Students will learn how to analyse a range of different types of texts using linguistic methods and the ways English language is used in a variety of forms, such as casual spoken conversations and advertising material, texts and tweets, and legal and medical discourse. Students will also be able to study language from a range of periods and cultures, maybe looking at the variety of forms of English in use across the world today.
A Level English Language
Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society: Textual variations and representations, Children’s language development (0-11 years). Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities
Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change: Language discourses, Writing skills. Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities
Non-exam assessment – Language in Action: Language Investigation, Original Writing
Many Language students go on to university to study a degree in either the Arts or the Humanities. Typical career progression in this subject may include: Editorial assistant, English as a foreign language teacher, Lexicographer, Newspaper journalist, School teacher, Writer, Advertising copywriter, Marketing executive or Public relations officer.
“I enjoy English Language A Level because it is so varied and gives me the opportunity to study so many different aspects of the way we communicate. My favourite part of the course was the Language Investigation, where I chose to concentrate on Travel Writing.”
Lewis Brinnicombe, Year 12
Paper 1 and Paper 2: written exams: 2 hours 30 minutes: 100 marks. 40% of A-level
Non-exam assessment: Word count: 3,500. 100 marks. 20% of A-level. Assessed by teachers: Moderated externally
A grade 6 or above in English
English Literature concerns itself predominantly with the study of prose, poetry and drama and is an ideal A Level for students who enjoy reading. Students are taught to think analytically about the challenging questions surrounding human existence. In addition they learn how to write coherently and to develop their own critical voice. Students learn in a seminar-style environment, which is excellent preparation for a university degree.
A Level Topics:
Paper 1: Aspects of Tragedy – Study of three texts: one Shakespeare text; a second modern drama text and one further text, which will have been written pre-1900.
Paper 2: Elements of political and social protest writing. Study of three texts: one post-2000 prose text; one poetry and one further text, one of which will have been written pre-1900.
Non-exam assessment. Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical Anthology. Two essays of 1250 -1500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical Anthology.
English Literature is a highly regarded academic subject, developing many transferable skills. Students often go on to study an English, Arts or Humanities degree at university on completion of the A Level course. Typical career progression: Media and Journalism; Publishing; Teaching; Advertising and Marketing; PR; Public Sector work; Law.
“A Level Literature is quite a step up from GCSE but after the first few weeks I felt comfortable and was enjoying the course. The challenge of studying how writers explore the complexities of the human condition through poetry, drama and prose has been both interesting and exciting.”
A Level Assessment:
Paper 1: Closed book. A written exam of 2 ½ hours, worth 40% of A-level
Paper 2: Open book. A written exam of 3 hours, worth 40% of A-level
Non-exam assessment unit: assessed by teachers and moderated by AQA, worth 20% of A Level.
A grade 6 or above in English.
The A Level English Language and Literature takes two years and is assessed through 80% exam and 20% independent research. There is a clear skills progression from GCSE, where students can build upon the skills and knowledge already gained from their previous studies in English language and literature. Students will develop a wide range of skills including: Critical reading, Analysis, Evaluating and Independent research.
On this course students will engage with a variety of spoken, written and multi-modal texts. They will read four compulsory set texts, all the while incorporating methods of language analysis. Methods of language analysis covers:
Phonetics, phonology and prosodics
Lexis and semantics
The AQA specification is designed to fit with a continuum of study from GCSE to degree level and is invaluable for future employment and further study.
Students like the mixture of non-fiction, poetry and novels. They also choose this subject because of the creative writing opportunities.
A Level Assessment:
|Paper 1: Telling Stories – 3 hours. 100 marks. 40% of A Level
Section A – Remembered places
Section B – Imagined worlds
Section C – Poetic voices
Paper 2: Exploring Conflict 2 ½ hours. 100 marks. 40% of A Level
Section A – Writing about society
Section B – Dramatic encounters
Non-exam assessment: Making Connections
A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse (2,500-3,000 words). Assessed by teachers – moderated by AQA. 50 marks. 20% of A-level
A grade 6 or above in English Language and English Literature.