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English Language A Level at Varndean College

Course description

If you are interested in the English Language itself – how we use language for different purposes, how speech differs from writing, whether gender makes a difference to language-use, then this will be the right course for you. Using a wide variety of texts, ranging from crisp packets to social media exchanges to sports commentaries, we learn to analyse language and to understand why language and development cannot be separated from the society in which we live. You will also collect your own data, produce your own analytical writing and look closely at how other writers and speakers use English for their own specific purposes.


Course content

On this course, you will explore a range of spoken and written texts, analysing the ways in which language-use is adapted according to different contexts. You will study a diverse range of linguistic topics including: Gender, Accent/Dialect and Ethnicity/ Diversity & Power/Occupation, developing your analytical, grammatical and writing skills as you learn. You will also learn about how the English language has changed over the last 400 years and in ways in which children acquire speech and literacy. In addition, you will produce some coursework, including your own original writing and a language investigation based on a linguistic area of your own choosing.


Entry requirements

Standard advanced course requirements, plus Grade 5 in GCSE English Language. An enjoyment of reading is also a great advantage.

Future opportunities

English Language students go on to take a variety of degree courses, including English Language and Linguistics, Journalism, Education and Creative Writing.  This subject can lead to journalism, PR, teaching, law, speech therapy and any other career where the ability to communicate and use language effectively is valued.

Further information

Our popular Creative Writing enrichment class meets every week and has produced prize-winning and published writers. It is open to anyone interested in creative work.

Course trips have involved taster days at local universities and visits to the British Library and Dr Johnson’s house for language change.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Varndean College directly.

Last updated date: 07 September 2017
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    • At Varndean College our aim is to offer all our students the rich, broad and enjoyable experience they need to develop, flourish and achieve their goals in the adult world.

      Teaching and Learning is at the heart of the successful partnerships between students and staff here and we are proud of the skilled and imaginative approaches to teaching taken by our staff to make learning exciting.

      Equally important to the success of our students is the enjoyment they gain from feeling part of a community: a community that is created through the wealth of opportunities to engage with others offered by our extensive enrichment activities. From: Code-breaking to Sport; Music to Peer-mentoring; Drama to Politics Society, there really is something for everyone.