English Language & Literature

English Language & Literature

The course is designed to nurture a personal response to a variety of texts using integrated approaches. You will look at the way in which writers craft language and how the influence of various social, historical, political and cultural factors affects the production of texts. You will also have an opportunity to explore your own style of writing; this creative aspect will be inspired
via a range of both literary and non–literary texts, thereby allowing you to display your own particular strengths.

Course Content – Year 12

This course draws on the academic field of Stylistics, analysing the study of different writers’ styles through the study of both literary and non-literary texts.

Unit 1: Views and Voices

Section A

This part of the course allows you to learn about how and why views and perspectives of different kinds are shaped and used in narratives. You will learn how language choices help to shape the representations of different worlds and perspectives in literary fiction. You will analyse the language choices made by writers in order to study the following:

  • points of view
  • characterisation
  • presentation of time and space/place
  • narrative structure

Section B

This part of the subject content is concerned with the nature and function of poetic voice in the telling of events and the presentation of people. You will explore and analyse:

  • the presentation of time: understanding the past, reviewing past experiences, the manipulation of time
  • the importance of place: locations and memories, the ways in which these are captured in voice(s), and their effect on individuals
  • how people and their relationships are realised through point of view, attitude, specific registers, physical descriptions, speech and thought
  • the presentation of events through the poet’s selection of material, the use of narrative frames and other poetic techniques

Unit 2: People and Places

Drawing on both your everyday experiences of storytelling and on published texts, you will evaluate how language choices help to shape the representations of a place through a range of differing time periods.

The skills developed within these two units are:

  • analysis of a variety of narratives that construct different views of a particular place
  • produce recreative work that seeks to find an absent or underplayed perspective in the original text
  • write a critical reflection on the processes and outcomes involved in recreative work

Course Content – Year 13

This course offers you unique opportunities to consider issues in both literary and non-literary texts that tend to remain unquestioned in the other English disciplines.

Unit 3: Telling Stories

You will be asked to produce a creative piece of writing that explores differing perspectives after intensive study of an original prose text, followed by a critical reflection of this process.

Methods of language analysis

In order to write a competent critical reflection, you will be required to adopt a close language focus, through the identification of the salient language features that are used in the respective texts. You will be expected to be familiar with:

  • Phonetics, phonology and prosodics – for example, the sounds of real speech and the patterns of sound symbolism (rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia) that some writers employ
  • Lexis and semantics – for example, the connotations of words and phrases, metaphor and idiomatic language
  • Grammar – for example, how the use of pronouns can shape narrative viewpoints
  • Pragmatics – for example, the assumptions made about listeners/readers by the speaker’s/writer’s language choices
  • Discourse – for example, the way different text types use particular features or routines, including aspects of visual design and layout.

Writing about Society

You will study: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In this part of the subject content, students explore the ways that writers:

  • use situations of conflict to express ideas about societies and their values
  • present people, their points of view and their relationships with others

Unit 4: Exploring Conflict

Finally, you will study a dramatic text: Othello by William Shakespeare. In this part of the course, you will learn how meanings can be inferred from the language used and study the contextual reasons for these conflicts. This section of the examination is open book so you are allowed to take copies into the examination. Texts must not be annotated and must not contain additional notes or materials.

Is this course right for me?

It is, if you are inquisitive about language. Language is our medium of communication with other people and it is the medium of entertainment. Most importantly, language forms an essential part of our identities and individual personalities. This is a course that offers you the chance to pursue your own interests and develop independent learning skills.

Course highlights

During the course you will have the opportunity to visit the theatre, work in conjunction with the Library with visiting authors, and attend A level lectures.

What can I do next?

The study of English in all its forms is valued highly by universities and in a wide variety of career paths. Through the study of English, you will develop skills of analysis, interpretation, communication and argumentative skills which are valued in careers such as law, teaching, journalism, publishing, public relations, sales and marketing.

Subject minimum entry requirement

Grade 6 or above in both English Language and English Literature.

“The English course at QEGS pushes me to expand my knowledge within an interesting and supportive environment. We are taught expertly about linguistic techniques and how they can present a narrative or voice within a text or poem as well as the intricacies of how authors create an intriguing world within a novel. The course spans a broad range of different types of text and challenges us to apply the terminology and knowledge we are taught in a way that interests us.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed studying English Language and Literature. The class sizes are small, and the teachers are very helpful and provide me with lots of useful feedback for every piece of work; this encourages me to make good progress.”

“I would recommend English at QEGS to any student who would either like to enhance their communication skills or those who are interested in how the rules of linguistics are applied in everyday life.”

Mrs L Mallon
Head of English