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DC took A Level Language not Lit - anything that would mitigate?
66

bowlerhatt · 28/01/2022 20:05

For a variety of reasons, DC signed up to A Level English Language rather than Lit. Some down to DC, some College's error.

It's too late to transfer to Lit this year, DC could transfer next year but would then sit Lit a year after their other A Levels - and I'm not sure what issues this would cause re funding etc.

DC is predicted an A in Language.

The problem is that most of the university courses that DC is considering require Lit, or at very least strongly recommend it.

Is there anything you can suggest DC can do over the next year to try to mitigate not having Lit? They already read widely, volunteer in a charity bookshop, and act as a reporter on the college newspaper.

Or is it best to just try to do Lit later...?

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passtheparsnips · 28/01/2022 20:08

Could they do it independently via distance learning?

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loobylou44 · 28/01/2022 20:09

Could they do Lit as an online A-level?

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bowlerhatt · 28/01/2022 20:10

Yes - but if they do it at the same time they're worried about diluting the other three grades.

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loobylou44 · 28/01/2022 20:10

Meant to say my dd is doing one her A-levels via distance learning alongside her other ones at 6th form. It works well for her.

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Fireflygal · 28/01/2022 20:12

What Uni course do they want to do? They are courses where Lang is a requirement

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LIZS · 28/01/2022 20:12

As long as he is year 12 no issue with funding as long as college permit him doing pt hours. Is there an AS in literature offered still or look at openlearn or futurelearn to demonstrate interest ? What other A levels is he taking and what uni course? Can he ask Admission tutors for advice?

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Roses1221 · 28/01/2022 20:16

What’s the course? Seek advice from university admissions. Unless a very competitive course, there is usually a fair bit of flex for a good candidate and a good personal statement could explain extra steps taken to mitigate lack of Lit. Could she also speak to teachers to get hold of Lit syllabus and do some in her own time? Perhaps read some key texts, join in a few lessons? That would show initiative in the PS.

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bowlerhatt · 28/01/2022 20:28

Great ideas, thank you. They've just googled and found some MOOCs that look interesting, so thanks for that suggestion.

Yes, their Language teacher also teacher Lit and they have been discussing various books that the Lit students have been studying.

DC says they will also speak with the Admissions Team at the Uni, college are a bit useless (hence being put on Language in the first place..!)

The course that DC really wants is massively competitive, so I suspect they're going to end up doing it either alongside the current three or the following year online.

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Takingabreakagain · 28/01/2022 20:32

@loobylou44 can I ask which company your DD is using? My DD may need an A Level in addition to her BTEC in order to get on the uni course she wants. We've been looking around but a recommendation would be great

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loobylou44 · 28/01/2022 20:44

[quote Takingabreakagain]@loobylou44 can I ask which company your DD is using? My DD may need an A Level in addition to her BTEC in order to get on the uni course she wants. We've been looking around but a recommendation would be great[/quote]
She's using National Extension College

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Piggywaspushed · 29/01/2022 07:49

What's the course OP?

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UnsuitableHat · 29/01/2022 07:53

If it’s a literature course it might be hard to get in with just Lang, but your DC could still give it a shot - make sure their literary interests and credentials are clear and that they have a good explanation (even if it’s not the true one!) for why they chose Lang A Level.

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Piggywaspushed · 29/01/2022 07:59

This is why I ask about the course. The entry requirements, if i's competitive are fairly unlikely to be flexible. So may schools give very poor advice about A level choices - that said, plenty of DCs have no clue what thy want to do at university when in year 11. Generally, though, the post year 13 options have to be shaped to the A Levels taken...

Have you posted before about this OP? It's ringing bells. Either that or someone else had a similar dilemma!

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mrkb · 29/01/2022 08:22

What course is being applied for? Lang and Lit are very different A Levels and Lit is a lot more challenging than Lang, which is why the two are not interchangeable for university.

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Piggywaspushed · 29/01/2022 08:48

It's not true that it's more challenging! They ate just completely different. The literature A level is completely, well, literary. Language does nothing to prepare students for a literature degree but is a great, academic and analytical A Level. We need to stop this ' not challenging' trope on MN!

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KaptainKaveman · 29/01/2022 08:50

The two A levels are so vastly different. How did your dc not realise he/she had signed up to the wrong one? Confused.

A level English language is not considered a facilitating subject whereas A level English literature is.

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LIZS · 29/01/2022 08:53

If he is also taking mfl or drama.there will be literature elements included, so it does depend on what other subjects dc is taking. It is only a term into year 12 so could they swap now?

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mrkb · 29/01/2022 08:56

Having taught both I have to disagree. The amount of work required, extra study and skills for literature make it a more challenging a level. This is also not just a personal opinion - Literature regularly comes up in lists of most challenging a levels alongside maths, FM, chemistry. As I said, this is also reflected in university subject lists and why Lang is not interchangeable for Lit on most courses.

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bowlerhatt · 29/01/2022 09:18

Thanks everyone, no I've not posted about this before.

DC's ambition is Education (English Drama Art) and Cambridge, which we know will be massively competitive anyway. Most colleges seem to require Lit, there's just a couple say "recommended" and one we've found (Fitz) which says "There are no specific required subjects, but one or more A Levels (or equivalent) in subjects relevant to the chosen track are highly desirable. "

Other than that it would probably be Liberal Arts somewhere, maybe Nottingham or Keele, with some English modules.

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mrkb · 29/01/2022 09:18

@LIZS I imagine that it is too late. Since September at my school we have already taught 1 and a half of the coursework texts, the foundations of one of the exams, and a significant chunk of one of the other. We are definitely more than halfway through the Y12 schedule as Summer term builds up to end of year exams so the majority of teaching for this year needs to be finished by shortly after Easter.

We would not let a student change at this stage - the amount of reading to catch up on alone is a lot but the student will have missed 15 weeks of teaching from 2 teachers (at around 6-7 hours a week) and that's before factoring in the extra study required from the course (approx 4 hours of homework a week, and 6-8 hours in holidays). It would also not be appropriate for the student to join a class having not done the reading - discussion is a big part of the lesson but they would also be so out of their depth.

Re: @bowlerhatt dilemma, and again assuming that Lit is needed for university, the best course of action would be to start Lit in Sept.

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moanymyrtle · 29/01/2022 09:35

Lots of people do an extra year sixth form if they’ve chosen wrong subjects / won’t get grades / are ill etc he should just redo the year. It’s free to do 3 years of a levels. Maybe he could keep language as 4th and do it next year and then 3 others the year after. Class discussion is a big part of lit so would be better face to face than distance. You need to tell child benefit they are staying in education after 18 and I’m not sure if it affects other benefits once he’s 18. If he knows the subject he wants then an extra year now is worth it. Seen a lot posts dc dropping out first year uni and switching which is much more expensive mistake than doing it now.

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Piggywaspushed · 29/01/2022 10:52

@mrkb

Having taught both I have to disagree. The amount of work required, extra study and skills for literature make it a more challenging a level. This is also not just a personal opinion - Literature regularly comes up in lists of most challenging a levels alongside maths, FM, chemistry. As I said, this is also reflected in university subject lists and why Lang is not interchangeable for Lit on most courses.

I teach both too.

I am not sure where this list is you speak of. Facilitating subjects (mentioned by another poster) don't exist any more. Sure, a few unis still use a preferred subjects list (interestingly the ones with poor widening participation stats) but English Language appears quite often on those lists anyway. I checked recently.

Challenging is entirely subjective. The stats will tell you that it is 'easier'to gain A*s in maths FM than any other subject. Obviously, this is a rubbish stat but sow how impossible it is to measure challenge and we need to stop old fashioned, traditional snobbery based on what a small clutch of middle aged people form certain backgrounds at universities understand. I could and do argue that film studies is way more challenging than Eng Lit A Level. It ahs twice as many texts for a start. I could argue Lit is read a book, write an essay...rinse and repeat.

The only course where lang and lit are not interchangeable are English Lit degrees - and even then that is not always true.
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Piggywaspushed · 29/01/2022 10:55

My question to you OP is what does your DC expect of the content of the English bit of the degree? If the Cambridge content is heavily lit based for the English bit then I think your DC would struggle.

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PermanentTemporary · 29/01/2022 10:59

English Language should be fine and helpful for Linguistics or Speech and Language Therapy.

Since he's academically ambitious and wants a literature degree, he needs to crack on. I think it's not too late if he is willing to put the work in - it's just going yo be really hard. He needs a plan.

If it were me and ds, I'd get him to find out what work the Lit class have done so far. Read those set texts pronto. If one is a play, read it and watch it (YouTube). Find a sample essay question online about one of them and write an essay. Then go to the teachers with all this and plead his case. Argue that his term plus in the Lang course will underpin his understanding, and explain what he's learned so far from it, relating to the set texts.

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marcopront · 29/01/2022 11:00

Why after a few lessons of language did he not say "but I wanted to do literature, can I change?"

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