On the A Level course, students will learn how to use an
‘integrated’ analytical approach to spoken and written texts, using both
literary and linguistic concepts and terminology.
Basic concepts from a linguistic approach will be taught,
enabling students to be more precise in their interpretation of texts. These
- Phonology and prosodics (the sounds of real speech and
the patterns of sound in literature)
- Lexis and semantics (the connotations of word choices and
- Grammar (the role of specific words, such as pronouns and
verbs, in a sentence)
- Pragmatics (how different contexts and situations affect
At A Level, students will study an Anthology of spoken and
written texts entitled Voices in Speech and Writing, which contains a wide
variety of texts, such as newspaper articles and reports; extracts from
autobiographies, diaries, travel writing and digital texts (such as ‘blogs’);
book and television reviews. Other examples of these types of text will be
studied to develop the skills of writing comparatively.
Students will study one compulsory prose fiction ‘anchor’
text, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and the play by Lorraine Hansberry
‘A Raisin in the Sun’.. This ‘text pairing’ will be following the theme: Society
and the Individual.
There is also a coursework component, worth 20% which
requires the production of creative writing in response to the study of two
stimulus texts: Margaret Atwood’s, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘The Motorcycle
Diaries’ by `Che’ Guevara.
In addition, technical accuracy in spelling, punctuation and
grammar is essential for achieving a good grade at A Level.
Students will succeed on this course if they:
- Enjoy reading and responding to many different kinds of
writing, including whole novels and plays
- Are willing to explore in detail, through close text
analysis, how language can affect the reader or listener
- Are prepared to learn the terminology associated with a
linguistic approach to English
- Enjoy writing (accurately and fluently) in different
forms, for different purposes and audiences
- Enjoy taking part in discussion
- Find language itself interesting; the way it changes and
means different things to different people