English Language A-Level (AQA)

Course Overview

The aims of this course are to encourage you to develop your interest in all aspects of the English language – from language and gender, to the history of English, to how social media influences our language use.  You will:

  • Engage with exciting text and data-based sources of language from all around the world

  • Read widely and independently a range of texts from newspapers and magazines to conversation transcripts to texts written 250 years ago.

  • Learn to identify and analyse the data of language

  • Carry out surveys on family and friends about their language use

  • Build on your GCSE skills to write discursive texts, directed writing, original writing and research-based investigative writing

  • Learn to evaluate and sustain arguments

The AQA English Language Course offers students the opportunity to study a range of different modules (7 in total).

These include: Textual variations and representations; Children’s language development; Language discourses as well as looking at crafting the pupils’ own writing skills.

Paper 1: Language, the individual and society - 40%

Methods of language analysis, exploring concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation. It also introduces language development, exploring how children learn language and how they are able to understand and express themselves through language.

Paper 2: Language diversity and change - 40%

Exploring language diversity and change over time. Students will explore language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts. They will explore processes of language change. This part of the subject content also requires students to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change.

Non-exam assessment: Language in action - 20%

The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise.

It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research:

  • a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)

  • a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each).

  • Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multimodal data, or a mixture of text types, demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest.

English Language offers a wide range of potential future careers including: journalism, teaching, language therapist, social worker, marketing and PR, human resources, media.  The reading and writing skills acquired are also helpful for other A level subjects.

You should be on track to achieve a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades 4 - 9, including a grade 5 in English Language.