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English Language A Level at Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley

Course description

A study of English Language is a study of how we communicate with each other through a language that is in a constant state of flux, with new words, dialects and technologies appearing and disappearing all the time. Our students also learn the frameworks of language that remain constant and lend English its remarkable ability to adapt and be adapted across the world.

We place a particular emphasis on social contexts and how these influence the language we use – whether this is technology, gender or power in society, or historical setting, and even the way humans acquire language. It is a fascinating course

Course content

Although there is a large amount of terminology to learn at first, as native English speakers, our students already know how their language works – we just need to show them the processes behind what they do naturally. With accurate communication so highly prized by society, our assessment also focuses explicitly on making our students better in different modes of expression, formality and context.

The A Level course is made up of:

  • Paper 1: Language, the individual and society – 2 hour 30 minute exam (40%).

Candidates explore unseen language texts using linguistic frameworks in Section A, as well as writing about Child Language Development in Section B.


  • Paper 2: Language diversity and change – 2 hour 30 minute (40%).

Candidates explore language and gender, occupation, region and social groups as well as Language change over time, 1700 to present.

  • Coursework: Language Investigation and Original Writing (20%)

2000 words investigation, 1500 words original writing and commentary, in which students design their own tasks and types of writing they wish to explore.

Entry requirements

In order to cope with the demands of the course, students should have gained at least a grade 5 in English Language at GCSE.

Future opportunities

This course will provide a sound basis for those who want to go on to study English to degree level, and is also accepted by the Russell Group of Universities as a useful subject for many other degrees. However, in addition to the traditional academic route, it is also useful for any vocation requiring communication skills, given the emphasis on accurate use of English within the subject and wider society.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 01 November 2017
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