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Luton Sixth Form

English Language & Literature (A Level)

Why study English Language & Literature?

We explore a wide variety of literary and non-fiction texts including texts in the spoken and electronic modes and texts from different time periods, examining how writers/ speakers use language and craft their work. For coursework, you will get the opportunity to pursue your own reading interests to write a comparative essay on two texts. The course also gives you the opportunity to produce your own original writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 4

The Course

We will study an anthology of various non-fiction and spoken texts, from different time periods, a 20th century play called A Streetcar Named Desire, a selection of poetry from the anthology Breaking Silence by Jacob Sam-La Rose and The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. You will also study two coursework texts, one of which is a free choice; the other is currently ‘Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?’ by Jeanette Winterson. During your study of the core texts and various unseen extracts, you will develop a variety of strategies for reading, including detailed language analysis and how to explore similarities and contrasts between texts. You also will learn how to devise, draft and edit your own writing and how to evaluate and construct effective narrative techniques.

Course Activities

  • You will study a range of texts, including novels, plays, poems, journalism and scripted and spontaneous speech.
  • You will take part in discussions and presentations, in pairs and larger groups.
  • You will research from books and on the internet.
  • You will write essays and other assignments.
  • You will practise answering exam questions under timed conditions.
  • You may see productions or dramatised extracts of texts on video, to help you to picture the stories more clearly and examine techniques of presentation.
  • Wherever appropriate, we will organise trips to theatre performances, revision conferences and other events like exhibitions.

Students are expected to do a minimum of 4.5 hours each week of independent study. In this time you will be revising what you have done in class, reading, preparing work for your next lesson or doing homework or coursework.

Career and Progression Opportunities

A Level English Language & Literature is valued by universities and employers because it shows your ability to analyse and compare the language of a range of texts in detail, to adapt your writing for different audiences and purposes, and to evaluate the success of your own work. It is an excellent basis for degrees such as English, Journalism, Media, Communication Studies and Law, as well as any job where the ability to understand and communicate effectively is valued.

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course.

Module title and content Assessment

Component 1: Exploring Non-Fiction and Spoken Texts
You will have to write an analytical, contextual essay comparing a text from the anthology and an unseen text.

  • One hour
  • 16% of total A Level

Component 2: The Language of Poetry and Plays
You will take a linguistic and literary approach to analyzing poetry and the play, using stylistic techniques and aspects of form, as well as being conscious of the importance of context.

  • Two hours
  • 32% of total A Level

Component 3: Reading as a Writer, Writing as a Reader
Section A: You will write an essay on one novel, exploring the
narrative methods and techniques used.
Section B: You will apply your knowledge and understanding of
narrative techniques and methods to produce your own opening to a

  • Two hours
  • 32% of total A Level

Component 4: Independent Study
Analysing and producing texts

  • Coursework
  • 20% of total A Level

Additional Information

For trips, although you will have to pay for your theatre tickets and transport, we can often get reduced prices for group bookings.
Examination Board: OCR


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