Why study A Level English Language?
English Language is the study of how language works and how it is used differently by a range of users, and how language is represented in a variety of texts. You will learn about relevant topics such as Language and Power and Language and Gender, thus enabling you to discover how social contexts affect our language use. At A Level, you will study our changing language history and the journey our language has been on, its place as a global language, how children acquire language, as well as exploring the influence of Language in the Media.
A Level English Language is very different to the GCSE course; you will learn to use precise linguistic terminology and analyse complex grammatical structures. It will encourage you to develop your interest in an appreciation of English through learning about its structures and functions and developments and variations. You will learn a range of linguistic frameworks that you will use in your analysis of a wide range of modern and older texts.
How will I be assessed?
Unit 1 is a 2½ hour exam which has two sections: Textual Variations and Representations and Children’s Language Development.
Unit 2 is a 2½ hour exam which has two sections: Diversity and Change and Language Discourses.
Unit 3 is coursework, where students undertake their own research and complete a language investigation of 2,000 words and a piece of original writing and commentary of 1,500 words.
Grade 6 in English Language and English Literature
What skills will I gain from studying English Language?
Studying English Language will help you to develop and improve your ability to express yourself in speech and writing with clarity and precision. It will enhance your critical and analytical skills and enable you to analyse the linguistic features found in texts in ways that are very different to the analysis you do in your GCSE.
It will also allow you to write creatively and analytically for a wide range of different audiences and purposes. Original writing will ensure that you consider the use of vocabulary and grammar appropriate both for the content and the context of your work.
The coursework element at A Level will allow you to write more independently and with a reasonable degree of autonomy regarding subject matter. You will also make informed decisions, analyse data and evaluate your findings.
Where can English Language lead?
English Language is a broad and relevant subject which will allow you to pursue a diverse range of career options such as Law, Journalism, Advertising, Publishing, Marketing or Teaching.
The world really is your oyster if you can use English effectively, recognising its position as a global language.
This subject is a great stepping stone to linguistics-based courses at university, but it is not always accepted by all universities for an English Language and Literature degree, where A Level Literature is still preferred. (Or both)
What will I study?
A Level Units:
Unit 1: Language, the Individual and Society – Exam
Unit 2: Language Diversity and Change – Exam
Unit 3: Language in Action – Coursework