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A Level English Language at The Bishop of Winchester Academy

Course description

English Language is an analytical study of how language works, how it is used and how to use it. It involves analysis of a variety of written and spoken texts, for example letters, adverts, journalistic articles, magazine articles and writing in a persuasive style to reach a non-specialist audience. You will learn how to investigate for yourself how people are using language and you will learn new ideas and new terminology. This course would appeal to you if you are interested in what people say, how they say it, how written language affects readers and how you can adapt your writing style to persuade and entertain others.

Course content

We expect to study the following aspects of language, through class work, reading and independent research:

  • how to write persuasively
  • how to analyse language
  • how people use language in different regions of England and in different social groups
  • how children acquire language
  • how language is used to influence our thoughts and perceptions
  • the differences between spoken and written language

The AS units will cover: Language and the individual, language varieties, writing skills, methods of language analysis.

The A2 units will cover: Language, the individual and society, language diversity, language in action, language investigation, original writing

Entry requirements

This course would be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in the way language works. You need to have met the standard 6th Form entry criteria and it is preferred that students have achieved a minimum of a grade B in English Language GCSE.  You should remember that if you wish to study English Literature at university, you will need to select English Literature as well. In addition to this an interest in reading and current affairs is essential.


AS: 100% written examinations. 2 papers, both worth 50%.

A2: 80% written examinations. 2 papers, both worth 40%. Coursework worth 20%.

Future opportunities

English Language provides an excellent opportunity to develop the language skills required by employers, so will be an asset whatever you go on to do next. For studying straight English Literature at university, A level English Literature, not Language, is generally required. Otherwise, English Language is accepted as a sound preparation for a wide range of degrees because it develops skills in the areas of research, analysis and personal written style, as well as the acquisition of a specific body of knowledge.

It is very useful if you want a career in teaching, especially at primary level, or in speech therapy. There is a growing number of English Language and linguistics degrees for which this A level is an ideal basis.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Bishop of Winchester Academy directly.

Last updated date: 04 June 2015

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