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English Language A Level at Chipping Sodbury School

Course description

The A Level English Language specification offers opportunities for students to develop their subject expertise by engaging creatively and critically with a wide range of texts and discourses. Students will create texts and reflect critically on their own processes of production, while analysing the texts produced by others. The specification explores the study of English Language both as a medium of communication and as a topic in its own right, with an emphasis on the ability of students to pursue lines of enquiry, debate different views and work independently to research aspects of language in use. Language is seen as a creative tool for expression and social connection, as well as for individual cognition. The study of language as a symbolic system used to assert power in society is also fundamental to the scope of this specification.

Course content

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

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 (25marks)
  • 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: Language Diversity and Change

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)

Entry requirements

For all Level 3 courses, students are expected to have achieved a minimum of 5 GGSEs at grade C or equivalent. For A Levels this should include both English and Maths.


Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all A-level English Language specifications and all exam boards. The exams and non-exam assessment will measure to what extent students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Apply appropriate methods of language analysis, using associated terminology and coherent written expression.
  • AO2: Demonstrate critical understanding of concepts and issues relevant to language use.
  • AO3: Analyse and evaluate how contextual factors and language features are associated with the construction of meaning.
  • AO4: Explore connections across texts, informed by linguistic concepts and methods.
  • AO5: Demonstrate expertise and creativity in the use of English to communicate in different ways.

Assessments at A-level (AS level is assessed in 2, 1 ½ hour exams).

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

  • Textual variations and representations
  • Children’s language development (0-11 years)  
  • Language change through history, and diversity
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities
  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change

  • Language diversity and change
  • Language discourses
  • Writing skills
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities.
  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Non-exam assessment: Language in Action

  • Language Investigation
  • Original Writing
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities
  • 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

Since language is central in our lives, Advanced Level English Language is a desirable qualification for virtually any career. It is highly respected by universities due to the demanding and detailed analysis skills that are taught.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Chipping Sodbury School directly.

Last updated date: 02 September 2016

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