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Unit 1 - Introduction to Language and Literature Study

Content

This unit is an introduction to the study of language and literature using a short Anthology of literary and non-literary texts.

The unit requires candidates to study an Anthology of thematically linked spoken and written texts which will offer them the opportunity to consider the three major literary genres and a range of non-literary texts. The chosen texts will offer candidates the opportunity to consider the development of language and style over time.

The examination will require candidates to answer two questions: the first question will require candidates to respond to an unseen text(s) which is thematically linked to the Anthology. The second question will be set on the Anthology and will require candidates to comment on significant features of the writers'/speakers' uses of language and their attitudes towards a specified theme.

The current Anthology for this unit is 'Food Glorious Food'. This Anthology will be set for examination for the lifetime of this specification. Candidates will be required to have a clean, that is, not annotated copy of the Anthology in the examination.

Unit 2 - Themes in Language and Literature

Unit Content

This coursework unit gives candidates the opportunity to study major prose genres, including fiction and literary non-fiction. 

The aim of this unit is to develop candidates' reading and writing skills through the in-depth study of writers' crafting. 

Assessment is by means of a two-part assignment. For each set of paired texts, AQA will prescribe annually one theme, which candidates must use as the focus of their assignment. The time and the arrangements for writing are at the discretion of the centre. The assignment, which is in two parts, should be between 1200 and 1500 words in length for Part A and between 500 and 850 words for Part B.  

The prescribed themes change annually. The document detailing the themes for the current year can be found on this website.

To complete the assignment:

  • candidates will study a pair of set texts, having due regard to the principles of literary and linguistic studies appropriate at this level
  • candidates will undertake independent research and preparation in the light of the prescribed theme for their chosen set pair of texts
  • candidates will select two extracts; one from each text (between 500 and 800 words each), which will form the basis of their discussion.

Candidates are required to submit a sheet of handwritten notes as evidence of their initial planning for both Parts A and B along with their submission. 

Candidates are required to enclose with their submissions photocopies of their chosen extracts, with the 'START' and 'FINISH' clearly indicated on each.

Part A of the assignment requires candidates to write a response which demonstrates an understanding of the set theme. In their response, they must:

  • make productive use of the two selected extracts from their set texts
  • provide some focused comparison of writers' approaches and methods
  • describe and discuss features of genre, language and style, including changes in language and style over time.

Part B of the assignment requires candidates to produce a piece of creative writing which demonstrates their understanding and appreciation of one or both of their chosen paired texts. The creative piece must have clear links to the set text(s) and must harmonize with the set theme. 

If centres are new to this specification they should contact the subject department, who will allocate them a Coursework Adviser, to advise on all coursework related issues. 

Candidates' submissions will be assessed internally by teachers and externally moderated by AQA.

The prescribed texts for this unit are:
Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe      and Piers Paul Read - Alive
Elizabeth Gaskell - North and South and George Orwell - The Road to Wigan Pier
Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White and Raymond Chandler - The Lady in the Lake
Mark Twain - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and J. D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness   and Tim Butcher - Blood River
Vera Brittain - Testament of Youth and J. G. Ballard - Empire of the Sun

Main Criteria

In their assignments, candidates will be expected to demonstrate appropriate expertise in the following main criteria:

Quality of written communication

In their assignments, candidates should show:

  • the ability to construct a focused, coherent and relevant discussion, which includes comparison of writers' approaches
  • effective use of linguistic and literary vocabulary appropriate to this assignment
  • clear and accurate expression in written English, in a suitable register
  • skills in creative writing.
Response to literary texts

In their assignments, candidates should show:

  • good knowledge of the set theme
  • accurate identification of meaning and tone
  • ability to describe characterisation and narrative methods
  • recognition and discussion of features of genre
  • understanding of narrative approaches through creative writing.
Analysis of texts using appropriate frameworks for discussion

In their assignments, candidates should show:

  • the ability to discuss writers' use of linguistic and literary concepts and approaches to demonstrate writers' intentions and meaning
  • informed discussion of effects of linguistic and literary features
  • understanding of how form, style and vocabulary shape the meaning of texts.
Diachronic change and contextual factors

In their assignments, candidates should show:

  • accurate and informed discussion of features of language change
  • knowledge of contextual factors and their impact on style
  • understanding of genre development.
Recognition and consideration of authorial intentions

In their assignments, candidates should show:

  • the ability to identify and discuss writers' use of language to convey attitudes and values of fictional characters
  • an informed selection and discussion of evidence of writers' intentions
  • appropriate identification and discussion of writer's social, moral,spiritual and political agendas.
AO AO % Weighting Part A Part B
1 10 7 3
2 7.5 4.5 3
3 7.5 7.5 0
4 15 6 9
Total AO 40 25 15
Total Marks   40 24

Assessment Criteria for Coursework: Mark Band Descriptors

To be placed in a particular mark band, it is not necessary for a candidate to demonstrate achievement under every point. Internal assessment should therefore assess a candidate's work under the 'best fit' principle.

Part A       The Investigation

Band 6      34-40

The very best assignments that can be expected of AS candidates are likely to show

  • ability to structure a comprehensive and informed discussion of the set theme, making excellent use of appropriately selected extracts (AO4)
  • ability to present a range of interesting comparisons, showing detailed knowledge and good understanding (AO4)
  • knowledgeable discussion of significant features of presentation and genre in both extracts (characterisation/narrative method/form/style/ vocabulary) (AO2)
  • perceptive interpretation and skilful analysis of a good range of linguistic and literary features in both extracts (AO2) 
  • informed discussion of a range of features showing changes in language and style over time, using evidence from both extracts (AO3)
  • confident and knowledgeable consideration of factors which affect the production and reception of texts, making good use of research (AO3)
  • perceptive and sustained discussion covering all aspects of the assignment; consistently accurate and effective use of appropriate terminology (AO1)
  • exemplary use of written English; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 5      28-33

Very good assignments that display many of the qualities of the top band, but with some lack of consistency or thoroughness; many more strengths than weaknesses

  • ability to structure a satisfying and informed discussion of the set theme, making good use of appropriately selected extracts (AO4)
  • ability to present a range of useful comparisons, showing sound knowledge and understanding (AO4)
  • competent discussion of some significant features of presentation and genre in both extracts (characterisation/narrative method/form/style/ vocabulary) (AO2)
  • sound interpretation and detailed consideration of some literary and linguistic features in both extracts (AO2)
  • detailed consideration of some features showing changes in language and style over time, using evidence from both extracts (AO3)
  • informed consideration of factors which affect the production and reception of texts, supported be evidence of research (AO3)
  • planned and structured discussion covering all aspects of the assignment; generally accurate and effective use of appropriate terminology (AO1)
  • exemplary use of written English; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 4      21-27

Assignments in which there is a balance of strengths and weaknesses: assignments that show uneven treatment of the two texts or of the selected extracts, or those which omit key aspects of the assignment may fall into this band

  • ability to structure a focused discussion on the set theme, making generally sound use of appropriately chosen extracts (AO4)
  • offering some useful comparison, though limited in scope and with some superficiality (AO4)
  • informed selection of some significant features of presentation and genre (characterisation/narrative method/form/style/vocabulary) with perhaps uneven treatment of the extracts or only a limited range (AO2)
  • some detailed comment on a number of significant and literary features with perhaps uneven treatment of the extracts or only a limited range (AO2)
  • some detailed treatment of features showing changes in language and style over time, with perhaps uneven treatment of the extracts or only a limited range (AO3)
  • some effective discussion of factors which affect the production and reception of texts, supported by some evidence of research (AO3)
  • clear line of discussion, reasonably well ordered and sustained; some effective use of appropriate terminology to describe key concepts (AO1)
  • accurate and clear use of written English, with only occasional slips; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 3      14-20

Assignments that address the coursework requirements but demonstrate a number of weaknesses: assignments that show better than surface understanding and appreciation may fall into this band

  • ability to structure a relevant discussion of the set theme, though the selection and discussion of the extracts may be too narrow to do justice to the assignment (AO4)
  • ability to offer some focused comparison though at a superficial level (AO4)
  • ability to identify some significant features of presentation and genre (characterisation/narrative method/ form/style/vocabulary) though discussion is superficial (AO2)
  • recognition and explanation of some linguistic and literary features; some supportive selection and exemplification but with limited consideration of impact and effect (AO2)
  • limited consideration of features showing changes in language and style over time, but with some supportive selection and exemplification from the extracts (AO3)
  • some consideration of the factors which affect the production and reception of texts; though with limited supportive evidence from research (AO3)
  • line of discussion generally clear but focus on the assignment is not sustained or is lacking in depth and scope; limited use of appropriate terminology to describe key concepts (AO1)
  • partly effective written expression; generally accurate but with flaws in fluency; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 2      8-13

Assignments that contain a significant number of weaknesses in addressing the task, especially in dealing with writers' use of language. At the top end of the band, unsophisticated or simplistic responses should still be given credit for demonstrating understanding of theme and for suitable selection of extracts

  • some success in structuring a discussion of the set themes, making some use of relevant extracts, though treatment is simplistic and superficial and may be flawed by irrelevance or misunderstanding; use of unsuitable extracts (AO4)
  • some attempt to compare though comparisons may be forced or unconvincing (AO4)
  • some limited reference to features of presentation and genre in one or both of the extracts but without meaningful discussion of use and effect (characterisation/narrative method/form/style/vocabulary) (AO2)
  • some limited reference to linguistic and literary features of one or both extracts, though the effect is of feature-spotting (AO2)
  • some limited awareness of the changes in language and style over time but relies on general discussion, with limited exemplification from the extract(s) (AO3)
  • limited or superficial consideration of factors which affect the production and reception of texts; unskilful integration of evidence from research (AO3)
  • unclear line of discussion; aspects of assignment neglected or omitted; some limited use of appropriate terminology but with little attempt to consider effect (AO1)
  • lapses in control of written English; neglect of rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 1      1-7

Assignments in this band are likely to show fundamental weaknesses in appreciation of the assignment and understanding of the extracts. Problems of comprehension and expression may be further compounded by poor control of written English.

At the lower end of the band, responses are likely to be fragmentary and may be very brief

  • very limited success in structuring a discussion on the set theme;making poor use of selected extracts or using extracts which are unsuited to the discussion; relying on unsophisticated paraphrase or use of quotation; general comment or background information not made relevant to the theme or the extracts (AO4)
  • opportunities for comparison neglected (AO4)
  • little or no awareness shown of features of presentation and genre in either extract (characterisation/ narrative method/form/style/vocabulary) (AO2)
  • little or no purposeful comment on linguistic and literary features;undue reliance on superficial feature-spotting (AO2)
  • little or no reference to the changes in language and style over time in either extract; relying entirely on rewording of the question or making unsupported assertions (AO3)
  • entirely on rewording of the question or making unsupported assertions (AO3)
  • little understanding shown of factors which affect the production and reception of texts; little or no evidence of research (AO3)
  • fragmentary; no evidence of planned or structured response; limited to self-evident statements without explanation or judgement; little or inaccurate use of appropriate terminology and showing little or no awareness of the extracts as crafted texts (AO1)
  • frequent lapses in spelling, grammar and punctuation; very poor achievements in written English; lapses in control of written English inappropriate at this level; neglect of rubric and word count requirements(AO1)

Part B       The Creative Task

Band 6      21-24

Assignments in this band will demonstrate skilful production of creative writing, which enriches the reader's/ listener's view of the original source texts in a stimulating and enriching way, demonstrating

  • strong evidence of originality to delight and surprise the reader/listener (AO4)
  • thought-provoking viewpoint which harmonises with or challenges the set theme (AO4)
  • confident use of appropriate genre conventions (choice of language, style and form) (AO2)
  • exemplary use of written English; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 5      17-20

Assignments in this band will demonstrate most of the features of the top band in providing a satisfying production of creative writing, offering a perceptive view of the text(s), demonstrating

  • clear evidence of originality to engage the reader's/listener's attention (AO4)
  • interesting viewpoint that harmonises with or challenges the set theme (AO4)
  • sound use of appropriate genre conventions (choice of language, style and form) (AO2)
  • exemplary use of written English; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 4      13-16

Assignments in this band are likely to show a balance of strengths and weaknesses: submissions which fall into this band may show enough creative ability to produce a coherent and relevant piece of writing which demonstrates good knowledge of the text(s) but performance is uneven, demonstrating

  • some effective originality though not fully sustained, sufficient to merit the reader's/listener's attention (AO4)
  • viewpoint that sufficiently harmonises with or challenges the set theme so as to be to be credible (AO4)
  • mainly effective use of appropriate genre conventions (choice of language, style and form) (AO2)
  • accurate and clear use of written English, with only occasional slips; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 3      9-12

Assignments in this band are likely to show some sound awareness of what the task requires; there should be some evidence of coherent original writing but with limited success in performance, demonstrating

  • some originality though unlikely to engage the reader/listener fully (AO4)
  • valid viewpoint which has some clear links to the set theme but which is only partly effective in illuminating that theme (AO4)
  • some effective use of genre conventions (choice of language, style and form) (AO2)
  • partly effective written expression; generally accurate but with flaws in fluency; exemplary compliance to rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 2      5-8

Assignments in this band are likely to show a mechanical attempt to use features of genre and, though they may make some contribution towards the reader's appreciation of the text(s), there is a tendency to irrelevance or padding, demonstrating

  • occasionally signs of originality but laboured and with little likelihood of engaging the reader's/listener's attention (AO4)
  • viewpoint that only occasionally illuminates the set theme (AO4)
  • occasionally effective use of features of genre (choice of language,style and form) but pedestrian or dull (AO2)
  • lapses in control of written English; neglect of rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Band 1      1-4

Assignments in this band are likely to be cursory in their treatment of the task: some weak submissions may be mistakenly focused on issues which are not credibly linked to the set theme, demonstrating a limited knowledge of the text(s)

  • little sign of originality; simplistic attempt to produce creative writing; treatment does not demonstrate understanding or knowledge of either text; of little interest to the reader/listener (AO4)
  • viewpoint which is unclear, opaque or irrelevant to the set theme (AO4)
  • use of genre conventions (choice of language, style and form)unskilful and unconvincing (AO2)
  • frequent lapses in spelling, grammar and punctuation; very poor achievements in written English; lapses in control of written English inappropriate at this level; neglect of rubric and word count requirements (AO1)

Unit 3 - Talk in Life and Literature

Unit Requirements

The emphasis in this unit is on spoken language. Candidates are required to study one play from a choice of four set plays which will include at least one work by Shakespeare. They will also be required to apply their skills and knowledge of literary and linguistic concepts and approaches to a variety of transcripts of real life spoken situations. 

The aim of this unit is to allow candidates to identify and discuss the way meanings are constructed, conveyed and interpreted both in drama and in real life speech. 

This unit requires candidates to study:

(i) one play from a choice of four:

William Shakespeare King Lear
William Congreve The Way of the World
Arthur Miller The Crucible
Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot

(ii) transcripts from a variety of situations

Assessment

Assessment will be by written examination of 2 hours (closed book). Candidates will be required to answer two questions.

Question 1 will require candidates to answer a question based on an extract from the play they have studied. The focus of the question will require candidates to discuss the ways in which the writer uses language to create dramatic effects.

Question 2 will require candidates to show their knowledge and understanding of naturally occurring speech and crafted speech in literature. They will be required to compare two thematically linked unseen texts: one a transcript and a second an extract from a literary work (prose fiction, drama or poetry).

Unit 4 - Text Transformation

Content

This coursework unit requires candidates to choose two literary works from the selection of prescribed authors below and transform them into different genres. Candidates should not choose a text(s) for this coursework unit which they have already studied on another unit on this specification.

In this unit candidates apply the knowledge, understanding and insights gained from literary and linguistic studies, to transform the original work into a different genre or sub-genre, and to provide a commentary which reflects upon their work, demonstrating greater understanding of the creative process.

Candidates will choose their programme of coursework using the lists of prescribed authors in consultation with their teachers. Candidates must use as the source material for their transformation(s) two texts, chosen from two of the three lists of prescribed authors. Candidates must choose one author from one list and a second author from a different list.

Assessment will be by the production of a coursework folder that includes the transformed texts and associated commentary or commentaries. The work will be assessed by the candidate's teacher and these assessments will be moderated by AQA.

The folder may contain either two transformations based on two single texts chosen from two of the lists of prescribed authors below, plus the associated commentaries, or one combined transformation based on two single texts chosen from two of the lists of prescribed authors below, plus the associated commentary.

The total length of the transformation(s) must be between 1500 and 2500 words.

The total length of the commentary or commentaries must be between 1000 and 2000 words.

Candidates are not required to submit drafts along with their final pieces.

If centres are new to this specification they should contact the subject department, who will allocate them a Coursework Adviser, to advise on all coursework related issues.

The final pieces should be fully annotated by the candidate's teacher.

 ProsePoetryDrama
1. Jonathan SwiftGeoffrey ChaucerWilliam Shakespeare
2.Jane AustenJohn DonneBen Jonson
3.The Bront√ęsRobert BrowningAphra Behn
4.Thomas HardyChristina RossettiHenrik Ibsen
5.R.L. StevensonEmily DickinsonTennessee Williams
6.Kate Chopin      Edward LearAlan Bennett
7.P.G. WodehouseWilfred OwenCaryl Churchill
8.F. Scott FitzgeraldJohn BetjemanDavid Mamet
9.William TrevorGrace NichollsHarold Pinter
10.Margaret AtwoodSeamus HeaneyBrian Friel
11.Angela CarterU.A. FanthorpeAlan Ayckbourn
12.Hanif KureishiBenjamin ZephaniahTom Stoppard
13.James JoyceAlfred TennysonArthur Miller
14.Ian McEwanCarol Ann Duffy 
15.Charles DickensSylvia Plath 
16. Samuel Taylor Coleridge 
17. John Keats 
18. Billy Collins 
19. Raymond Carver 
20. Charles Bukowski 
AO AO WeightingTransformationCommentary
210010
310010
420200
Total AO402020
Total Marks 3232

Assessment Criteria for Coursework: Mark Band Descriptors

The Transformation

Band 628-32
AO4originality in the deployment of the structures and conventions associated with specific and ambitious/challenging genres; clear, effective and assured sense of purpose and audience for the transformations;

sensitive and totally appropriate control and manipulation of language and register to meet demands of audience and purpose
Band 522-27
AO4confident control over increasingly ambitious genres; sure sense of audience and purpose demonstrated by very effective transformations;

coherent and secure language and register effective for audience and purpose
Band 417-21
AO4control of genre shown by increasingly subtle awareness of requirements of structures and conventions; transformations likely to be effective in outcome for audience and purpose;

growing sophistication in control of language and register
Band 312-16
AO4some awareness of structures and conventions associated with specific genres and purpose for audience requirements, may lack judgement and subtlety at times in the transformations;

language and register choices generally effective and appropriate
Band 26-11
AO4knowledge of genre, audience and purpose demonstrated in simple transformations, less convincing in more ambitious choices

mainly appropriate control of language and register in the transformations
Band 11-5
AO4limited awareness of audience, genre and purpose; ineffective register, imprecise language choices, little control over writing in the transformations

The Commentary

Band 628-32
AO2sensitive and consistently perceptive awareness of how structure, form and language shape meaning in the transformations; systematic and informed comments on a range of salient features
AO3clear and assured awareness of the relationship between the source text and the transformations; systematic and informed comments on a range of salient features
Band 522-27
AO2sensitive awareness of how structure, form and language shape meaning in the transformations, systematic comments on a range of significant features
AO3sensitive awareness of the relationship between the source text and the transformations, systematic comments on a range of significant features
Band 417-21
AO2reliable awareness of how structure, form and language shape meaning in the transformations, refers to a range of significant features
AO3reliable awareness of the relationships between the source text and the transformations, refers to a range of significant features
Band 312-16
AO2awareness of how structure, form and language shape meaning in the transformations, demonstrated by a balance of some obvious and some increasingly focussed comments
AO3awareness of the relationships between the source text and the transformations, demonstrated by a balance of more obvious and increasingly sophisticated comments
Band 26-11
AO2basic awareness of how structure, form and language shape meaning in the transformations; likely to be mainly descriptive in focus
AO3some awareness of the relationships between the source text and the transformation, though remaining thin and descriptive
Band 11-5
AO2superficial awareness of how structure, form and language shape meaning in the transformations; makes few relevant or insightful comments; almost totally descriptive
AO3superficial awareness of the relationships between the source text and the transformation makes few relevant or insightful comments; almost totally descriptive