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The study of literature is, by nature, international: in each part of the course you will study at least one text which originates from another culture. This promotes an understanding not only of other cultures but also of your own; through your reading you will be encouraged to recognise a shared humanity and to appreciate the diversity and universality of experiences and values.

6th Form studentStudying English at higher level (HL) and standard level (SL) will enable you to appreciate a writer’s craft, engage in literary criticism and develop the confidence to articulate an informed personal response to a text.

You will also be able to appreciate the significance of the contextual background of a text and the similarities and differences between cultures through your reading of culturally diverse texts. You will also develop your ability to structure and support written and oral arguments, resulting in logical and coherent responses to the texts you are studying.

The course is stimulating and engaging and many of the skills it fosters, such as critical thinking, will prove invaluable to you as you prepare for university and the world of work.

The English Literature course will be changing from September 2019, with an increased emphasis on the relevance of literary and language studies to local and global contexts; students will gain an appreciation of how literary texts are relevant to their lives, to the communities to which they belong, and in a wider global context. We will share more specific information on the course content and assessment later in the 2018 - 2019 academic year when this has been released.

Past set texts have included:

  • The poetry of William Blake
  • The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald 
  • Hamlet – Shakespeare
  • Master Harold and the Boys – Fugard
  • Dubliners – Joyce
  • Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  • A Doll’s House – Ibsen
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Solzhenitsyn
  • The poetry of Carol Ann Duffy
  • Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid
  • Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  • Translations – Brian Friel
course outline (HL and SL) 

Part 1: Works in Translation: literary study of 3 works in translation (2 for SL)

Part 2: Detailed Study: close study of 3 works (2 for SL), each of a different genre, one of which is poetry for HL.

Part 3: Literary Genres: literary study of 4 works of the same genre (3 for SL).

Part 4: Options: 3 works chosen by your teachers.

Assessment (HL and SL) 
Part 1: Works in Translation, Coursework, 25%

Part 2: Detailed Study, Oral Commentary, 15%

Part 3: Literary Genres, Examination Essay on set texts, 25%

Part 4: Options, Oral Presentation, 15%

Paper 1: Literary Commentary (HL), Guided Literary Analysis (SL), 20%

The IB explained