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AQA English Literature A-level - AOs 4 and 5!

Discussion in 'English' started by CloudsTES, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    Hi all
    I wondered whether anyone could help?
    I'm a tutor and have experience teaching English Lit. A-level, specifically the Edexcel specification.
    An ex-GCSE tutee of mine is currently seeking help to prep for his English Lit. A-level; his school subscribes to AQA.
    Unless I've got this quite wrong, the application of AO4 and AO5 seem to be applied differently in the AQA and Edexcel specifications. One specific confusion (of mine!) lies in the fact that AO4 (connections) is applied, in AQA, to all exam questions (even non-comparison questions). I have read mark schemes, but would appreciate anyone's input or thoughts as to how this AO should be applied (is it in terms of acknowledging genres, other works etc., more broadly?). AO5 - different interpretations - is quite specific in Edexcel, in that students are asked to cite particular literary criticism (in the Shakespeare question and the essay). Is this the case, similarly, for all AQA questions (all of which seem to be assessed for AO5)? The mark scheme doesn't seem to reflect this, necessarily...
    If anyone is able to help, I'd be very grateful!
    Many thanks
  2. irenapearse

    irenapearse New commenter

    In my training with AQA they said that AO4 was about including 'themes, tropes and topicalities'. So that students in non comparative questions don't need to reference another text necessarily but show their awareness of the text they are writing about with regard to the genre or any links to wider literary themes.
    As for AO5, I do find this confusing. This was explained very much to be linking to the 'debate in the question'. This would then involve other interpretations. We were told on this AQA day that students didn't necessarily need to include other literary critics. But I suspect they do for the highest marks.
    I think the best person to clarify this is an A-level exam marker.
    all the best.
    CloudsTES likes this.
  3. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    Thank you so much for taking the time to come back to me. This is incredibly helpful!

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