English Language

English Language


A Level

English Language is a fascinating, varied course. You will build upon your success at GCSE and develop highly marketable skills in terms of close reading, written expression and knowledge about language. On this course, you’ll study journalism and produce your own (both in the exams and coursework).

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You’ll vary your written style for different purposes and audiences, including pieces of narrative fiction. You’ll engage with discussions and debates on the huge diversity of English, including the impact of gender, age and social class. In the second year, you will learn about how children develop spoken and written language and also study why an obscure Germanic dialect came to be the most widely-spoken and influential tongue on Planet Earth. Finally you’ll conduct an independent language investigation in which you collect and dissect your own chosen linguistic data – such as sports commentary, political speeches and advertising across the ages. English Language A Level students go on to a vast range of university courses and careers including journalism, teaching, advertising, law, business and the civil service.

Course Content

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

This area of study explores textual variety and how to analyse texts via concepts such as audience, purpose, genre, representation and mode. It also explores how children learn language – both understanding and self expression.

Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change

This area of study looks at language diversity and change over time. Language is explored in social, geographical and time related contexts (from 1600 to the present day).

Non exam assessment: Language in Action

This part of the course allows you to explore and analyse personally chosen language data and to carry out two pieces of individual research – a language investigation and a piece of original writing with a commentary.

(Exam board: AQA)
(Specification code: 7702)

How it is Taught

The varied nature of the course lends itself to a range of teaching approaches, including whole class and small group work; also learning activities and skills development from creative writing to linguistic analysis and research.

Assessment Information

Unit 1: Language, the Individual & Society, 2 hours 30 mins exam, 40% of the overall grade

Unit 2: Language Diversity and Change, 2 hours 30 mins exam, 40% of the overall grade

Unit 2: Language in Action, coursework, 20% of the overall grade

Entry Requirements

You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English.

In this subject, particular skills and aptitudes will be required, many of which will be demonstrated by students’ GCSE profiles.

Students will also need to meet the general College entry requirements. Entry requirements are subjects to change.

Careers & HE Information

Some students go on to take Language-oriented degree courses or degrees for which Language is a useful preparation, such as Law, Business etc. It is highly relevant for students considering a teaching career, and is well regarded by employers for those students going directly into employment.

Useful Subject Combinations

English Language combines effectively with most other subjects, including English Literature, Media based subjects, Humanities and Foreign Languages. It can also complement a Science / Maths based programme.

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