both levels students are required to write one coursework assignment and two oral exercises as part of the overall assessment.

Differences from A Levels include: a wide selection of literary texts to choose from which enable students to encounter literature from a range of periods, genres and cultures; the study of literary works in translation; opportunities to display knowledge through independent written research as well opportunities for interactive discussions and oral presentations.

Are there any trips or extracurricular activities linked to this course?

There will be theatre performances or live screenings of productions.

What benefits does this subject have for university entrance?

English is a highly regarded subject at further education institutions and universities as it develops a range of skills including: powers of analysis; reading and understanding of a variety of texts; linguistic knowledge; cultural enrichment; breadth of contextual understanding; greater assurance in debating.

What skills or learning approach do I need for this subject?

As for any literature based course, you need an appreciation of different genres and to enjoy exploring well written texts, you will need an enquiring and open mind to investigate literary ideas and background in depth and have the confidence to explore, develop and express your own ideas in writing essays and in discussion.

How does the Higher Level differ to the Standard Level?

The difference between the two levels is that at Higher Level you study more texts - 13 at HL versus 10 at SL – and will be required to undertake a more challenging Individual Oral Commentary exercise at HL. You might find Higher Level texts present more challenges to the reader and that your teacher’s 
expectations are greater and that the literary experience is altogether richer. The examination papers are marked according to a different mark scheme set at a higher level of achievement.

How is it assessed?

  • One coursework essay
  • Two oral assessments
  • Two written examination papers

Coursework: Yes

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