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English Language A Level at Wirral Grammar School for Boys

Course description

English Language is an enjoyable, varied A Level which builds on writing and critical reading skills developed at GCSE to encourage pupils to consider how language is used in a wide variety of spoken and written modes. Through analysis of stereotypes associated with accent and dialects; cultural, social and occupational diversity and linguistic development throughout history and child language acquisition, students will gain skills to develop their linguistic awareness through critical analysis in addition to their written and oral communication skills.


Exam boards syllabuses for A Level Language are changing with effect from September 2015. While we await some details of the specification design from the AQA exam board to finalise our teaching programmes, it is expected that from September 2015, we will offer English Language only as an A level option, and not as a stand alone AS option as well. The course will be of 2 years duration, based on a combination of coursework and terminal examinations. These consist of:

Paper 1 Language, the Individual & Society (2.5 hours) (40% of A Level)

This paper is split into two section incorporating 2 questions in total.

In Section A pupils are asked to consider how writers and speakers use language for different audiences and purposes through exploration of texts from a range of genres, times and places. Pupils will be asked to use their critical reading skills to compare and contrast texts and consider linguistic patterns.

In Section B pupils explore how children develop their spoken and written literacy through consideration of relevant theory and exploration of real data.

Throughout Section 1 pupils will be asked how different social and occupational groups, genders and ethnicity groups use language differently. Pupils will also consider differing attitudes to various accents and dialects both nationally and globally. Students will also work with a range of sources from varying modes and eras to consider changes in the English Language from 1600 to the present day. Questions will ask students to explore contemporary opinions and views of language through exploration of how language has changed and how it is used by different groups of people. These questions will involve pupils using their analytical writing skills and knowledge to develop clear arguments in consideration of the views presented.

In Section 2 pupils written skills will be assessed. This question will require students to use the issues posed in Section A of the examination to craft a non-fiction article on a linguistic topic to a nonspecialist audience.

Future opportunities

A Level Language is a course which will be enjoyed by all those who can formulate original ideas and articulate them in a mature analytical manner. English Language combines well with all subjects at AS and A2 levels and gives excellent preparation for university courses in Business Studies, Humanities, Languages, Law.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wirral Grammar School for Boys directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2015

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