A-level English Language
At AS and A Level, English Language students explore ways of analysing texts and spoken interaction systematically using new frameworks of technical terminology. This is developed against a background of Linguistic theory covering a range of issues: Gender, Dialect and Accent, Political Correctness and Social values being some typical examples. Students will also explore the Acquisition and Development of Children’s Language, the History of English Language and its diversity along with the social and cultural influences that cause it to change. Students will not spend time looking at ‘set texts’ but, instead, will focus on everyday language and interaction in a variety of forms.
Lessons will involve both group work and individual work including a personally researched investigation topic. Students are expected to be actively involved in discussion and even lead debate on occasions. This subject combines very well with others such as: Sociology, Psychology, History, Law and Literature.
Although other possibilities may be considered, this course is best suited to students with at least a B Grade at GCSE or equivalent in English. Students also need to be open-minded, be interested in current affairs and have an enquiring mind.
The specification we follow is the AQA Syllabus. In accordance with College policy, ALL students will be entered for AS, regardless of whether or not they intend to follow the course for the full two years. AS Level (one year): Students will explore Textual Variation, Representation, Language Diversity, Attitudes towards Language Diversity and Directed Writing assessed through two examinations:
- Paper 1 – Language and the Individual: an examined unit which explores Methods of Language Analysis and assesses Textual variations and representations.
- Paper 2 – Language Varieties: an examined unit again exploring Methods of Language Analysis and assessing Language Diversity and Writing Skills.
A Level (two years): Assessment is through two examinations and one unit of Non-Exam Assessment or Coursework. Note: Students need to be aware that topics covered for examination at AS are also examined at the end of the two year A Level course although the breakdown of the examinations will be different.
- Paper 1 – Language, The Individual and Society: an examined unit exploring Methods of Language Analysis and assessing Textual Variations and Representations and Children’s Language Development (0-11 years).
- Paper 2 – Language Diversity and Change: an examined unit again exploring Methods of Language Analysis and assessing Language Diversity and Change, Language Discourses and Writing Skills.
Non-Exam Assessment: Language in Action: Students produce a portfolio of approximately 3,500 words comprising a Language Investigation and a Piece of Original Writing including a Commentary.
|AS (1 year course):|
|Paper 1: Language and the Individual. A written exam with three questions requiring analysis and comparison of two texts.
1 hour 30 minutes. 50% of AS Level mark.
Paper 2: Language Varieties. A written exam – Section A requiring an essay on Language Diversity and Section B being a Directed Writing task on Attitudes to Language.
1 hour and 30 minutes. 50% of AS Level mark.
|A Level (2 year course):|
|Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society. A written exam – Section A: ‘Textual Variations and Representations’ requires textual analysis and comparison; Section B: ‘Children’s Language Development’ requires a Discursive Essay on Children’s Language and Development. 2 hours and 30 minutes. 40% of A Level mark.
Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change. A written exam – Section A requires an evaluative essay on either Language Variety or Language Change; Section B focuses on Language Discourse and involves Analysis of texts and a Directed Writing task. 2 hours and 30 minutes. 40% of A Level mark.
Non-Exam Assessment: Language in Action.
A coursework portfolio of 3,500 words in total: comprising a Language Investigation of 2000 words excluding Data and a piece of Original Writing with a Commentary totalling words. 20% of A Level mark.