Curriculum

English Language

English Language

English Language

Introduction
Course Details
Careers and Higher Education

Introduction

If you enjoy narrative writing, thinking about how language is constructed and how language develops over time you should seriously consider studying A level English Language. Likewise, if you are good at English you should take up the opportunity of developing your ability to explore how language contributes to meaning, the techniques characteristic of a variety of genres and apply these skills to shape your writing.

During the two year course you will investigate a range of texts considering the influence of mode, tenor, field and function; some of these are studied in more depth than others. The course provides an excellent basis for further study of English Language at degree level or alternatively an excellent foundation for other subjects that require thinking critically, analysing ideas or supporting a viewpoint. English Language will also give you a real enjoyment of and interest in linguistics and the writer’s craft.

Entry Requirements

The entry level requirements are B grades in English Language and English Literature at GCSE.

Course Details

AS level Course Details

Unit 1: Language and the Individual

You will study how language choices reflect the identity of the user and how language use varies in context.

Unit 2: Language Varieties

You will explore language in its wider social and geographical contexts, including varieties of English within the British Isles.

This unit also encompasses social attitudes towards language, which are assessed through a directed writing task.

A level Course Details

Unit 1: Language, the Individual and Society

You will build on the key skills developed on the AS course by looking at historical texts alongside contemporary use of language.  In addition you will study the development of children’s spoken and written language skills.

Unit 2: Language Diversity and Change

You will focus on the development of the English language and how it has changed over time.

This unit encompasses texts from 1600 onwards, as well as global, national and regional varieties.

It also includes the study of changing attitudes to language over time, which is again assessed through a directed writing task.

Unit 3: Language in Action

This unit consists of an independent language investigation into an area of your own interest alongside a piece of original writing and accompanying commentary.

How Will I Study?

The course begins with an introductory sequence of lessons exploring and researching how texts convey meanings and representations. Students are asked to make presentations in pairs to develop their understanding so that they can begin to ask a wide range of questions about texts and the techniques used within them. From this point, teachers and students begin to discuss and analyse texts and techniques together. Each class is taught by two teachers to ensure a variety of approaches and interpretations.

Skills

In order to do well in English Language you will need to be prepared to do a lot of reading. As well as the set texts you will need to be prepared to read other texts and to explore linguistic theories that have been put forward. You will also be expected to develop your ideas through discussions in class and presentations. In turn, you will be asked to prepare, plan and hand in assessed pieces regularly. Learning styles are varied and include group discussion and use of computers, alongside use of DVDs and seminar style lessons.

A range of writing skills will be used and students are guided as to how to interrogate a question and how to develop a well-constructed and textually supported response. Students are also encouraged to increase their understanding through their own creative writing.

Outside Activities

The department aims to expand students’ understanding of language by encouraging their involvement in theatre visits, workshops and opportunities to listen to outside speakers.

Pastoral Support

Students receive a lot of individual tuition in relation to coursework but also in terms of other problems which may arise. Teachers are friendly and approachable. The course is interesting and varied, allowing students and staff alike to develop their ideas.

AQA Assessment Breakdown:

Units for AS level:

Unit 1: Language and the Individual:

Examination: (50% of AS)

Unit 2: Language Varieties

Examination: (50% of AS)

Units for A level:

Unit 1: Language, the Individual and Society

Examination: (40% of A level)

Unit 2: Language Diversity and Change

Examination: (40% of A level)

Unit 3: Language in Action

Non-exam assessment: (20% of A level)

Careers and Higher Education

Students who study this A Level go on to read subjects such as English Language, Law and Modern Foreign Languages at university.