English Language A Level

Head Department:
Mrs M May

Why choose the subject?
This course appeals to anyone who enjoys using words, thinking about the way language works, and about the way it varies and changes. It will develop your own language skills, and help you to understand and to investigate why people talk and write the way they do.

Although the course requires some of the skills learnt during your Key Stage 3 and GCSE years, most of it is completely new. It is an excellent preparation for students wishing to study a broad range of subjects at university, and can be studied together with an English Literature A-level, where the analytical techniques taught in Language can be put to good use.

Who is eligible?
Anyone who is interested in the way language works. You need to have achieved at least a grade 6 in English GCSE. You should remember that if you wish to study English Literature at university, you will need to select English Literature A level as well.dual initiative. Completing all written assignments to a high standard is crucial to success.

Qualification Type: A Level only(2 year)

Specification: Year 2023/2025 Advanced Level Award Examination Board: WJEC/Eduqas

This subject allows students to discover how language is used by individuals, groups, and within society as a whole. We look at the foundations of English: its sounds, structure and meaning. We study the language of the media; how language can be used to control and persuade; how different types of English are used within this country and in other parts of the world; how language changes over time – and many other aspects of something we normally take for granted. We study the ways people talk and the ways they write – and the areas where talk and writing cross over, such as texting and instant messaging. Creative writing is a key aspect of the course. Students can experiment with manipulating language and tone across both fiction and non-fiction for various audiences and purposes. Examples include short stories, opinion pieces, travel writing and dramatic monologues.

The Year 12 English Language course lays the foundation for all these fields of study, which will then be developed and deepened during Year 13. At this level, students will also be producing an independent investigation into one of a broad range of topics, and more creative writing.

Component 1: Language Concepts and Issues
Written examination: 2 hours (120 marks)
30% of qualification
Section A: Analysis of spoken Language (60 marks) The question will require candidates to compare two or more transcripts of spoken language.
Section B: Language issues (60 marks) Four language topic areas will be studied:
• Standard and non-standard English
• Language and power
• Language and situation
• Child language acquisition.
There will be three questions (the selection will vary from year to year), of which the candidate chooses one.

Component 2: Language Change Over Time
Written examination: 2¼ hours (120 marks)
30% of qualification
Section A: Language change over time (80 marks) Candidates must comment on and compare three texts from different periods ranging from 1500 to the present day.
Section B: English in the twenty-first century (40 marks) Candidates are given a short focus text and asked to display their knowledge of contemporary language issues.

Component 3: Creative and Critical Use of Language
Written examination: 1¾ hours (80 marks)
20% of qualification
• Candidates are given two ‘stimulus texts’ (which may be literary or non-literary) as a springboard for creative responses.
• They choose one of these texts, and produce two short pieces of original writing in different genres.
• They also write a short commentary on one piece.

Component 4: Language and Identity
Non-exam assessment: 2500-3500 word folder (80 marks)
20% of qualification
Candidates conduct an independent investigation, selecting material of interest to them personally and academically, collecting and analysing their data, and drawing conclusions from their analysis.
The four areas from which the candidate must select are:
• Language and self-representation
• Language and gender
• Language and culture
• Language diversity.

English language A Level provides students with excellent communication skills, critical thinking, time management and organisation skills. All of these are transferable across multiple industries, allowing them to consider career paths in many different sectors.

This course is commonly studied with:
As an A-Level subject, English language complements several other A-Level courses, including English literature, drama, history and religious studies.

Future Careers:
Actor, Linguist, Editor, Journalist, Lexicographer, Teacher, Technical writer, Lawyer, Grant writer, PR and marketing.