English language

A-Level English Language
Exam Board: AQA     

Why study this subject?

English Language is a fascinating and ever-changing subject, which will give students the opportunity to develop their analysis of language and use of linguistic terminology.  Students will consider how children acquire language, how language has changed over time and how it is used for different formats and purposes; they will also be encouraged to consider how language is affected and influenced by gender, age and ethnicity.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed through two written exam papers and one Non-Exam Assessment (coursework task).

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society (40% of A-Level)

Section A: Textual Variations and Representations. Students are given two texts (one contemporary and one older text). They must then analyse each text and then write a comparison of the two texts.

Section B: Children’s Language Development. A discursive essay with a focus on spoken, written or multimodal language.

Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change (40% of A-Level)

Section A: An evaluative essay on language diversity OR language change.

Section B: Language Discourses. Two essays analysing how language is used to present ideas, attitudes and opinions.

Non-Exam Assessment: Language in Action (20% of A Level)

Students will be required to produce evidence of a language investigation (2000 words) and a piece of original writing and commentary (1500 words).

Where can this subject lead?

Students who study Language often do so alongside English Literature and/or Social Science
A-Levels, particularly Psychology. Students who study Language often go on to study an English degree, such as Creative Writing or Journalism, though the skills acquired on the course are easily transferable to any course at undergraduate study. Students can go on to careers in education, the media, marketing, or law.