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English Language (A Level) at Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18

Course description

Over the A Level course, students are introduced 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 speech and writing.


Students will also explore language diversity and change over time, studying language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts including processes of language change. This part of the subject content also requires students to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change.

Finally, students will have the opportunity to explore and analyse language data independently through an investigation of their choice and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise.

Course content


Overview of A Level Course

Language, the Individual and Society

• Textual variations and representations

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

• Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities


 Language Diversity and Change

• Language diversity and change

• Language discourses

• Writing skills

• Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

 Language in Action

• Language Investigation

• Original Writing

• Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities


Entry requirements

General entry requirement:

Students should achieve GCSE grade 5 in English Language and Mathematics plus 3 further GCSE grades 9-4 (or grade C in non-reformed qualifications) AND meet the individual subject specific requirements.





Paper 1


• written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes


• 100 marks


• 40% of A-level




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


• written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes


• 100 marks


• 40% of A-level




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: Language in Action


• Word count: 3,500


• 100 marks


• 20% of A-level


• Assessed by teachers


• Moderated by AQA




Students produce:


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


• a piece of original writing and commentary (1,500 words total)



Future opportunities

The analysis of texts, critical reading, discussion and written expression developed in this subject would be ideal for many degree courses, including English Studies, Drama, History, Media Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Law and Journalism, to name but a few.

Further information


To discuss this course, please contact our Team Leader of English, Mr T Ashworth.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 12 October 2017
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