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English Language AS/A Level at New College Durham

Course description

The aim is to develop your knowledge and understanding of linguistic concepts and issues covering both spoken and written language, analysing and creating texts which focus on cultural, social and creative factors in language including the Dynamics of Speech, Speech & Children, Speech Varieties and Social Groups, Language & Identity and Language & Cultural Production. Full-time students study this subject in combination with other AS/A Levels or GCSEs.  You will study AS over one year.  A2, taken in the second year, makes up the A Level qualification. Textbooks are provided for class use and loan. The library has a good selection of books and other materials.  IT material is on the English Language section of the College's Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment, NCD Online.  Students provide their own pens, file paper and files.  Enrichment includes an English Language conference at Newcastle University for A2 students.

Course content

The course places an emphasis on analysing social and creative factors related to language in use.  At AS, you will learn to analyse children's language and the language of occupational and other social groups.  These skills will be further developed in your coursework, where you choose the texts you wish to analyse and then adapt one of these to create a new text for a specific audience. At A2, you will develop your language analysis skills more fully and apply these skills to topics such as Accent and Dialect, Power in Language and the Language of Popular Written Texts. 

In your coursework, you will compare and contrast three different texts and produce an original media text, whilst further developing your ability to analyse your own use of language.

Year 1 AS Unit 1: The Dynamics of Speech - 2 hour written exam (60% of total AS marks) This unit will be assessed by an examination consisting of two essay questions from a choice of four.  It will examine 'Speech of Children' and 'Speech Varieties and Social Groups' looking at factors like:

  • How adults adapt their language when speaking to childrenHow the media influences child audiences
  • How children use language in different social contexts
  • How language can be used to create a group identityHow language is used in occupational groups

AS Unit 2: Texts and Audiences - coursework (40% of total AS marks) This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated and focuses on:

  • Analysis of written and multi-modal texts
  • Adaptation of one text for different audience/purpose
  • Commentary on how the text was adapted Year 2 A2

Unit 3: Culture, Language and Identity - 2 hour written exam 15 mins reading time (30% of total A Level mark) This unit will examine various topics:

  • Developing understanding of speech, accents and dialects
  • Understanding the attitudes to English in the present and the past
  • Understanding the use of language in broadcast texts and in popular written texts
  • Understanding implications of gender, class and status upon language
  • The implications of profession and celebrity on language A2

Unit 4: Media Language - coursework (20% of total A Level marks) This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated, and focuses on:Comparative analysis of a spoken, written and a multi-modal textProduction of an original text for a specific audienceA commentary on the original text produced.

Entry requirements

School leavers should have at least five grade A*-Cs at GCSE including English and Maths.

Future opportunities

Related careers

Further education teaching professional Further education teaching professionals supervise and teach trade, technical, commercial, adult education, secondary and post-secondary courses to students beyond minimum school leaving age.
Secondary education teaching professional Secondary (and middle school deemed secondary) education teaching professionals plan, organise and provide instruction in one or more subjects, including physical education and diversionary activities, within a prescribed curriculum in a secondary or secondary/ middle school.
Primary or nursery education teaching professional Primary (and middle school deemed primary) and nursery education teaching professionals plan, organise and provide instruction to children at all levels up to the age of entry into secondary education.
Journalist, newspaper or periodical editor Jobholders in this unit group investigate and write up stories and features for broadcasting and for newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, evaluate and manage their style and content and oversee the editorial direction of these types of output and publication.
Sales accounts or business development manager Sales accounts and business development managers plan, organise and undertake market research to meet the requirements of an organisation’s marketing and sales policies.


How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 April 2016

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