This subject hardly requires an introduction; the ability to express oneself clearly and to understand clearly what others have expressed is so obviously a fundamental requirement in all aspects of our life, and also has an immediate effect on students’ capacities in all other subjects where reading and writing are necessary (and there are few subjects where they are not!) The course is designed with the three elements of the final assessment – reading, writing and ‘conference’ – very much in mind. Stress is laid on students exploring their own interests while at the same time developing their sense of the range of styles available to them.
What skills do I need?
You need the capacity to write creatively and discursively, and the ability to read critically and thoughtfully.
How is the course assessed?
There are two written examinations on two papers. Paper 1 (Reading Passages Extended) comprises three passages and short answer questions involving summary skills, vocabulary, literary analysis and adaptation. You have to (i) understand and collate explicit meanings; (ii) understand, explain and collate implicit meanings and attitudes; and (iii) select, analyse and evaluate what is relevant to specific purposes.
Paper 2 (Directed Writing and Composition) is divided into two sections. In Section A (Directed Writing), you read one or more short unseen texts. You then use and develop the information given in another form, eg a letter, a report, a speech or a dialogue. In Section B (Composition), you write one composition from a choice of argumentative, discursive, descriptive and narrative titles. Both papers last 2 hours and are worth 50% each.
There is no specific text for English Language but the department will provide guidance as to the reading that should take place during the course of the teaching. We recommend as a base point that students should become regular readers of novels and be looking at a quality newspaper daily. Both these activities will augment students’ own literary style, increase breadth of vocabulary and build comprehension and summary skills.
Exam Board and Specification Codes
Head of Department
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