Type: Full Time
Qualification: AS/A level Download PDF details
If you enjoy learning about language, then the new English Language specification will stretch and challenge you by providing valuable insights into the language development of children, how we use language to represent ourselves and how it is used by others, particularly the media, to represent individuals. It will also help you to develop your skills in communicating your knowledge about language to non-specialist audiences and in using primary and secondary research data to produce an independent study. Whilst you will have the chance to produce some of your own writing, an interest in how English is used in daily life will be needed, along with a desire to analyse its various components in detail. In looking at linguistic texts and data e.g. a transcript of doctor-patient conversation, or a list of a child’s first 50 spoken words, you will need to apply concepts and theories of language study.
At AS level, you will explore how different kinds of spoken, written and electronic language are used to create various responses from listeners and/or readers. You will be provided with opportunities to write creatively and to analyse the writing of others as you investigate representation.
At A2 level, you will explore how the English language has changed since 1600 and how it continues to change. You will investigate how English varies globally, regionally and socially. You will also examine cultural debates about the significance of language and undertake a major piece of independent coursework on a spoken language topic of your own choice.
Unit 1 – SEEING THROUGH LANGUAGE (Exam)
In this unit, you will be introduced to the study of the modes of language. Building on core variation concepts of audience, purpose, field and genre, you will study how language is used in spoken and electronic forms. This unit also requires you to study language development. You will explore how children learn language and how they are able to understand and express themselves through language.
Unit 2 – REPRESENTATION AND LANGUAGE (Coursework)
In this unit, you will complete two pieces of written coursework. In the first, you will analyse and interpret how writers use language to create representations of people, institutions, events or issues. In the second, you will produce your own creative piece that challenges a negative representation of people, institutions, events or issues. In both pieces, you will implement the linguistic terminology you will be taught in class.
Unit 3 – LANGUAGE EXPLORATIONS (Exam)
In this unit, you will study how and why language changes and varies. You will learn to describe, explain and evaluate variation in both spoken and written language, showing the effects of historical, geographical, social and personal factors. You will also be introduced to major research about language and to popular and academic explanations, attitudes and views concerning language variation and change.
Unit 4 – LANGUAGE INVESTIGATIONS AND INTERVENTIONS (Coursework)
In this unit, you will write two pieces of coursework. The first, based on an analysis of spoken language, will introduce you to independent investigative language study. You will pursue an area of individual interest, and complete research to collect data to analyse. In the second piece of coursework, you will develop a more creative and critical approach by presenting your own version of a language issue for a general audience.
Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods:
- You will be assessed regularly on written essay work that is conducted either as homework or under timed conditions in class and given feedback on your progress. You will also be assessed regularly on linguistic terminology.
- Discussions and presentations are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be expected to contribute to those and reading exercises.
- You will review your own performance in 1:1 sessions with your tutor.
- You will undertake mock examinations on each unit in advance of your final exams.
- You will be formally examined on each unit that you study. The examinations are traditional and essay-based. Coursework is compulsory at AS and A2 Levels.
Information & Support
We encourage all students to read widely and conduct their own research into language, especially those who wish to study language or linguistics at degree level. We will offer opportunities for you to conduct field research.
As with many A level subjects, you may be expected to purchase some of the texts that you will study.
A qualification in English Language is highly valued by many universities and employers alike. English Language is also an excellent subject to complement many courses, such as English literature, psychology, sociology, any media-related course, communication and education. Some university courses also require an A Level in English Literature.