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English Language AS/ A Level at Dixons City Academy

Course description

This course will develop students explicit knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the English language works to convey meaning, how and why it varies according to the context in which it is used, and how and why it has changed over time.

Course content

Year 12

Language and the individual

Students will consider a wide range of written texts analysing how they are structured, what relationships exist between the writer and the reader and how purpose/audience/context shape our use of language.  They will also consider spoken texts, investigating how speech is structured and how people work together to hold meaningful conversations. They will also learn the various ways in which to technically analyse the language that is being used, in both spoken and written form.

Language Varieties

Students will study the key concepts of audience, purpose, genre and mode and will explore language

in its wider social and geographical contexts. Students will study varieties of English within the British

Isles. This part of the subject content also requires students to study social attitudes to, and debates

about, language diversity.

Students will develop skills in:

• writing discursively about language issues in an academic essay.

• writing about language issues in a variety of forms to communicate their ideas to a non-specialist

audience.

Year 13

Language the Individual and Society

The aim of this part of the subject content is to introduce students to language study, exploring textual

variety and children’s language development.

This area of study introduces students to methods of language analysis to explore concepts of

audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation. It also introduces students to the study of

children’s language development, exploring how children learn language and how they are able to

understand and express themselves through language.

Children’s language development

Students will explore how children develop their spoken and written skills. They will do this by studying:

• The functions of children’s language and how it develops

• Different genres of speech and writing and ways in which they communicate

• Different modes of communication (spoken, written, multimodal)

They will also investigate relevant research and studies that are applicable.

Language Diversity and Change

This element of the course addresses historical and contemporary changes in the English Language from Late Modern English (1600+) to the present day. Students will study a range of texts that convey attitudes to language diversity and change. The texts studied will include those written for non-specialist audiences. Within this, students consider many different topic areas, including:

·         attitudes towards language change and the impact of standardisation on language

·         changes in spelling, grammar, lexis and punctuation

·         changes in written and spoken language

·         the impact of changing technology on texts

Language in Action

The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently

and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise. It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research:

• a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)

• a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each).

Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multimodal data, or a mixture of text

types, demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest.

Entry requirements

Students will usually require 5 GCSEs grade C or above.  Students wishing to study English Language are expected to have an enquiring mind and a sound general knowledge.  They will be expected to write fluent, well-organised and technically accurate English.  For that reason they should obtain at least a grade B in English Language at GCSE.

Students will begin the course with considerable experience of using the English language throughout their lives.  This course will then develop their explicit knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the English language works to convey meaning; how and why it varies according to the context in which it is used; and how and why it has changed over time.  They will also study the relationship between language and society and develop their own language skills.  

Assessment

Weighting of assessment objectives for year 12 English Language

The two examinations address a combination of the different assessment objective AO1-5

The overall weighting is 50% per exam of the overall AS qualification.

Paper 1: Language and the individual

  • Weighting 50%
  • 1 hour and 30 minutes in length.

Made up of 3 questions based on text analysis and comparison

Two texts, linked by topic or theme.

• A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks)

• A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)

• A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)

Weighting of assessment objectives for A-Level English Language

Paper 1 Language, the individual and society

2 hours 30 minutes in length

  • 40%
  • Made up of 3 questions and a discursive essay

• Children's language development (0–11 years)

• Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

 

Section A – Textual variations and representations.

Two texts (one contemporary and one older text) linked by topic or theme.

• A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks)

• A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)

• A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)

Section B – Children's language development

  • A discursive essay on children’s language development, with a choice of two questions where the data provided will focus on spoken, written or multimodal language (30 marks)

 

Paper 2 Language diversity and change

2 hours 30 minutes in length

  • 40%
  • Made up of an essay question, text analysis and a directed writing task.

Section A – Diversity and change (One question from a choice of two)

Either : an evaluative essay on language diversity (30 marks)  or : an evaluative essay on language change (30 marks)

Section B – Language discourses

Two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change.

• A question requiring analysis of how the texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions (40 marks)

• A directed writing task linked to the same topic and the ideas in the texts (30 marks

     

Non- exam Assessment (coursework) 20%

• word count: 3,500

• 100 marks

• assessed by teachers

• moderated by AQA

Future opportunities

Advancement onto A2 English Language, which is widely accepted by all universities as an entrance qualification for those wish to read English and other subjects.

Further information

For further information about the syllabus visit the following web address: 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Dixons City Academy directly.

Last updated date: 04 February 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

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