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  Chris Hawkes

AQA AS and A-Level English Language and Literature (2015-on)

AS (7706); A-level (7707)

 

AQA's AS and A-Level English Language and Literature specification for teaching September 2015, with first examinations for AS May/June 2016, and for A-Level May/June 2017.

For details of the AS examinations click here; ; for details of the A-Level examinations click here.

For details of the Non-Examination Assessment (NEA - the new term for coursework) at A-Level for English Language and Literature follow this link.

 

As AQA's mantra has always been "reading is reading", the combined Language and Literature course is both a natural synthesis and a popular choice for teachers and students. The focus is on the integration of linguistic and literary method and theory.

The two courses, AS and A-Level, are designed to be co-teachable, so teachers are free to focus one either AS or A-Level, or to aim students at the AS course as a stepping stone to the A-Level qualification. The path teachers choose will of course depend on the student profile, and perhaps the policy of the school.

It is worth noting that, for students who take both AS and A-Level in the same subject, Further Education institutions are likely only to consider the higher rated qualification when making offers.

In common with all boards, and in accordance with Ofqual regulations, AS and A-Level are now separate qualifications: performance in AS examination will have no bearing on marks awarded at A-Level.

As these qualifications are linear, all AS examinations must be taken at the end of the AS course, and all A-Level examinations must also be taken at the end of the A-Level course. Students may resit AS or A-Level, but must resit all examinations, again at the end of the course.

Also in accordance with Ofqual regulations, there is no coursework - Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) - at AS level.

Achievement will continue to be graded on the existing E-A system, with A* available at A-Level. Students who fail to reach the standard set for Grade E will be recorded as "U" - Unclassified.

 

AS English Language and Literature (7706)

AS English Language and Literature is assessed by two examinations, both of 1 hour 30 minutes, and each counting for 50% of the total AS marks. Both examinations must be taken in the same year.

AS examinations are closed text.

Paper 1:
Views and Voices

75 marks: 50% of the total AS marks

Section A: Imagined Worlds - points of view and genre in prose

Students will answer one question on their chosen prose text. (35 marks)

The texts deal with unusual narrative techniques, and students should address narrative point of view, characterisation, the presentation of time and space/place and narrative structure, as well as looking at contexts of production and (crucially) reception.

Section B: Poetic Voices

Students will answer one essay question on their poetry set text from the AQA Poetic Voices Anthology.

The focus again is on narrative method - how the poetic voice presents events, people and places. (40 marks)

 

Paper 2:
People and Places

75 marks: 50% of the total AS marks

Section A: Remembered Places

Students will answer one essay question from an extract taken from the AQA Anthology: Paris (which contains a range of fiction and non-fiction material.)

Students should consider the influence of context as well as narrative technique, and also the genre conventions and how these act as enablers and/or disablers. (40 marks)

Section B: Re-creative writing

Students will be asked to write an original piece in a specified genre based on the extract provided in Section A. (15 marks) They will then write a critical commentary on their writing, explaining their linguistic and other narrative choices. (20 marks)

 

 

A-Level English Language and Literature (7707)

A-Level English Language and Literature is assessed by two examinations, Paper 1 being 3 hours long, and Paper 2 2 hours 30 minutes, each counting for 40% of the total A-Level marks, and a personal language investigation - non-examination assessment (NEA) worth 20% of the total A-Level marks.

Section A of A-Level Paper 1 is closed text. Students may bring in a clean (unannotated) copy of their set text for Paper 1 Section B and for Paper 2.

 

Paper 1:
Telling Stories

100 marks: 40% of the total A-Level marks

Section A: Remembered Places

Students will answer one essay question on their poetry set text from the AQA Poetic Voices Anthology. (Closed text) (40 marks)

Section B: Imagined Worlds

Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their chosen prose text. (Open text) (35 marks)

Section C: Poetic Voices

Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their chosen poetry text. (Open text) (25 marks)

 

Paper 2:
Exploring Conflict

100 marks: 40% of the total A-Level marks

Section A: Writing about Society

(This is an open text paper.) Students will be asked to write an original re-creative response to their set text. The function of the re-creative piece is to open up readings of the base text, perhaps looking at the "silent voices" - for example, Ali in The Kite Runner - in order to develop new narrative readings of the base text. (25 marks) They will then write a critical commentary on their writing, explaining their linguistic and other narrative choices and how these open up the base text - this will also involve the student discussing the author's choices and how these influence readings. (30 marks.)

Section B: Dramatic Encounters

Students will answer one question from a choice of two on their drama set text. (45 marks)

 

Non-Examination Assessment (NEA):
Making Connections

50 marks: 20% of the total A-Level marks The NEA component for this qualification is a personal investigation of between 2,500-3,000 words into a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse.

The title is "Making Connections": students should focus on a way of connecting literary and non-literary material through language analysis, using frameworks such as phonetics, phonology and prosodics, lexis and semantics, grammar, including morphology, pragmatics and discourse. The investigation will be written up as a scholarly report structured in an academic manner with Appendix and References (neither of which count as part of the word-limits.)

 

 

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