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English Language A Level at Aquinas College

Course description

The English Language is a two-year linear course that explores topics associated with the English Language such as how we acquire it from birth, how it varies in different regions and how English is structured. If you are interested in why people talk and write like they do, or are curious about the social and historical contexts in which texts are produced, you should really enjoy studying the English Language.

The first year of the course will provide a varied introduction to English Language studies. There will be an exploration of different texts in order to consider some of the issues and debates in relation to the social context of how we use English. A question such as whether there is a ‘proper’ English or whether we use language differently according to occupation, gender and ethnicity. Another important element of study will be about writing creatively about language issues responding to some key debates.

The second year will provide you with the opportunity to study different aspects of how the English language has changed over time (from 1600 onwards) and how we both use it the present day and around the world. You will be able to analyse written and spoken the language, conduct mini-investigations into language use and write your own texts for particular contexts, audiences and purposes. You will carry out a substantial research study into an aspect of language related to your own interests.

Course content

Examined units (80% of A Level)

Paper 1: L Language, the individual and society

Analysis of the meanings and representations in a range of texts, about various subjects, from various writers and speakers, for different audiences and purposes and in a variety of genres and modes (written, spoken and electronic) from different time periods and from different places (global, national and regional). An essay exploring child language development in speech and writing.

Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change

An essay either exploring an aspect of language diversity such as occupation, gender, dialects and ethnicity or how and why English as a language has changed over time.  Analysis of texts written for non-specialist audiences that convey attitudes to language diversity and change. Writing creatively about language issues in a variety of forms to communicate their ideas to a non-specialist audience.

Non-exam Assessment (20% of A Level)

Language in Action

An independent exploration and analysis of language data. There are two types of individual research:  a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data) and a piece of original writing and commentary(750 words each).

Future opportunities

Students who take A-level English Language tend also to study a broad range of arts and social science subjects, but links to Media Studies, Communication Studies, Law, Psychology, Sociology and English Literature are common. Consequently, students who take this combination of A-levels may end up pursuing a degree in Language (or related disciplines, like Linguistics), more general English Studies degrees, Education/Childhood Studies, and, beyond that, a wide range of arts and social science-based degree courses.

A career in education, advertising, journalism, the performing and creative arts, administration and management are common.

Further information

Recent visits have included the University of Huddersfield and the British Library. We have also attended the English and Media Centre Language Conference in London.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 22 September 2017
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