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English Language A-Level at Ranelagh School

Course description

The essential aims of the A Level English Language course are to encourage candidates to deepen their interest in and enjoyment of the use of English. Students will be asked to explore data and examples of language in use, engage creatively and critically with a varied programme for the study of English and develop skills as producers and interpreters of language.

Many transferable key skills are developed, with particular emphasis placed upon the development of independent learning and communication skills. There are a variety of opportunities for the expression of ideas through different mediums. Independent research, academic honesty and the application of information technology are fostered throughout the course.

Course content


Exploring language

  • Linguistic analysis of authentic texts
  • Original writing for a real-world purpose on a topical language issue

Dimensions of linguistic variation

  • Analysis of how children acquire language
  • Language in the media
  • How language changes over time

Independent language research

  • An investigation into an area of each learner’s particular individual interest
  • Academic poster

Entry requirements

Students who wish to study English Language at this level are expected to enjoy reading widely. Prospective students are expected to achieve grade 6 or above in both English Language and Literature at GCSE. They will be expected to show a real commitment to the subject and be prepared to extend their learning through independent study. Students should use the library regularly to access critical material to inform their understanding and developtheir own critical interpretations.


Exploring language - 40% of A level - written paper 2 hrs 30 mins - three questions: identification of lexical and grammatical features, writing about a topical language issue, comparison of texts

Dimensions of linguistic variation - 40% of A level - written paper 2 hrs 30 mins - three questions: linguistic analysis of child's spoken text, application of language theories, comparison of two texts

Independent language research - 20% of A l evel - coursework (2000-2500 words)

Future opportunities

A Level English Language is generally recognised as an entry qualification for university arts courses. Students can follow a wide range of career opportunities in fields such as journalism, the media, law, politics, public relations, advertising, consultancy and teaching.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 04 January 2017

Key information