A Level English Language explores how language operates in our lives, teaching students to analyse and understand the ways we communicate in the contemporary world. The course looks in detail at how language works, where it comes from, and how it changes. Students will analyse a wide range of written, spoken and multimedia texts, exploring how language creates meanings and how it is used to represent individuals and ideas. Students also develop their own writing skills, both creative and critical. The A Level course builds on skills from GCSE, but also includes a lot of new material, including academic linguistic theory, and is quite different from GCSE English Language in both style and content.
Individual and social contexts for language use, including language variations due to gender, power and occupation;
• The diversity of the English language, including its different dialects, accents and sociolects
• How children learn to speak, read and write English
• Changes in language use from 1600 to the present day
• For coursework, students produce a piece of original writing and conduct an academic investigation into an aspect of language of their choice.
Students sit two examinations and complete two pieces of coursework:
Paper 1: Textual variations and representations, children’s language development
Paper 2: Language diversity, Language change, Media writing
Coursework: Language investigation, Original writing
GCSE Grade 5 in English Language
Studying English language allows students to develop their ability to express themselves in speech and writing with increasing flair, sophistication and independence. Students will learn to analyse a wide range of texts in detail, investigate linguistic theories and concepts, and develop skills of independent study. These are skills highly valued in the job market and essential in higher education.
The course leads to a qualification which not only facilitates access to a higher education but also a wide range of career opportunities, including teaching, writing, journalism and law.