MELISSA HARRISON | SIXTH FORM STUDENT
I thoroughly enjoy English Lit and Lang due to the wide array of skills it has taught me, such as essay writing skills (which are transferable with my other A-Levels), analytical skills, and it has generally increased my confidence through participation in class. Doing both Language and Literature I feel makes the course more varied and interesting, as you go between the skills needed for language to those needed for literature. I chose to do the subject because I both did well and adored it at GCSE, and I think that it is even better at A-Level as there are fewer people in class, so more attention is focused on you and your learning needs.
WHY CHOOSE A-LEVEL ENGLISH LANGUAGE-LITERATURE?
Imagine you’re stood in a pick ‘n mix shop… but instead of sweets, the most interesting parts of English Language and English Literature have been laid out before you and then combined to make a fantastic A level course! That’s the way most students describe the English Language-Literature A level offered at CWLC: it offers variety, challenge and the opportunity for students with a love of English to develop their skills in a new direction.
Students begin the course by studying the OCR Non-Fiction Anthology which is made up of a wide range of fascinating and unusual texts. There are political speeches; interview transcripts and even an extract from a graphic non-fiction novel. Alongside this, students will also explore the work of William Blake – a true visionary of his time and one of the most influential first-generation Romantic poets. Other engaging classics, such as ‘A Streetcar Named Desire and ‘The Great Gatsby,’ also feature in the A level course meaning students have the opportunity to study texts from different time periods. Of course, students with a passion for English very often have a passion for writing themselves – the creative writing component which forms part of the A level course is perfect for these students as it gives them the chance to really develop their own writing style. The NEA (coursework) component is comprised of two parts: a comparative essay comparing a modern novel to another text chosen by each individual student and another element of creative writing in the form of a non-fiction article. The non-fiction element has inspired previous students to write opinion pieces and blogs about challenging issues which really matter to them: it has given them a voice.
WHY STUDY A-LEVEL ENGLISH LANGUAGE-LITERATURE AT CWLC?
At CWLC, we have a team of dedicated and highly experienced A level teachers who know how to get the best results for each individual student – whatever their next steps might be.
Our lessons are engaging, lively and challenging – allowing students to discuss and reflect as they continue to hone their own analytical and creative skills. Our aim is to make sure that every student is challenged and supported to reach their full potential – our results are consistently excellent. We offer opportunities to attend lectures and workshops given by visiting academics and students can also become involved in writing for Iris, CWLC’s sixth form magazine.
WHAT COULD YOU DO NEXT?
English Language-Literature A level is highly respected by universities – and not only for students who wish to continue studying English at university! Lang-lit students will not only possess carefully honed analytical skills; they will be able to communicate clearly, fluently and, when demanded, creatively. These skills are particularly relevant for students who wish to study Law, journalism, PR or even teaching. Language is power and A-level lang-lit students learn how to harness that power and make it work for them in the real world.
Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form,
Phone: 01905 423906