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English Language A level at The Becket School

Course description

If you enjoy narrative writing, thinking about how language is constructed and how language develops over time you should seriously consider studying A level English Language. Likewise, if you are good at English you should take up the opportunity of developing your ability to explore how language contributes to meaning, the techniques characteristic of a variety of genres and apply these skills to shape your writing.

During the two year course you will investigate a range of texts considering the influence of mode, tenor, field and function; some of these are studied in more depth than others. The course provides an excellent basis for further study of English Language at degree level or alternatively an excellent foundation for other subjects that require thinking critically, analysing ideas or supporting a viewpoint. English Language will also give you a real enjoyment of and interest in linguistics and the writer’s craft.

Course content

Unit 1: Language, the Individual and Society

You will build on the key skills developed on the AS course by looking at historical texts alongside contemporary use of language.  In addition you will study the development of children’s spoken and written language skills.

Unit 2: Language Diversity and Change

You will focus on the development of the English language and how it has changed over time.

This unit encompasses texts from 1600 onwards, as well as global, national and regional varieties.

It also includes the study of changing attitudes to language over time, which is again assessed through a directed writing task.

Unit 3: Language in Action

This unit consists of an independent language investigation into an area of your own interest alongside a piece of original writing and accompanying commentary.

Entry requirements

The entry level requirements are B grades in English Language and English Literature at GCSE.


Unit 1: Language, the Individual and Society

Examination: (40% of A level)

Unit 2: Language Diversity and Change

Examination: (40% of A level)

Unit 3: Language in Action

Non-exam assessment: (20% of A level)

Future opportunities

Students who study this A Level go on to read subjects such as English Language, Law and Modern Foreign Languages at university.

Further information

Outside Activities

The department aims to expand students’ understanding of language by encouraging their involvement in theatre visits, workshops and opportunities to listen to outside speakers.

Pastoral Support

Students receive a lot of individual tuition in relation to coursework but also in terms of other problems which may arise. Teachers are friendly and approachable. The course is interesting and varied, allowing students and staff alike to develop their ideas.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Becket School directly.

Last updated date: 07 October 2016

Key information