English Language A Level - Year 1

‘Often it’s not we who shape words, but the words we use that shape us.’

On this course you will be introduced to linguistics (the study of language) enabling you to analyse and investigate features of spoken and written language produced for specific audiences, purposes and contexts including: children’s language development, textual variations, diversity such as gender and cultural change.

Being curious about language and how we create meaning and understanding of the world around us through the words we use, you will have the opportunity to gain knowledge of specialist terminology and concepts that make it possible to analyse a range of texts; from fictional genres such as stories to non-fiction advertisements and media scripts with accuracy and precision. The key constituents will include: phonology, morphology, lexis, grammar, semantics and pragmatics.

English Language is a dynamic course and you will be encouraged to develop skills and expertise in language investigation and your own creative writing. The coursework element of the course allows you to choose an area of language for investigation related to identity (language and self-representation, gender, culture and diversity). The coursework can be adapted to your particular area of interest and is an excellent companion for any A Level subject and may appeal to mathematicians and scientists due to its analytical approach.

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Language, The Individual and Society is a written examination: 2 hours in duration (40% of the A Level)

Paper 2: Language, Diversity and Change is a written examination: 2 hours in duration (40% of the A Level)

Non-Exam Assessment: Language in Action: 3,500 words (20% of the A Level) consists of: A language investigation (2,000 words) and a piece of original writing and commentary (1,500 words)

What do I need?

You will need to achieve at least 5 GCSEs – 2 at Grade 6 and 3 at Grade 5 including English Language and/or English Literature and Maths.

Where can it take me?

  • College Progression – you can progress to an exciting range of higher level courses including Teaching.
  • University – a range of degrees including English Language, Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism, Media Screen Writing, Teaching, Humanities, Creative/Performing Arts, Science and Mathematics.
  • Careers - This course is ideal if you are interested in a career in Teaching, the Media Industry, Publishing, Journalism, Expressive & Performing Arts, the Public Sector as well as Health, Mathematics and Science.

Additional information

The English department is busy with plenty of exciting opportunities to get involved with including National Storytelling Week with our local primary schools, the chance to have some of your original writing published with the Young Writers Competition, an annual visit to the RSC in Stratford and theatre visits to see live performance of set texts such as The Duchess of Malfi and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

In addition to this there are master-classes and conferences such as ‘Telling Stories: Writing & Presenting for the Screen’ and ‘Text Analysis, Mood & Speech’ hosted by universities such as Birmingham, Warwick, Keele and Lancaster.

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