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English Language

Examination Board: AQA

This highly engaging course explores many fascinating aspects of English Language – the words we use, hear and read every  day. You will explore and critically engage with a wide range of spoken and written texts as well as developing your own  creative writing skills. You will learn how society, gender and identity affect our language choices and you will explore how  and why the English language has developed over time. Moreover, you will discover how young children acquire their spoken  and written skills.


For the AS Level you will study:

  • Textual Variations and Representations – texts about a range of subjects, from diverse writers and speakers, for different  audiences, for a variety of purposes in a range of genres using various modes (written, spoken, electronic).
  • Language Diversity – spoken and written texts using different sociolects and dialects; how language varies depending on  personal, social and geographical factors; differing attitudes to language diversity and how language shapes identity.
  • Writing Skills – developing your skills in writing academically and writing creatively for a non-specialist audience.

For the A Level you will study the AS Level topics in greater detail plus some additional topics:

  • Children’s Language Development (from 0-11 years).
  • Language Diversity and Change – studying a range of texts from different places and times.
  • Language in Action (coursework) – language investigation and original writing with commentary.

How is the course assessed?

This course is assessed by examination only for AS.
You will take a separate AS examination (two papers) at the end of Year 12, but your result will not count towards your final A Level award. Assessment is 80% examination (two papers) and 20% coursework for the full A Level. Examinations take place at the end of Year 13 when you will be assessed on topics covered in both years.

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

You will need effective communication skills and be willing to read all the course material plus undertake independent  research to broaden your knowledge and understanding. By the end of an A Level in English Language you will have  developed an impressive collection of transferable skills including: critical and comparative analysis skills, more sophisticated ways of writing creatively and analytically, plus an insightful appreciation of how language is used and manipulated.

Subject combination advice 

English Language is a very flexible A Level and combines well with many other subjects including English literature, MFL,  history, sociology and psychology.

What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

As A Level English Language combines academic, creative and analytical skills, it is highly regarded by universities. There are  many careers that may follow from the study of English Language. For example: publishing, journalism, law, psychology,  advertising, marketing, public relations, teaching, politics, and media.

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

GCSE English Language Grade 5 is a minimum.

What activities enrich this subject?

Additional independent research during Year 12 on areas of English Language that especially interest you will greatly aid your  language investigation coursework. Entering creative writing competitions, such as those organised by Young Writers, will  further aid your focus on vocabulary and structural choices in your own writing for the examinations and original writing coursework.

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