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English Language A Level at Nelson Thomlinson School

Course description

The course is suited to students who have a love of the English Language and who want to know how it came to exist in its current form, what influences language change and how language is used and adapted in different social contexts. Students will need to be prepared to research independently and to read widely. A strong memory is an asset as there will be plenty of new terminology to become familiar with at different stages of the course. A willingness to be evaluative, critical and analytical is a necessity. This course is not an exercise in creative writing; it is an almost scientific study of language, involving students in a critical investigation of the way the English Language works.

Course content

The A Level is comprised of three units.

Unit 1 is the study language, the individual and society where students explore variations of language use and representation across a range of texts and engage in detailed comparison of these. Students also explore how children acquire language and in the examination, write a discursive essay linked to this topic.

Unit 2 involves the study of language diversity and change, requiring the writing of two discursive essays in a terminal examination. The first of these encourage an exploration of the way language has changed across time and the second needs detailed knowledge of a topic associated with language diversity and expertise in analysing unseen texts and data.

Unit 3 is examined via coursework; students produce a portfolio of two essays, which include a language investigation exploring the use of language in practice and a piece of original writing with associated commentary to enable candidates to demonstrate their ability to use language according to genre effectively and then to deconstruct and analyse their use of it.

Entry requirements

At least a Grade C in GCSE English Language or English Literature.


Two terminal examinations, each worth 40% and a coursework portfolio worth 20% of the final qualification.

Future opportunities

Journalism, Teaching, Management, Publishing, Psychology

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Nelson Thomlinson School directly.

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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