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English Language A-Level at St Clement Danes School

Course description


  • To encourage students to develop their interest and enjoyment in the use of English, through learning more about the structures and functions of English, drawing on their experience and knowledge of language development and variation
  • To develop students’ understanding of how language is acquired, allowing for exploration and critical evaluation of both speech and writing in children between the ages of 0 and 8
  • To enable students to express themselves in speech and writing with increasing competence and sophistication, producing texts for different audiences, purposes and in different genres
  • To enable students to develop skills of listening critically and attentively to spoken English
  • To provide students with the opportunity to develop their research and investigation skills

English Language will enable students to develop their ability to communicate clearly the knowledge, understanding and insight appropriate to the study of language, using appropriate terminology. They will learn to apply appropriately chosen methods to systematic analysis of a wide variety of written and spoken texts. Students will also gain an understanding of concepts and issues relating to language in use, and will learn to distinguish, describe and interpret variations in the meanings and forms of spoken and written language according to context. English Language AS and A Level will require students to demonstrate increasing expertise and accuracy in writing, crafting texts for a variety of specific purposes and audiences, and drawing upon knowledge of linguistic features to explain and comment upon the choices made. 
 The second year of the course becomes increasingly focused on students’ research and investigation skills and requires synthesis of and reflection upon language knowledge drawn from different areas of their study of English Language.

Course content


Unit 1 - Language: Context and Identity - An introduction to the study of spoken and written language in use. Students will consider the contexts of production and reception of texts and they will explore how language choices reflect and construct identity and attitudes.

Unit 2 - Child Language -  Students will explore spoken language acquisition, how children learn to write, and appropriate theories of child language acquisition. They will respond to spoken and written data in the examination.


Unit 1 - Language Variation - Students will explore changes in English over time and consider how language choices create identities.

Unit 2 - Child Language - Students will explore spoken language acquisition, how children learn to read and write, and appropriate theories of child language acquisition.

Unit 3 - Investigating Language - Students will develop a language specialism from five topic areas, undertaking research in preparation for the examination.

Unit 4 - Crafting Language - Students will research a genre and produce two pieces of original writing and one commentary to demonstrate their skills as writers within the selected genre. The portfolio will total 3000 words.

Entry requirements

Attain at least a C grade in English Language/English Literature GCSE or Mathematics GCSE. English/English Language: B.


Unit 1 - Language: Context and Identity (Examination). 60% of AS.

Unit 2 - Child Language (Examination). 40% of AS.

Unit 1 - Language Variation (Examination). 35% of A Level.

Unit 2 - Child Language (Examination). 20% of A Level.

Unit 3 - Investigating Language (Examination). 25% of A Level.

Unit 4 - Crafting Language (Coursework). 20% of A Level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Clement Danes School directly.

Last updated date: 07 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 or 2 years