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English Language

Type of Qualification:
A Level
Exam Board:
Grade 6 in GCSE English Language and / or Literature recommended

Course Content

This is a very different course to English Language at GCSE and has close ties to the social sciences. Many of the topics compliment areas studied in Sociology and Psychology. The course is focused on learning about how language operates within society, looking at different theories related to this, and how we use language to create a variety of identities and representations. It also covers the ways in which language is learnt through the Child Language Acquisition part of the course.

Students will study the following topics:

Textual variations and representations
Introduces students to methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation.

Children’s language development
Introduces students to the study of children’s language development, exploring how children learn language and how they are able to understand and express themselves through language.

Language diversity and change
Enables students to explore language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts. They will for example study accent and dialect, language and gender, occupational language and processes of language change. They will explore how language is used to help create identity. Students will also be required to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change.

Non-Exam Assessment

  • Students undertake their own language investigation on a topic of their choice.
  • Students produce a piece of writing and a commentary to reflect on their use of language.

Style Of Assessment

Paper 1 – 40% of A Level

Paper 2 – 40 % of A Level

Non-Exam Assessment – 20% of A Level

Whose kind of course?

If you enjoy debate, discussion, analysis and evaluation of different ideas then this course is definitely worth considering. It is also useful for anyone who wishes to improve their communication and analysis skills. The course compliments areas such as Psychology and Sociology, Media, English Literature, and any Humanities based subjects. The assessment is very essay based so an enjoyment of writing is an advantage.

Beyond the classroom

Students are encouraged to read extensively beyond the texts studied in lessons. In order to maximize their chances of achieving the highest possible grade, they should read recommended journals and study guides as well as reading a range of texts suggested by teachers. Conference trips and other linked extracurricular activities are regularly organized by the department.

Career Prospects

English Language students go on to study a wide range of courses at university. The course would suit anyone considering Law, Social Sciences, Psychology, Speech therapy, Humanities based courses, English Literature or Linguistics, Media, Journalism, Film studies and Journalism. The communication and analysis skills required for the course are valuable in a wide range of academic and career contexts.