A-Level English

A-Level English

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The English Language course is highly regarded by universities as facilitating subjects and by employers as evidence of high level analytical and creative skills.

English A-Level

Course Summary

In this 2 year course you will study the way that language varies and changes. This will involve a good deal of reading of texts, research and data and analysis of them. You will study regional and social dialects of English, occupational language, language and gender, language and ethnicity, English throughout the world and language change. Attitudes to different varieties of language are also a key part of the course. You need to be curious, open-minded and willing to adopt new and very rigorous ways of studying and investigating the language you use every day. Please note that English Language is not a creative writing course.

Specific Entry Requirements

You will need at least a grade 5 in GCSE English Language to take this course.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

The expertise in communication that you will develop through this course is highly valued by employers for a wide range of jobs and careers. This is also an extremely useful skill for studying any subject at university, so universities value this A Level even if you are not going on to study for an English degree.

How is the course assessed?

For this course, you will take 2 exams at the end of 2 years which will account for 80% of the marks. These 2 exams will require you to analyse texts from different times and in different styles, write essays about language concepts and research, and engage with debates about language in the form of essays and articles. The other 20% is made up of two pieces of coursework (investigation 2,000 words, and writing with commentary, 1500 words) which you will start work on about half way through the course.

What topics will I be studying?

  • Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

    • Section A – Textual Variations and representations – analysing and comparing texts from 1600 to the present day.

    • Section B – Children’s Language Development (0-11 years).

  • Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change

    • Section A – Language Diversity and Change – essay from a choice of two about language diversity or language change.

    • Section B – Language Discourses – analysis and evaluation of how two texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions about a language issue, followed by a directed writing task linked to the same language topic and to the ideas in the texts.

  • Paper 3: Language in Action (Coursework)

 Non-Examined Assessment – Language Investigation (2000 words) and Original Writing (750 words) with Commentary (750 words) and annotated style model. You will start this towards the end of your first year.

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

You will need a number of course booklets but you contribute towards these as part of your course costs. Your tutor will recommend other books for study and revision but it is up to you whether you buy these or access them in the College Library.