A Level English Language Information


The English language is the most influential language in the world. As a subject, English Language offers an opportunity to develop a detailed analytical understanding of the way language works, the way it is used and the ways in which it is closely intertwined with social values.

What skills will you gain?

The A-Level course will enable you to develop a range of skills essential for further education and employment. As a result of studying English Language you will acquire a greater technical understanding of how languages work. You will consider the relationship between language and the development of ideas, beliefs and attitudes; society and social interaction; and the construction of identity. Studying English Language at A level is excellent preparation for Higher Education courses in Linguistics, English Literature, Modern Foreign Languages, Humanities, the Social Sciences and Information Technology. It provides a perfect foundation for careers in Journalism and the Media, ICT, Law, Politics, the Civil Service, teaching and research.

What will you study?

During this two year course, you will prepare for two examination papers and undertake two different pieces of coursework.

Paper One: Language, the Individual and Society

In this part of the course you will develop your skills of linguistic analysis by exploring a wide range of spoken, written, electronic and multimodal texts from different time periods and places. You will consider how language is used to create and convey meanings; how language is manipulated to achieve particular aims, and how ideas, people, places and events can be represented in different ways through language. You will also study how young children develop both spoken and written language, exploring the different ideas and theories about how and why this remarkable process takes place.

Paper Two: Language Diversity and Change

This part of the course explores the two inter-related strands of Language Diversity and Language Change. You will develop your understanding of how language varies according to factors such as gender, ethnicity, social background, geographical location and profession. For Language Change, you will study how and why the English language has changed over time and consider how it may continue to change in the future. Additionally, you will learn about attitudes to controversial issues relating to language diversity and change, and explore contemporary debates surrounding language use today: you will develop your own views through discussion and debate and learn how to express your opinions in writing, in both an informative and entertaining manner.

Coursework: Language in Action

The coursework element of English Language is vital in enabling you to pursue your individual interests and refine your research and writing skills. There are two projects: the Language Investigation and Original Writing. You will design and conduct a Language Investigation on a subject of your choice, collecting and analysing your own data independently. In addition, you have the opportunity to create an original piece of writing such as a short story, feature article or blog post, reflecting on your expertise in the analytical commentary.