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On this course, you will examine the different types of language that are used around you, from formal prose to political speeches, from chatting to friends to 'new', emerging areas of communication such as the language used in social media. You will study how language varies from one place to another, as well as between different social groups and situations. The course includes textual analysis and understanding the structure of English, how English emerged and how it is changing. You will develop your analytical skills to enable you to understand various spoken and written texts. You will also examine how language is acquired from infancy and how words develop various meanings over time.
In this course you will study the following.
AS (Year 1) English Language (100% exam):
Paper 1: Language and the individual (1 hr 30 mins)
- The focus here is on learning the essential linguistic terminology needed to study AS/A-level English Language
- Students will also study how individuals and social groups are represented through language use; this can be either written or spoken
Paper 2: Language diversity (1 hr 30 mins)
- Students will study diversity within language, looking at factors such as gender, occupation, social class and region
- Students will also look at the features of specific genres in preparation for a creative piece that needs to be completed as part of the exam
A-level (Year 2) English Language (80% exam, 20% NEA)
Paper 1: Language, the individual and society (2 hrs 30)
- Students will build upon the analysis skills learned in their AS year, again focusing on meanings and representations, with an additional need to link to issues in our wider society
- Students will also study children's acquisition of language, both spoken and written
Paper 2: Diversity and change (2 hrs 30)
- Students will study how the English language has changed over the centuries
- As well as this, students will study issues of English as a global language, as well as other issues with modern-day English, such as political correctness
- Building upon their study at AS, students will also analyse further issues with language diversity, such as ethnicity and age
NEA component: Original writing and language investigation (20% of final grade)
- Students will produce a short piece of journalism (750 words) on a topic of their choosing, as well as a reflective commentary analysing their own writing process
- The other NEA component is a linguistic investigation (2000 words) based around a topic of interest from their AS study
How will I know how I am doing?
Year 1: Two exams, both 1 hour and 30 minutes
Year 2: Two exams, both 2 hours and 30 minutes
Two NEA components (coursework): one language investigation and one piece of original writing
What do I need to join?
To study this course, you will need five GCSEs at grades 4–9, including English and Maths.
What can I do next?
English Language is a useful A-level that can be applied to a number of career routes and university courses. It is essential if you are hoping to progress into journalism or publishing.
It is also beneficial for other essay-based subjects, such as history, law or the social sciences.
Course information last updated: Thursday 15th April 2021 @ 8.30am (7 hours ago)