A Level
English Language

Course Details

Awarding Body: AQA

Staff Contacts: Ms C Lovell; Miss R Fletcher and Mr C Walker

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Key features of the course

This course involves reading and analysing a wide variety of texts from a range of genres, both fiction and non-fiction, and will involve the study of web-based texts and those found in chatrooms, as well as more traditional texts such as newspapers.

The course explores the relationship between language and the individual and examines the way in which various social groups use language to construct and enrich their identities. In particular gender, social class, geography, age, sexuality, race and occupation are all considered as factors which influence individuals’ use of English.

In Year 13 you will learn about the processes by which children acquire language and the theories surrounding these process. Both the speech and writing of young children will be analysed and you will develop an understanding of the various factors that influence this process. You will also study the history of the English language, learning about its evolution over the last two millennia and the attitudes various commentators have about the aspects of English that continue to change at the present time, such as the increase in slang and use of Americanisms.

You will also select an area of language about which you will create a hypothesis and you will conduct an investigation to prove or disprove this. You will also produce a text of your own, emulating the style of a text model of your choice.

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Entry
Requirements:

Minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 4 with at least a grade 6 in English Language.

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What could this course
lead on to?

Students of English Language go on to pursue careers in a wide range of fields. Some of the most popular are journalism and other areas of the media, teaching, publishing, law, copywriting, arts administration, HR, marketing and public relations.

 

English Language has a range of transferable skills, including critical reasoning, debating skills, constructing an argument and analysing complex and varied materials. These will be valuable for a rage of degree courses and potential careers.

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Future prospects
and careers

Any subject that requires students to read lengthy material and to write substantial responses in a traditional essay format will consider an A level in English Language as good preparation.  Degrees in English, history, law, and a range of social sciences and humanities subjects, as well as media focused courses, are all popular among students with A levels in English Language. 

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What type of student is this
course suitable for?

This course is suitable for anyone who enjoys reading and, most importantly, analysing what they have read in minute detail, even some texts that may appear to be relatively straightforward. A willingness to learn a range of theories and studies related to the various topics is also a requirement. You will need to be able to discuss your opinions about texts and society in small groups, and to convey your ideas in an appropriately academic written style. An interest in society and current affairs is also an advantage; this will inform your responses to the theories studied and enhance your ability to evaluate them effectively. 

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Assessment
Structure

It is important to understand the assessment structure of the course. What percent are the units ? Are they internally or externally assessed ? Are they exams or coursework?

Unit One

  • Language, the Individual and Society
  • Terminal examination of 2.5 hours
  • 40% of the final grade

Unit Two

  • Language Diversity and Change
  • Terminal examination of 2.5 hours
  • 40% of the final grade

Unit Three

  • Language in Action
  • Coursework: an investigation of 2500 words and a creative piece with commentary of 1500 words. Combined these pieces amount to 20% of the final grade.
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