English Language

Do you want to learn how to effectively write stories, articles and reviews? Do you want to learn how the English Language developed, and is developing over time? Do you want to become a more effective speaker and listener? Then English Language A-Level is the course for you! On this course, you will be equipped with the linguistic skills and terminology to be able to become a more effective speaker and writer. You will learn how to write creatively, how the English Language has changed over time and how to understand and analyse the rules and codes which operate whenever we speak. You also learn about how children, men and women use language as well as accents and dialects. This course fits well with any other subject where you have to communicate as it gives you the skills to improve the clarity, fluency and variety of your communication, both spoken and written.

Awarding Body

Available As

A Level

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What will I study?

English Language involves the study of linguistics rather than literature. There is a small amount of creative writing. At the heart of the course is the analysis of written and spoken language texts. There are no set texts. There are four Components ( 3 exams/1 coursework = 80%/20%) to the A-level:

  1. Language Concepts and Issues - this involves developing your knowledge of language features and linguistic terminology, so that you can analyse a range of written and spoken language material.
  2. Language Change over Time - you will study the way language has changed and developed over the centuries and how language is being used in the age of the internet.
  3. Creative and Critical Use of Language - developing your own creative writing skills for both literary and non-literary genres and learning to analyse your own writing.
  4. Language and Identity - this is the coursework component and involves the production of an extended investigation into a topic of your own choice (with guidance from staff), which explores areas such as the relationship between language and gender, culture or diversity in society.

How will I learn?

You will be introduced to a range of short textual material  - both written and spoken - and develop the skills to analyse these, using linguistic terminology. We aim to provide a varied range of learning activities from watching stand-up comedy to reading extracts from novels. There will be small group work, whole class discussion and individual tasks. You will learn to apply linguistic terms, develop knowledge of phonetics and child language acquisition and practise new skills such as transcribing spoken language into written forms. Classes will involve, in addition to some direct teaching of new linguistic concepts and terms: presentations, listening to and making recordings, quizzes, group and individual research tasks, watching television and film excerpts and, of course, reading texts and analysing them.

How will I be assessed?

  1. Language Concepts and Issues Exam 2 hrs 30%
  2. Language Change over Time Exam 2 hrs 15 mins 30%
  3. Creative and Critical Use of Language Exam 1 hour 45 mins 20%
  4. Language and Identity Coursework 20%

Are there any trips on this course?

Linguistic talk at University of the West of England, Bristol

Guest tutor in creative writing

Are there any extra costs?

Small costs for course handbooks/textual resources

Are there any specific entry requirements?

English Language at grade 5.

Careers Information



Can I take this course alongside other English A Levels?

You may study English Literature A-level at the same time but you cannot choose English Language and Literature (the combined course).

Can I study English at university once I have done this course?

You can study English at University but you are only really equipped to do courses that are predominantly language-based, such as Linguistics. If you want to study literature at University, you should take English Literature A-level.

What essays will I have to write on this course and how often will I write them?

Your writing will either be production work (you write a review of a film, for instance, with a commentary on your own writing) or analysis (you analyse how language is used in an advertisement, for instance). You will do an assignment every two weeks.