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English Language at Bay House School and Sixth Form

Course description

This course will cover diverse aspects of language, ranging from how children learn to communicate, to the relevance of political correctness and the creation of students’ own journalistic texts.

The first year aims to build on those skills of close analysis and creative writing that students have already gained at GCSE level, but will also add depth to their existing knowledge of spoken English and multi-modal texts.

Students will experience a diverse range of texts, including written, spoken and electronic and will develop their skills of analysis and their ability to compare writers’ language choices. They will also have the chance to explore language diversity and the attitudes to language found across society.

Language issues that will be explored will include sociolects, dialects and representation.

The second year introduces the study of children’s language development and the opportunity to study the way the language has changed across time.

Both the coursework and one of the examination questions will allow students the chance to write creatively. The examination paper will clearly offer a more directed task, but there is a free choice of genre and theme in the coursework piece. The coursework will also include an independent investigation into a language feature of each student’s choice, which will give them a chance to research in detail a linguistic topic that has really caught their interest during the course or in their own life  experience.

Course content

Language Investigation

Students may choose to pursue an area of individual interest. For example, this might include studies of:

  • representations of different individuals, social groups or nationalities
  • regional dialect
  • gendered talk
  • the language of new communication technologies
  • children’s language use
  • the language of the media
  • code switching and mixing between English and other languages
  • the language of different occupations or pastimes
  • historical changes in English over time.

Investigations need a specific focus, for example:

  • the writing of two children aged 8
  • features of the Devon dialect, based on a survey
  • the language of wedding ceremonies from two different cultures
  • the language of teachers’ reports
  • the language used in three different advertisements for a particular product
  • how stories are told in a particular comic
  • how travel guides represent a particular community
  • the language of sports commentary
  • how turn taking works in real-time writing online

 

Original Writing

Students will produce one piece of original writing based on one of the following three areas:

  • The Power of Persuasion
  • The Power of Storytelling
  • The Power of Information

and one accompanying commentary.

The folder submitted should contain:

  • a piece of original writing
  • an annotated style model
  • a reflective commentary

 

Entry requirements

  • English Language – B
  • English Literature – B
  • In total, at least two B grades in literate subjects

Assessment

AS LEVEL

Students will sit two examination papers.

Paper 1: Language and the Individual – 50% of the AS – 1 hour 30 minutes examination

  • There will be two questions requiring analysis of the two separate texts provided and a third question requiring students to compare those two texts.
  • The texts will be from a variety of modes (written, spoken, electronic).

Paper 2: Language Varieties – 50% of the AS – 1 hour 30 minutes examination

  • Students will be asked to write one essay on language diversity and to complete a second task on attitudes to language.
  • Language issues will include sociolects, dialects and representation.

 

A LEVEL

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society – 40% of the A Level – 2 hour 30 minutes examination

  • Section A: There will be two questions requiring analysis of the two separate texts provided and a third question requiring students to compare those two texts. The texts will be from a variety of modes (written, spoken, electronic).
  • Section B: Students will write a discursive essay on children’s language development.

Paper 2: Language, Diversity and Change – 40% of the A Level – 2 hour 30 minutes examination

  • Section A: An evaluative essay on language diversity OR on language change.
  • Section B: Two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change leading to an analysis question and a directed writing question on the same topic.

Coursework – 20% - Language in Action (see over for further details)

This will include a language investigation (2000 words) and a piece of original writing with explanatory commentary (1500 words).

Future opportunities

This subject will be useful for anyone seeking to study or work in linguistics, journalism, media, advertising, social sciences or humanities based subjects.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bay House School and Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 22 March 2016

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