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Course leader: Mr Hussey


English Language is a new and exciting course which is very different to what you will have studied at GCSE. It draws on all aspects of English, looking at written and spoken varieties, as well as looking at key issues of gender, power and technology. You will also focus on language change, child language acquisition and a creative writing element. It focuses on modern language in use, looking at a variety of shorter texts and the reasons behind their production.


The course is a two-year course. It consists of two exams and a language investigation piece of coursework. The exams are worth 40% each, and the coursework will be 20% All exams will be taken at the end of your second year.

Paper 1 Language, the individual and society. (2hrs 30 mins)

This consists of two sections.

  • In section A, you will examine two texts, exploring how meaning and representation are shown both individually, and as a comparison. You will study key areas of gender, power, technology, multi-modal texts, language change and attitudes and values. The third question will ask for a comparison of the two texts, and look at similarities and differences, referencing key linguistic frameworks.
  • Section B focuses on Child Language Acquisition. In this, you will study how children develop spoken and written language, as well as learning key theories of language development. Students are expected to compare two pieces of data and apply linguistic frameworks and studies to show meaning.

Paper 2 Language Diversity and Change (2 hours 30 mins)

This paper takes a sociolinguistic approach to language, and students will be asked to respond to current trends in gender, race, power and change. For the first part of the paper, they will be given a debate question to argue points both for and against, evaluating key theories and linguistic ideas on given topics.

For the second section, they will have to analyse the attitudes and values shown in two differing articles on Language Change. They then recast these ideas into a piece of creative writing, offering their own opinions on what they have read and studied. This is ideal for students interested in journalism or creative writing.

Non Exam Assessment. Language in Action (3500 words)

For this, students undertake a language investigation of their choice. They can study a specific theme or aspect of language, language change, diversity or spoken language ideas. They need to collect and analyse data using key linguistic frameworks, forming a key hypothesis and then attempting to prove or disprove their question (2000 words)

For the second part of the NEA, they need to complete a piece of creative writing of their choice, accompanied by a commentary on the linguistic and structural choices they have made. (1500 words). Again, this is ideal for anyone who is interested in a career in journalism.

What are the entry requirements?

A Grade 6 or above at English Language is suggested to be suitable for the rigours of the course.

What does it go well with?

Law, History, Sociology, Psychology, English Literature. Media.

What careers could it lead to

English Language is excellent for teaching (both primary and secondary), Journalism, Public Relations and helps in any career which deals with the use of language on a daily basis.

Current ALPS (A level points score) – AS ALPS 3 - Very Good