Why study English Language?
Do you enjoy being at the cutting edge of a subject? Do you ever wonder why it is that accent and dialogue really do matter? Do you have a flair for creative writing? If so, then English Language is the course for you.
English Language is a vital part of our individual lives, the behaviour of social groups and the structure of our whole society. We are continually talking and texting, listening to friends and employers, reading websites, telling stories and giving advice - this is what makes the study of English Language so topical and so relevant.
What will I study?
A Level English Language is divided into four topic areas across two exams:
Paper 1: language, the individual and society (40% of A-Level. 2½ hour exam):
Section A: Meanings and Representations. This section explores how grammar, lexis, pragmatics, and semantics are deployed by writers to create meaning, and explores how these linguistic features are used to represent ideological, cultural, and societal ideas.
Section B: First Language Acquisition (psycholinguistics). Students will consider theories on how and why we learn to speak, and the functions of children’s language, through significant research in language development.
Paper 2: language diversity and change (40% of A-Level. 2½ hour exam):
Section A: Language Diversity and Change (sociolinguistics). We are all placed at indices based on gender, social class, and region, within which we see language change and evolve. However, who decides what ‘correct English’ is? How does language form and maintain societal structures? On what basis can these structures be challenged?
Section B: Language Discourses. Opinions on language use are hugely divisive and often reveal many of the underlying tensions in English speaking societies. How can we challenge or support these ideas? With a focus on writing to a newspaper style, students will learn how the media shapes people’s perspectives on English and its users, and how to write persuasively to defend their point of view.
Non-Examined Assessment: language investigation, and creative writing with commentary (20% of A-Level)
Students complete their own individual language investigation relating to one of the units covered, offering students the opportunity to pursue in depth an aspect of the course that they have enjoyed and wish to research further.
The creative writing module requires students to research a writing style, and produce a commentary demonstrating how the features of their work fits into the appropriate genre.
English Language Extras
You will have the opportunity to listen to a range of presentations from professionals in the field of publishing and journalism. Students will also have the chance to visit local news providers and see journalism at work. We will also make use of relavant exhibitions and opportunities as they arise.
Minimum Entry Requirements:
5 x 5s
4 in English and Maths
Subject Specific Entry Requirements:
6 in GCSE English Language
* Please note that Level 2 vocational courses are the equivalent of 1 GCSE and only 1 will be counted towards the A-Level pathway entry requirements
What can I do with English Language after sixth form?
A variety of occupations will be open to you, including publishing, journalism, media, law and teaching. In addition, the great variety of skills acquired are highly regarded by both employers and universities and are also valuable in their own right. Apart from supporting other subject areas, English Language offers an ideal preparation for a university degree in English or a related subject.