English Language

A Level

If you enjoyed exploring the way writers use language in GCSE English Language and want to find out more about how language works, English Language is perfect for you! This is a course which appeals to students who are both analytical and creative in their thinking and writing, and by the end of this two-year course you’ll be writing opinion pieces, travelogues, and reviews that many published journalists would be proud of!

By building upon the skills you acquired at GCSE, our experienced team will prepare you for a more scientific approach to the study of language, with content that links directly to university subjects such as Linguistics.

We take a deep dive into the big language issues, seeking the answers to questions like:

  • Is there such a thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ English?
  • How do powerful people use language to control and influence others?
  • Why do teenagers use slang?
  • English Language links well with many other A Level courses, such as, Psychology, Sociology, History, Media Studies and Law.
80% Coursework
20% Examination

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Course content


The A Level English Language course is made up of 4 components.

COMPONENT 1: Langauge Concepts and Issues (2 hour written exam worth 30%)
Students will analyse spoken language transcripts from a wide variety of contexts, from television chat shows to sports commentaries and domestic conversations. They will also learn about language issues, with topics including attitudes towards Standard English, Language and Power, and Language and Situation. We study this component during year one and revised in year two.

COMPONENT 2: Language Change Over Time (2 hours 15 minutes written exam worth 30%)
Students will analyse a wide variety of written texts covering a period of 500 years from 1500-2000. We look at how different genres (newspaper reporting, recipes, love letters, etc.) have changed over time. They will also be studying written language data from the 21st century, from text messages and chat room language to the language of Twitter and Facebook. This component is studied during year two.

COMPONENT 3: Creative and Critical Use of Language (1 hour 45 minutes written exam worth 20%)
Students will write a piece of creative fiction and non-fiction, accompanied by an analytical commentary evaluating their decisions. This component is taught in both years of the A-level.

COMPONENT 4: NEA: Language and Identity (coursework worth 20%)
Students will collect data from a range of spoken, written and multi-modal texts. They will be choose a topic from one of the following areas: language and self-representation; language and gender; language and culture and language diversity. We practise this in year one and then complete it in year two.

We don’t do fancy gimmicks — we just teach a complex and challenging subject to a very high level. In lessons we use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you retain and apply the core knowledge, but our aim is quite simple: to reinforce the learning of linguistic knowledge. If you find yourself struggling, we do have additional lunchtime support sessions, and we pride ourselves on the quality of our feedback.

Within the department we offer:
• Creative Writing club
• Song writing club (Songs in the Key of Wyke)
• The College Podcast
• A Quiet Room where you can work at lunchtimes with the supervision of a teacher.

This is not to mention our trips to prestigious universities and to see eminent linguists such as Professor David Crystal and Professor Deborah Cameron provide stretching and challenging guest lectures!

The Wyke English Department has been viewed as a hub of excellent teaching practice by our examination board, Eduqas, nominated to share good practice with other centres in the area.

Read, read, and read. Collect any written texts you can get your hands on: newspaper articles, magazine problem pages, film/holiday/book reviews, text messages, and even children’s stories! You can learn so much from simply reading interviews in magazines and noticing the language choices. Keep these texts in a file and you can use these during your A Level course to help you to apply all the language terminology. Make your own comprehensive list of all the language terminology (nouns, verb, simple sentences, etc.) you’ve learned at school and bring that in to show us.

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