English Language

Contact Teacher: Mr S Collins, Head of English Faculty

Exam Board: AQA

Why study English Language?

Do you want to know more about how all spoken and written communication works, how we learn to speak, and why and how language changes? Do you enjoy creative writing? English Language A-level is the ideal course for those of you who enjoy reading and producing all types of texts. This course is an excellent preparation for any career involving written or spoken communication such as journalism, teaching, or the media and is particularly complementary to the study of psychology or modern foreign languages.

Course details

Component 1: Language, the individual and society
The aim of this part of the subject content is to introduce students to language study, exploring textual variety and children’s language development. This area of study introduces students to methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation. It also introduces students to the study of children’s language development, exploring how children learn language and how they are able to understand and express themselves through language.

Component 2: Language diversity and change
The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore language diversity and change over time. Students will study the key concepts of audience, purpose, genre and mode and will explore language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts. They will explore processes of language change. This part of the subject content also requires students to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change.

Component 3: Language in Action
The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise.
It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research:

  • a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
  • a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each) Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multimodal data, or a mixture of text types, demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest.

Methods of language analysis underpin each component.

How the course is taught and assessed

We expect you to take an active role in lessons through discussion, presentations and research.

  • Two teachers will deliver different areas of the course.
  • Support booklets are used to guide you through the course and help to make you an independent learner.
  • You will be expected to keep a log of your wider reading throughout the course.
  • You will be provided with opportunities to practise timed essays to develop your exam skills. Marking criteria, model answers and teacher feedback will be used to improve your performance. We aim to enhance your classroom experience with relevant study days/visits as available.

Component 1: written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes, 100 marks, 40% of A-level.
Component 2: written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes, 100 marks, 40% of A-level
Component 3: non-examined assessment: word count: 3,500, 100 marks, 20% of A-level, assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA.

Entry requirements

Grade 6s or above in English and English Literature GCSEs are required to study this subject at A-level.