A Level English Language & Literature

The course we follow is AQA English Language and Literature B (This will link you to the full course specification and links to past examination papers). Throughout the course, students will study a range of literature including plays, poetry and prose, as well as having the opportunity to investigate how language is used and manipulated in a variety of contexts. Texts studied on the course may include The Great Gatsby, the poetry of Robert Browning, King Lear and Glengarry Glen Ross.


AS Level

Unit 1 - ELLB1F - Introduction to Language and Literature Study

60% of AS, 30% of A Level

1 hour 45 minutes written examination

Two questions: one on an unseen text(s) related to the theme(s) of the Anthology, produced by AQA as a set text; the second on the Anthology itself.



Unit 2 - ELLB2 - Themes in Language and Literature

40% of AS, 20% of A Level

Coursework Unit

Two-part assignment on chosen pair of texts: discussion of a set theme in relation to the texts; a piece of creative writing, demonstrating understanding of texts as a whole.



A2 Level

Unit 3 - ELLB3 - Talk in Life and Literature

30% of A Level
2 hour written examination

Two questions: one based on extract from prescribed play; one requiring comparison of unseen texts.



Unit 4 - ELLB4 - Text Transformation

20% of A Level
Coursework Unit

Coursework folder of transformed texts and associated commentary or commentaries.


How to encourage students to enhance their A Level achievement:

- Follow us @GSASixthFormLit and @GSAEngLang. Our twitter feeds are updated regularly with links to wider reading, relevant current affairs and academic studies related to the texts on the course.
- Revise and re-read examination texts. Make revision notes on each text as you go along to avoid stress at the end of the academic year.
- Revise and make revision notes on new ideas and terminology regularly to minimise stress at the end of the course.
- Study guides are available for most texts on the course. Reputable publishers include York Notes, Letts and Phillip Allan.


Useful Web Links for Study Guides:

- York Notes - Currently there are some free, downloadable revision cards available and free limited trials of their new online resources.

- Spark Notes - Covers some of the texts on the course and is completely free.

- Universal Teacher - Covers many language and literature topics.



Where could it lead? Degree courses in English Language & Literature

As the study of English Language is becoming more popular, there are an increasing number of universities offering courses that combine the study of language and literature.

- Newcastle University

- Lancaster University