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Still regarded as the international common language, English is of course our mother tongue. Perhaps surprisingly, many of us speak and use it, if not badly, at least inadequately.
Our Distance Learning A-Level English aims to encourage candidates to use integrated linguistic and literary approaches in their reading and interpretation of texts, to engage creatively and independently with a wide range of spoken, written and multimodal texts, exploring the relationship between texts, and to undertake independent and sustained studies to develop their skills as producers and interpreters of language.
MyDistance Learning are pleased to offer the opportunity to study to AS and A2 A-level English Language and Literature (A) as specified by AQA. The A-level aims to encourage candidates:
* To use integrated linguistic and literary approaches in their reading and interpretation of texts;
* To engage creatively and independently with a wide range of spoken, written and multimodal texts, exploring the relationship between texts;
* To undertake independent and sustained studies to develop their skills as producers and interpreters of language
MyDistance Learning College is not accredited to assess, moderate or examine coursework. In which case, it is candidates’ responsibility to access AQA consortium advice via their examination centres. Moreover, it is candidates’ choice to determine which texts from lists A and B above they shall study and what comparative question they shall work on.
However, MyDistance Learning College is able to offer study materials for Unit 4, consisting of examples of poetry criticism and analysis, and Tutor Marked Assignments which will help prepare candidates to formulate titles and draft their coursework.
The A-level builds on the course content of GCSE English Language and Literature. Although it is not necessary to have this qualification before undertaking A-level English Language and Literature, in order to meet the demands of the course, it is recommended that candidates do have literary and communication skills equivalent to C or higher at GCSE.
This is variable according to student commitment, though AQA recommend around 150 guided learning hours for AS and 150 guided learning hours for A2.
The titles of the qualifications will appear on certificates as:
• AQA Advanced Subsidiary GCE in English Language and Literature A
• AQA Advanced Level GCE in English Language and Literature A
If you are based outside the UK, it may be possible to sit your examination through your local British Council, depending on your location. Please contact the examination board AQA for details on examination centres in your country.
Learning documentation Tutor support until this syllabus is withdrawn for examination by AQA and a new one introduced. Students are required to arrange and pay for their examinations themselves. Students must check the relevant examination board website for final examination sitting dates for this specification.
As a student of MyDistance Learning College you will have access to tutor via email who will mark your work and guide you through the course to ensure you are ready for your examinations.
When you become a Student of My Distance Learning College you are eligible to receive the following:
1. A fully functioning business website, with free personal domain name and hosting for one year worth at least £175
2. Professional listing on an online directory exclusively for graduates of My Distance Learning College Courses, which lets the world know that you're qualified - worth £39.99
3. Career consultancy and free CV appraisal by one of the industry leaders in the UK - worth £64.99
4. Employment tools, including expert advice on interview preparation - worth at least £67
Total Value is a minimum of £346.98 – it's almost as if you're getting your course for nothing!
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Great news! We are now able to offer a next day delivery service that provides you with a specific time slot by email or SMS for when your course materials will arrive. No more sitting in all day!
Previous experience required: Yes
Level: A Level
Length of course:12 months
Tutor Support: 12 months (can be extended)
Tutor marked assignments:Yes
Final exam: Yes
Instalment plan available:Yes
Students are strongly recommended to familiarise themselves with the AQA specification for A-level English Language and Literature (A). The document can be downloaded as a pdf file, alongside further student support and assessment materials from the AQA website.
The AQA A-level is divided into four units as follows:
AS: 2 units AQA Code 1721
A2: 2 units AQA Code 2721
Below is a more detailed breakdown of the units studied for AS and A2.
Advanced Subsidiary (AS):
Unit 1 - ELLA 1: Integrated Analysis and Text Production
This unit introduces the principles of integrated literary and linguistic analysis by developing the ability of candidates:
- To use terminology to support their analysis of a set text
- To produce a piece of their own work, based on the study of a set text
- To write fluently and coherently
Candidates will be required to answer two questions. The first question will be an analytical question on one of the set texts; the second question a production task on a second set text. In each case, all texts will have an analysis task and a production task to maximise candidates’ choice.
The analytical question focuses on the ways in which language and style help the writer to develop and explore issues within the text (such as theme and character). Candidates will be expected to produce an informed response underpinned by close textual reference and stylistic discussion.
The production task requires candidates to write in a particular style, register or voice, based on a thorough knowledge of the text. They will be assessed on language use appropriate to the set task and on technical accuracy.
Candidates are advised to spend approximately 40 minutes responding to the analytical task on their first set text, and then spend approximately 50 minutes planning and writing the production task linked to the other set text.
Candidates must study two texts, which can be taken into the examination. However, the texts must be clean, that is, free from all annotation.
The History Boys: Alan Bennett
A Streetcar Named Desire: Tennessee Williams
Unit 2 – ELLA 2: Analysing Speech and its Representation
This unit will introduce candidates to the principles of the analysis of speech in a variety of situations. Their analysis will be supplemented by the frameworks learned on Unit 1. These questions test the ability of candidates:
- To use appropriate terminology to support their analysis
- To compare different kinds of spoken texts
- To analyse set texts with reference to representation of speech as well as exploration of stylistic and thematic issues
- To write fluently and coherently.
Candidates will be required to answer two questions. The first question will require an analytical comparison of unseen spoken texts. The second section of the unit will focus on the study of a set text where the candidate will focus on the way speech is used and represented within that text as well as stylistic matters relevant to the particular text.
The first question will have two pieces of speech which could be transcribed spontaneous speech, prepared oratory or any other type of speech representation from a non-literary context
Candidates will be required to compare how the speech texts differ by focusing on features of spoken English and how form and context can help to shape meaning. The second question will focus on speech representation and stylistic and linguistic issues within the set text, with a short section of the text printed to provide a basis for close analysis.
Candidates must study one text, but are not allowed to take this text into the examination, since a section for commentary and discussion will be reprinted on the examination paper.
All My Sons: Arthur Miller
Unit 3 – ELLA 3: Comparative Analysis and Text Adaptation
This unit focuses on integrated literary and linguistic study: firstly, by exploring the way that unseen texts can be analysed and compared; secondly, by taking the candidate’s own production skills further by focusing on non-fiction writing. Analysis on this unit will draw together the frameworks learned throughout the course. Production on this unit will focus on the skills of textual re-casting so as to develop and strengthen candidates’ production skills.
This unit tests the ability of candidates:
- To use appropriate terminology to support their analysis
- To compare different types of text including those from literary and non-literary contexts, and speech
- To write a piece of their own work, based on the study of non-fiction writing
- To write fluently and coherently
Candidates are required to answer two questions. The first question will be an unseen analytical comparison of three texts of varying length, mode, genre and/or historical period. The second question will focus on a production task linked to the study of a set text, which will be non-fiction writing. The production will include reference to their set text in the form of a printed extract which will then be used as the basis for a textual re-casting. Candidates will also be required to write a short commentary explaining the choices they made when writing the re-casting.
Candidates are advised to spend approximately 90 minutes reading, planning and writing their
analytical response and then spend approximately 60 minutes planning and writing the production task and commentary linked to the non-fiction set text.
Candidates must study two texts, which they will not be allowed to take into the examination.
A House Somewhere: Tales of Life Abroad: Don George and Anthony Sattin
Cupcakes and Kalashnivoks: 100 Years of the Best Journalism by Women
A House Somewhere: Tales of Life Abroad: Don George and Anthony Sattin
Unit 4 – ELLA 4: Comparative Analysis through Independent Study
This unit will extend the principles of integrated literary and linguistic analysis by testing the ability of candidates:
- To use appropriate terminology in their analysis
- To make comparisons by sustaining a particular line of thinking in relation to the two chosen texts
- To produce accurate, fluent and coherent written work
Candidates are required to answer one question on two set texts: they have a free choice of question on the two texts that they have chosen to study but each question must be approved by the candidate’s tutor. The question should focus on challenging comparative issues.
Candidates must show evidence of a drafting process in their coursework and it is therefore a requirement to submit one draft with their final assessed piece.
They must write between 2,000 and 2,500 words. A consortium system operates for this specification, in line with the other AQA GCE English Specification A suites, where centres initially submit candidates’ questions to consortium advisers for scrutiny, acceptance and moderation. These consortium advisers also act in an advisory capacity to centres throughout the year.
Candidates are required to study at least one poetry text, a genre not available at AS level. Candidates must choose one text from List A; they may then choose one other text from List A or one from List B.
The intention behind this constrained choice is to offer texts which have been externally verified for their suitability for this coursework unit. Centres should discourage candidates from writing at length about biographical details of any of the writers. The primary focus of candidates’ work must be on literary and linguistic analysis and comparative issues within the texts.
List A (Poetry)
Ariel: Sylvia Plath
The Whitsun Weddings: Philip Larkin
The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale: Geoffrey Chaucer
Selected Poems: D.H. Lawrence
Taking off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes: Billy Collins
Selected Poems: Robert Frost
Songs of Innocence and of Experience: William Blake
Selected Poems 1965-75: Seamus Heaney
Selected Poems: William Wordsworth
Mean Time: Carol Ann Duffy
Selected Poems: Emily Dickinson
Selected Poems: Elizabeth Jennings
List B (Other Genres)
A Handmaid’s Tale: Margaret Atwood
Hamlet: William Shakespeare
As You Like It: William Shakespeare
The Penguin Book of Modern Short Stories: ed. Malcolm Bradbury
Small Island: Andrea Levy
The Accidental Tourist: Anne Tyler
Waterland: Graham Swift
A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving
Dubliners: James Joyce
Hotel World: Ali Smith
Death of a Salesman: Arthur Miller
Translations: Brian Friel
The purpose of this unit is to show an ability to use literary and linguistic terminology for analysis (Assessment Objective 1) and to make comparisons considering context (Assessment Objective 3). Each AO is weighted equally (30 marks).
The coursework is not an opportunity to write broadly on general themes or to relate them to the lives of the poets / writers. Rather, it is a chance to show the skills of close technical analysis in a comparative format. The essay should be concerned with the question of how / in what ways writers create their effects in order to focus on a particular theme.
Unless the candidate chooses two poets, comparisons will inevitably need to explain the different demands of the genre used (poetry, drama, short story, novel) but these should be confined to the specific differences of the texts chosen rather than a more generalised approach to genre difference. Similarly, though context may be important in explaining language change or specific historical attitudes, candidates should give a lesser emphasis to these areas than they do to technical analysis. Typically, a good coursework title will be ‘Compare the ways in which X and Y write about loneliness / death / the countryside etc.’ while an unsuitable title might be ‘Is X better than Y?’ or ‘How typical are X and Y of the periods in which they were writing?’
List A / List B examples
1. The Whitsun Weddings: Philip Larkin / Dubliners: James Joyce
Compare the ways in which Larkin and Joyce portray family relationships.
2. Mean Time: Carol Ann Duffy / Hotel World: Ali Smith
Compare the ways in which Duffy and Smith use different narrative points of view.
3. Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes: Billy Collins / The Accidental Tourist: Anne Tyler
Compare the ways in which Collins and Tyler present ideas about travel.
List A only examples
1. Selected Poems: Robert Frost / Selected Poems: William Wordsworth
Compare the ways in which Frost and Wordsworth write about friendship.
2. Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes: Billy Collins / Mean Time: Carol Ann Duffy.Compare the ways in which Collins and Duffy use irony.
3. Selected Poetry: D.H.Lawrence / Selected Poems: Emily Dickinson.Compare the ways in which Lawrence and Dickinson make use of the natural world.In the production of their coursework candidates are encouraged to read widely, to include at the end of their essays a bibliography of works read and to make appropriate reference to them, where relevant, in the body of the coursework. However, it must be stressed that a personal response is what is required and an inclusion of critical references is not essential.
Do your courses meet the latest syllabus changes?
Yes, all our course materials meet any changes and will be updated free of charge if further changes are made.
Why do I have to find a centre myself?
We have students all over the UK and Europe and it is impossible for us to arrange dates and times for individual students.
What if I cannot find an examination centre in my home town?
If you wish to gain the qualification then be prepared to travel it is worth it!
How much are exam fees?
These vary from centre to centre so please check with your local centre.
Are the courses paper based or on-line?
All our courses are paper based and come in attractive sturdy folders.
How do I contact my tutor?
Tutors are all working Teachers or Lecturers so contact is by email only.
Why can I not take my exams when I have completed the course and why do I have to wait?
Exams are taken at the same times as schools and colleges and are not flexible.
I want to take my exams but there are only a few months to study, is this possible?
Depending on the time of year, it is sometimes impossible to complete your studies in a short space of time as your work has to be marked and checked. More importantly the examination boards have cut off times which are not flexible.
Will I receive UCAS points on completion of this course?
Yes all of our A Levels carry UCAS points. The number of points awarded will depend on the grade you achieve.