A Level – English Language


This very popular course is ideal for those students who enjoyed GCSE English Language and want to find out more about how language works.It appeals to students who are both analytical and creative in their own thinking and writing.

  • Who Is This Course For?

    This very popular course is ideal for those students who enjoyed GCSE English Language and want to find out more about how language works.   It appeals to students who are both analytical and creative in their own thinking and writing.

    Although A Level English Language builds upon those skills already acquired, this subject is quite different from GCSE and is more of an introductory course to the University academic discipline called ‘linguistics’ (the science of language). The course will build upon GCSE success, but it will not be assumed that students are experts.   English Language links well with many other A Level courses, for example, Psychology, Sociology, History, Media Studies, Creative Writing and Law.

    Entry Criteria

    The College entry criteria for all level three courses can be found on our ”Entry Criteria Guidance” pdf document.

  • Course Details:

    Exam Board

    WJEC (re-named Eduqas).

    Course Details

    All students will be embarking upon a two year study of English Language with all written examinations and coursework being completed at the end of the second year.

    In analysing how language works, students will be introduced to the language levels in the form of the keys of language: lexis, semantics, morphology, word classes, grammar, phonology (including phonetics), spoken language, processes of language change and pragmatics.   These keys of language will be relevant to all units.

    The following linguistic skills and knowledge will be covered for the A Level units:

    Component 1:Language Concepts and Issues – 2 hour written exam

    This component is worth 30% of the overall A Level grade.

    Students will analyse spoken language transcripts from a wide variety of contexts, for example, the media and domestic situations.They will also be working on the following language issues essay topics: Standard and non-standard English; language and power; language and situation and child language acquisition. This component will be studied during Year 1 and revised in Year 2.

    Component 2: Language Change Over Time – 2¼ hours written exam

    This component is worth 30% of the overall A Level grade.

    Students will analyse a wide variety of written texts (newspaper reporting, recipes, love letters, etc) covering a period of 500 years from 1500-2000.  They will also be studying written language data from the 21st century, for example text messages and chat room language. This component will be studied during Year 2.

    Component 3: Creative and Critical Use of Language – 1¾ hours

    This component is worth 20% of the overall A Level grade.

    Students will have the opportunity of being creative in writing both literary and non-literary texts with an analytical commentary recording your decisions.This component will be studied in both Years 1 and 2.

    Component 4:  Language and Identity coursework

    This component is worth 20% of the overall A Level grade.

    Students will be collecting data from a range of spoken, written and multi-modal texts.  They will be choosing from one of the following areas:  language and self-representation; language and gender; language and culture and language diversity.

    Assessment details:  the A Level specification will consist of 80% written examinations and 20% internally assessed coursework.

    How the course is delivered

    Students will have four x 70 minute lessons per week. Based on this year’s large intake, there are 11 groups with an average of 23 students per group.   Similarly, we have seven second year A Level groups with the same average number of students.   We employ a variety of teaching and learning methods, including quizzes, games and puzzles to reinforce the learning of linguistic knowledge.   Students will be given the opportunity of one-to-one support in respect of coursework activities.

    Departmental Enrichment

    The Department prides itself on attempting to organise curriculum-related trips.   Recently we organised a trip to London to an A Level English Language Conference with some of the most eminent linguists in the country in attendance: Professor David Crystal (author of the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language) and Professor Deborah Cameron (focusing on research on language, gender and interaction).

    The Department also runs a Creative Writing Residential Weekend in Whitby.

    The English Department at Wyke Sixth Form College

    The English Department provides a wide range of specialisms and enthusiasms. We teach in the Ash Building in spacious classrooms which allow us to facilitate a wide variety of activities.

    • The English Department provides a wide range of specialisms and academic interests.

      The Department comprises:

    • *David Green (Head of English Faculty, Head of A Level English Language)
    • Dianne Wood (Head of A Level English Literature)
    • Jamie Farrow (A Level English Language and Literature and GCSE English Language)
    • Jenny West
    • *Mark Eyre
    • *Kerry Brant
    • *Sarah Watts
    • *Meg Williams
    • *Catherine Baker

      *Staff teaching A Level English Language for 2016-17

    What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

    Read, read, read. Collect any written texts you can get your hands on: newspaper articles, magazine problem pages, film/holiday/book reviews, text messages, children’s stories (look for any Mr Men or Little Miss books), blog pages, interviews with celebrities in newspapers and magazines , advertisements.

    Keep these texts in a file and these will be used during your A level course to help you to get to grips with all the language (linguistic) terminology you will learn and apply. Take the opportunity to read some short stories as well, given that your first piece of coursework is where you can be creative in producing your own short story or dramatic monologue.

    Think about the intended audience (who will read the text?), the main purpose and any secondary purposes (inform, entertain, argue, persuade, etc) and also think about the nature of the vocabulary used and sentence lengths.

  • Progression:

    A Level English Language assists students progressing on to many specialist undergraduate courses, including Law, Psychology and Sociology.   As well as providing an excellent pathway on to English undergraduate courses, there are many other related pathways; students have progressed on to journalism, broadcast journalism, creative writing, early childhood studies, digital media studies and many others.