English Language AS & A Level
We follow the AQA English Language specification which builds on GCSE. The content and approach examine new, more varied aspects of the subject. These include methods of language analysis using a range of texts, identifying language features in written and spoken text and exploring various types of language, with consideration of audience, purpose and genre for different social groups and of language from different regions.
In the second year of the course there is a focus on analysis of language on varied topics from various contexts. There is exploration of how children acquire language and of how language changes over time according to region and context, along with attitudes to this change. Students also develop their own academic and analytical writing skills and complete an investigation of an aspect of language in which they have a personal interest, along with a piece of creative writing with commentary.
A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE plus English Language at grade 5 or above.
What will I study?
Paper One: Language and the Individual
Assessing textual variations and representations and methods of language analysis.
Paper Two: Language Varieties
Assessing language diversity, writing skills and methods of language analysis.
Paper One: Language, the Individual and Society
Assessing textual variations and representations, children’s language development and methods of language analysis.
Paper Two: Language Diversity and Change
Assessing language diversity and change, language discourses, writing skills and methods of language analysis.
Language in Action
Non-examined Assessment assessing a language investigation, original writing and methods of language analysis.
Method of delivery
You will follow the standard A Level model of delivery with three 90 minute lessons a week. Lessons will include activities such as taking notes, class and group discussion, reading and research, essay practice and a chance to improve your own, personal writing style.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is 100% terminal exam at the end of Year 12 for AS (each paper is worth 50% of the total).
In Year 13 there are two terminal exams worth 40% of the final mark each; the Non-examined Assessment is worth 20% of the final mark.
Good course combinations
This course combines well with most A Levels, particularly Modern Languages; Sociology; Philosophy, Ethics & Religion; Politics; Psychology and History.
Your next steps
Degree level study in areas such as English, journalism, creative and media industries, public relations, museum work, civil service, law etc. It leads into linguistics degrees and is popular among students who are planning to become Primary Teachers. Past students have gone on to study English at Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester and other top universities.
“English Language has been interesting, the content I have studied has really augmented the knowledge I had from GCSE. I like learning about the social context in which language occurs, and having multiple nieces growing up and starting to use language, the child language acquisition section was interesting to learn about.”