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English Language

English Language

What will I learn?

This is a course that involves the study of language and, in particular, how it is used in society. There is a coursework module in the second year.

Areas that are included in the syllabus are:

  • The analysis of language, including terminology needed to describe language features and their uses; 
  • Writing for a particular audience;
  • How languages develop and change; 
  • How we acquire language; 
  • Language and the media; 
  • Differences between spoken and written language.

Like English Literature, this course will appeal to students who enjoy reading, writing and discussion. The reading will be less focused on Literature. The English Language course will also put more emphasis on analytical skills.

The two courses would be highly complementary: anyone doing English Literature would greatly benefit from the awareness of language developed in English Language; those studying Language would obviously benefit from enhancing their knowledge of how language has been used by writers in different forms and eras.


During your first year you will cover knowledge and skills for the AS and A2 exams.

Unit 1: Language and the Individual and Society
What's assessed

  • Textual variations and representations
  • Methods of language analysis
  • Children's language development (0-11 years)

Assessed written exam
Section A:Textual Variations and Representations
Two texts, (one contemporary and one older text) linked by topic or theme.

  • A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks) 
  • A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)
  • A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)

A2 Section B - Children's Language Development
A discursive essay on children’s language development, with a choice of two questions where the data provided will focus on spoken, written or multimodal language (30 marks)

Unit 2: Language Varieties/ Diversity and Change

What's assessed:

  • Language diversity and change
  • Language discourses
  • Writing skills
  • Methods of language analysis
  • Assessed written exam

Section A - Language Diversity
A discursive/ evaluative essay on language diversity
Or: (at A2) an evaluative essay on language change (30 marks)

AS Section B - Language Discourses

  • A directed writing task on attitudes to language (40 marks)

A2 Section B - Language Discourses
Two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change.

  • A question requiring analysis of how the texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions (40 marks)
  • A directed writing task linked to the same topic and the ideas in the texts (30 marks)

Unit 3: Language in Action
A2 Non-exam assessment

  • Language Investigation
  • Original Writing
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Coursework Assessed
Students produce:

  • a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
  • a piece of original writing and commentary (1,500 words total)
What can I do next?

You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in English Language, which could lead onto higher education in English Language or more general higher education courses.

With further training, you could go into a job related to English Language such as a Teacher, Journalist, or Editor.

You could also go straight into a job as the AS GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.


 AS/A level
 1-2 Years
AQA English Language
Entry Requirements:
6 A*- C graded GCSEs, including English Language

Ken Stimpson Community School
Staniland Way
(Sat Nav users: PE4 6WR)