English language

English language

What is A level English language?

English language is the study of English in its widest sense, from the first words a baby makes to the most sophisticated advert or manipulative political speech. We look at the ways in which writers and speakers change and adapt their language in order to get the reactions that they want from their audience and teach you to do the same. Language is powerful; it can revel your gender, your social class, your ethnicity and even your occupation and affect the way others perceive you. Examining the way people interact can tell you much more than you might think.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language. In addition, a grade 5 or above is required in English Language.

Subject leader

Nathan Camps

"I’ve enjoyed studying English language here over the past two years because the lessons are always taught in an interactive way. The teachers explain concepts in accessible, relatable ways which really helps with understanding the content. I feel like English language has substantially improved my ability to write concise, judicious arguments which are skills that’ll be essential in my further education. I also appreciate the teachers always being around if I need help."

Aiysha Aziz

what will I study?

TEXTUAL VARIATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS Here you will study a range of texts about different subjects, by varied writers for different audiences writing at different times. By looking at this material, we’ll examine the effects that these different contexts have on the language choices their writers and speakers have made. To do this, you’ll need to understand how we use words, sounds, grammar and structure and how this affects our meanings. CHILDREN’S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT In this topic we will look at the process of learning to speak and the stages at which we do so. We’ll look at the way children’s language begins to develop even before they speak their first words and how it progresses to sentences then to conversations and on to written language as their skills improve. LANGUAGE DIVERSITY AND CHANGE Here we will look at the enormous number of factors that are believed to influence the language that English speakers use including gender, age, social group and occupation. We’ll also look at the ways in which English has changed over its lifetime and how new electronic forms of English are influencing its future. LANGUAGE DISCOURSES This topic involves studying language that is intended to present ideas, attitudes or opinions by looking at writing that is intended to shape or alter the views of others. You will use this knowledge to analyse texts that use these techniques then go on to write your own. LANGUAGE INVESTIGATION This will be an independent investigation into an aspect of language that you will choose yourself in collaboration with your teacher. Your research will lead to a 2,000 word written exploration of your topic. ORIGINAL WRITING For this part of the A-Level, you will produce a 1,500 word piece of your own writing in a style and to a standard that could be published commercially. You’ll be given guidance by your teacher about what might be appropriate but you’ll also have lots of freedom to choose what you want to write depending on what you read and what you know about. When you have written your text, you will then go on to write an analysis of your own text explaining the language choices that you have made.

additional activities with this subject

Previous students studying English Language have had the opportunity to visit universities to experience undergraduate level study and learn more about studying English Language at a higher level.


For September 2021


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