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English Language

Have you ever thought about how we use language on a daily basis and how language varies from person to person? Are you interested in the development of the English Language? If so, this course will give you a fascinating insight into the language we tend to take for granted. The range of topics for study include: textual variations and representations, language and the individual, child language acquisition, and language change from 1600 to the present day.

Course Content

Year 12 Course Content (AS Level where applicable pre-reform)

During your first year you will study two key areas:

Language and the Individual

In this unit you will study methods of language analysis, learning new linguistic terminology which will help you to analyse everyday texts in detail. You will also explore the impact that the contexts of writing and reception have on texts.

Language Diversity

In this unit, you will study a range of examples of language in use. You will explore sociolect, accent, dialect, the impact of gender and occupation on language use, and ways in which we use language to establish our identities. You will also develop your own writing skills, writing about language issues in academic essays and a range of other forms.

Year 13 Course Content (A Level where applicable pre-reform)

During your second year you will consolidate the linguistic knowledge gained at AS Level. You will also study these topics:

Children’s Language Development

In this unit, you will explore the phonological, pragmatic, lexical, semantic and grammatical development of children’s speech. You will study different modes of communication (spoken, written and multimodal) and investigate theories about language development.

Language Change

In this unit, you will explore texts ranging from 1600 to the present day, exploring how and why language use has changed.

Language In Action

This is your coursework unit, which is worth 20% of your A Level. In this unit, you will study a range of text types, and learn how to carry out a language investigation. You will produce a piece of original writing in a genre of your choice, accompanied by an analytical commentary. You will also carry out an investigation into a language issue of your choice and write up your findings for submission.

Entry Requirements

One GCSE at grade B or above in English Language. The AS/A Level English Language course is suitable for those people who are interested in exploring and analysing language.


In Year 12, assessment is entirely by examination. There will be two exams, each lasting 1 hour, 30 minutes.

In Year 13, assessment is through two pieces of coursework (20%) and two exams. These exams will assess students on material from both Year 12 and Year 13. Ample lesson time will be allocated to revision in order to ensure that students are fully equipped for this.

Financial Information

Students are required to purchase their own texts (when required) and provide their own stationery.

The Academy will not charge for books, materials, equipment and instruction in connection with the National Curriculum or Statutory Religious Education taught at school, except where parents have indicated in advance their wish to purchase the product.

Exam Charging Policy:

–  Students with less than 85% attendance may, under the discretion of the Sixth Form Office, be asked to pay for their exam entry.

–  Exam resits that are made at the request of the post 16 students will be charged at full price.

–  When it is not possible to obtain a refund, full price will be charged to students for:

    –  the Summer Exam entry, if they withdraw from the subject after 20 April.
    –  non-attendance at an exam without good reason.

BTEC students, who leave the Academy prior to the conclusion of the course, will be charged £50.

Future Opportunities

This A level will be useful for any future career which involves work with the general public, or any career which involves some measure of writing skills or communication.

Future Careers might include: journalism, law, media, advertising, teaching, performing arts and business.


Further Information

You need to be enthusiastic and curious about language – how context alters its usage and how it has changed over time. You will have a keen interest in written communication of all kinds. You also need to be able to engage in discussion about how language is structured (grammar) and how words and linguistic patterns create changes in meaning. You will have independent study skills and plenty of personal motivation.

Students who study this course will be given opportunities, if available, to visit lecture-style events at local universities.