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What I like the most about English literature is unpicking the hidden meanings of authors, and the ability to relate these to contemporary issues. Listening to Dr. John Cooper Clarke sparked an interest in poetry, and in choosing to study his works as part of my coursework, I have become fascinated by the way in which his comedic use of language, such as in his poems ‘Beasley Street’ and ‘A Love Story in Reverse’, hide the darker undertones of the harsh reality he depicts.
Whilst I have recently been engaged in the thrilling storylines of Stephen King, specifically his novel ‘Misery’, due to its being about a writer, my A-Level studies have introduced me to a variety of literature styles I may previously never have believed I would enjoy. For instance, in studying the comedy syllabus, I have been exposed to the works of Shakespeare, Robert Burns and Oscar Wilde, as well as more modern authors, and I would appreciate the opportunity to further extend my knowledge of both traditional and modern literature.
Throughout my time in high school, I thrived when given the opportunity to complete extended pieces of writing, which greatly influenced my decision to take three essay subjects to A-Level. This has enabled me to develop both analytical and evaluative skills. For example, I enjoy incorporating the extended range of theories such as Marxism and feminism, which studying sociology has introduced me to, into my English work. Furthermore, psychology has allowed me to develop an understanding of the human mind, giving me a more focussed analysis of authorial methods and the choices they make, particularly in the traits which they write for their characters.
Through balancing my sixth form studies with having a part time job and extracurricular activities such as weekly ballet lessons, which encourage motivation and discipline, as well as creativity, I have learned how to effectively manage my time and remain organised, particularly in busy periods such as school and dance examinations. My previous role in a busy catering environment meant I developed the ability to adapt to situations quickly and use my initiative when talking to customers and staff alike in order to minimise problems and increase productivity. I learned effective written and verbal communication skills throughout my employment history, with the ability to adapt my own use of language to make it suitable for the intended audience, a skill which is important and transferrable to English studies, as it means I can better analyse the author’s intentions.
I have also taken on two volunteer placements in schools since the conclusion of my GCSE exams. The first placement consisted of two weeks in a local primary school acting in the role of a classroom support assistant, with the main focus being assisting the development of basic literacy and numeracy skills in pupils with special educational needs. I undertook my second placement in the local grammar school as part of the sixth form enrichment program, which consisted of helping two lessons per week in the English department, and I hope to continue this until the end of my sixth form studies. Both placements encouraged me to take a leadership role, as I had to take responsibility and act as a mentor to younger pupils, offering them guidance with their classwork at varying levels. My work experience has allowed me to confirm my aspirations to become an English teacher at the end of my studies.
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