A and AS Level English Language
A and AS Level English Language will build on skills learnt and practised at GCSE. Students will learn to broaden and deepen their knowledge of a wide range of text-types, genres and purposes and learn to more critically explore implicit meaning, structure, and contextual factors.
You will also be introduced to, and develop the skills of, data analyses, for example by looking at the data on the acquisition of language in children. Through this, you will also learn about the features of spoken language: phonology, semantics, lexis, accent, grammar, etc.
At A Level, you are required, alongside your analytical and investigative tasks, to write a piece of original writing. This could be: A piece of investigative journalism, a speech, a letter, a short story, biographical writing, a dramatic monologue, a piece of travel writing, a blog post, a local history piece, etc. These are, of course, all only examples of what you could do. You will decide once you have spent time with your tutor exploring and analysing ‘style models’ (examples) to help inspire you.
To accompany the original writing, which is part of the coursework module, students are required to write a ‘commentary’ of their original writing. This commentary helps to explain your rationale and decisions made during the process of planning and creating your original writing and allows you to justify your methods. This is excellent for those who like to think outside of the box when it comes to creative writing as you can explain your weird and wonderful ideas!
The above Non-Exam Assessment (NEA or ‘coursework’) forms a smaller percentage of the total A Level than the formal exams but is an excellent way to have a strong head start before you even sit the first exam.
Whilst we can generally accommodate any exam board, our tutor’s preference is Edexcel. There are 3 exam papers in edexcel, within which students will answer questions on:
- A comparison between two linked texts from 21st C.
- A comparison between two linked texts from different eras.
- A response to a set of data on child language.
- A further response to a set of data linked to a topic they have researched.
- An evaluation of the above data and their findings from their research.
As you can see above, whilst the first two tasks are broadly similar to questions from GCSE papers, the latter tasks are very much investigative in style, involving research and data analysis. This is a skill you may have already practised in other subjects at GCSE, such as Sociology or Chemistry, so this won’t be completely new to you. In any case, you can rely on our tutor, Ant’s, expertise and guidance to help you develop these skills.
If you would like to get in touch to discuss coming to Barts to study, for the first time or as a retake, English or any other subject for that matter, please do get in touch with us through our contact page.