It is interesting, stimulating and gives you a chance to analyse and understand everyday language and think about how it works. You will study a wide range of texts from spoken transcripts to literary extracts. Part of the course involves analytical skills, looking at technical aspects of language such as grammar and how texts are written. You will also have the opportunity to explore the meaning, context, purpose and intended audience of a range of texts. Other parts of the course allow you to study how language works in everyday life such as learning how children speak, gender differences in language use, regional varieties or how language has changed over time. You will also have the opportunity to develop your own writing skills.
What skills and qualities do I need for the for the course?
- Enjoyment of debate and discussion
- An ability to analyse texts
- Good written expression
- Enthusiasm for creative writing
- Willingness to improve and listen to feedback.
Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society
This is a written exam (2 hours 30 minutes) which is worth 40% of your A level.
Section A: Textual Variations and Representations
You will be given two texts (one contemporary and one older text) linked by topic or theme. You will be given 3 tasks:
• A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks)
• A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)
• A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)
Section B: Children’s Language Development
A discursive essay on children’s language development, with a choice of two questions where the data provided will focus on spoken, written or multimodal language (30 marks)
Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change
This is a written exam (2 hours 30 minutes) which is worth 40% of you’re a level.
Section A: Diversity and Change
One question from a choice of two: either an evaluative essay on language diversity OR language change (30 marks).
Section B: Language Discourses
You will be given two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change. You will then be asked to:
• Answer a question which requires analysis of how the texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions (40 marks)
• Complete a writing task linked to the same topic and the idea in the texts (30 marks)
Non-exam assessment: Language in Action
This unit is worth 20% of your A level and is assessed by your teachers. You will produce:
• A language investigation (2000 words, excluding data)
• A piece of original writing and accompanying commentary (1500 words)
Minimum of a GCSE Grade 5 in English Language or English Literature.