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English Language A Level at Nelson and Colne College

Course description

In English Language you will be taking a close look at how people use language in a variety of contexts, depending on who they are, who their audience is and what they are trying to achieve.

You will study both written and spoken language. By gaining a better understanding of how language works, you will also improve your own skills as a language user. This A level qualification is modular, which means you will study and be examined on three separate blocks of work.

Course content

Unit 1: Language and the Individual
The aim of this unit is to explore the ways in which particular groups in society are represented through language. We will be exploring all aspects of the English Language including how groups in society and issues are represented through language. This exploration will include:
• the exploration and analysis of a wide variety of texts such as articles, blogs, adverts, speeches, songs, poems, stories etc
• how our identities are constructed through the language that we us
• how audiences are addressed and positioned
• how representations are produced

Unit 2: Language Varieties
The aim of this unit is to allow you to explore language
variety. This will include:
• an exploration of local and regional accents
• looking at how different social groups communicate such as truckers, lawyers and teenagers
• an exploration of how men and women communicate
• attitudes towards language variation
• developing writing skills for directed writing task

Unit Three: Language in Action
The aim of this area of study is to allow you to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon your own writing expertise. You choose an area of language study that fascinates you – this could be: analysing Facebook interactions; exploring representations of gender in perfume adverts; studying the art of rhetorical speaking or even exploring the creation of character in Doctor Who!

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have two Bs and three Cs in five subject areas at GCSE, to include a minimum of a grade C in Maths, English Language and English Literature.


Unit One: Exam assessed
2.5 hours | 100 marks | 40% of A level
Unit Two: Exam Assessed
2.5 hours | 100 marks | 40% of A level
Unit Three: Coursework
A language investigation (2,000 words excluding data) and a piece of original writing and commentary (1, 500 words)

Future opportunities

Former students of English Language and Literature have gone to study at some of the UK’s top universities including; the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester, Lancaster University, Durham University, the University of Glasgow, the University of Leicester, and the University of Sheffield.

They have gone on to read subjects including English Literature, Language Acquisition and Speech Therapy, Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History, Law, History, Politics, Broadcast Journalism, Creative Writing and Drama.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Nelson and Colne College directly.

Last updated date: 19 April 2016
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