The syllabus enables learners to read, interpret and evaluate texts through the study of literature in English. Learners develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, they learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied.
What do you enjoy about the subject?
Pooja: I think I probably enjoy the the group work that we do.
Zheng Yi: I guess the fun part about Literature is that you get to learn different forms of writing and (can’t hear this part, if anyone knows what it is pls help)
Trisya: Okay, I like that points will be given for your justification skills and your analysis.
What is the most challenging thing about the subject?
Pooja: For me it would be PEEAL, because you have to analyse quite a bit.
Zheng Yi: PEEALs, and connotations.
Trisya: Mine would be PEEALs and (talking about) the effect on the audience.
Was there anything in the subject that was different to your initial expectations? What were the main changes from Year 9?
Pooja: Well, for Year 9, there was definitely way less homework.
Zheng Yi: The difference between Year 9 and the rest of your life is that for Literature, you get mixed feelings. It can be boring, depressing, interesting- that’s up to you to decide.
Trisya: The difference for me is just the workload. There’s a lot more work this year.
What do lessons look like in terms of writing, independent study, collaboration, assessment, etc?
Pooja: Usually, we read a book first and then we do a PEEAL on it and then -
Zheng Yi: Well, usually we get poems and we analyse them, and you have to make up ideas like ‘What does this line do to the audience?’, or ‘What is the author trying to put forward with this progression?”
Trisya: Okay, so in Year 11, it starts with you reading a book, and you analyse it, and then you do a PEEAL on it. Then, after that the teacher tells you what to do.
How much homework or independent study will I be doing a week in this subject?
Pooja: Well, since usually you have 3 lessons a week there’ll be quite a lot. It really depends on the teacher.
Zheng Yi: When you’re studying to get an A, well, you need to accommodate most of your time trying to get the grade in AS.
Trisya: For us, it’s not a lot of homework, there’s just a lot of independent study. So, when you go home you have to analyse what each book/poem is about.
What are the skills/knowledge you can develop in this subject and why are they useful?
Pooja: Well you could develop creativity, and I think that could be useful later on in life, for example the arts stream.
Zheng Yi: Well in Literature, you’re forced to analyse stuff, so I guess you can use your analysis skills to apply to judge actions and motives.
Trisya: I think you gain justification and analysis skills.
Any tips for new English literature students?
Pooja: I suggest that you study hard and you analyse a lot, especially when doing PEEALs.
Zheng Yi: Ask your friend, to be honest.
Trisya: Start analysing from day one, because as time goes by it gets harder.
How do they study for the subjects?
Pooja: You can usually practice for PEEALs, or you can read more, in fact. It helps with your vocabulary.
Trisya: PEEALs, just do more of them.
Will taking any other subject help me be successful in this one?
Pooja: Well, drama could be one because you learn about Shakespeare in one of them.
Zheng Yi: I guess English Language does help. English Language will help you improve your grammar and stuff.
Trisya: Well, I’d say History because you have to always quote sources and stuff, because your analysis is based on that.
Overview by Ms Shalini
Describe your subject in three words
Literature in three words is exciting, very informative and creative because there’s no marking scheme, so you can create your own ideas as long as you can justify it. That’s why it’s fun.
What are the top 3 skills needed to be successful in your subject?
For Literature, you have to be analytical, you need to justify your answer very well, so that’s basically it.
How does your subject promote personal development?
Okay, you just analyse words and it makes you a better writer. You know how to read into explicit and implicit meanings, and you tend to read books in more depth. Personally, I think English Literature helps you enjoy books, and makes you enjoy reading. It also helps your creativity and forming of ideas and stuff, so you really enjoy reading- if you like reading then it’s really amazing.
What’s the best thing about your subject?
Papers in IGCSE Literature
Paper 1: Poetry and Prose
1 hour 30 minutes
50% of total marks
Students write two essays on two texts: one Prose, one Poetry. You learn 15 poems in class, and you’re given a choice of 2 in the exam. Prose is based on a novel.
Paper 3: Drama (Open Text)
25% of total marks
One essay question based on a play.
Paper 4: Unseen Paper
1 hour 15 minutes
25% of total marks
Students are given an piece of poetry and prose that has not been studied before in class. Students choose one and answer the question given.
*There is no specific marking scheme for English Literature.