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English Language A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

This is an interesting and stimulating course that involves both a practical, skillbased and an academic approach to the study of language. You are encouraged to develop your interest and enjoyment in the use of English, through learning more about its structures and its functions, its development and its variations. You will learn to express yourself with increasing confidence and sophistication, encounter a varied range of reading and develop close analytical skills.

The course will enable you to analyse a range of linguistic features from both spoken and written texts and to explore the contexts that affect the language choices made. There will also be the opportunity to create your own original writing aimed at different audiences and purposes.

Students should be aware that A Level English Language is totally different from GCSE.

Course content

AS Unit 1 – Language Today

  • Introduction to a wide range of written, spoken and electronic texts
  • Study of the structures, concepts and methods of linguistic analysis
  • Study of some social factors that influence the way we write and speak – like Gender, Power, Status and Occupations

AS Unit 2 – Exploring the Writing Process

  • Study of texts in particular styles and genres
  • Production of two texts of your own with a ‘commentary’ to explain the decisions made in the production of the pieces

A2 Unit 3 – Language Diversity and Children’s Language Development

  • The acquisition of English by children
  • The growth of and changes in English over time

A2 Unit 4 – English Language Investigation and Presentation

  • Presentation of an Investigation into any aspect of Language involving the collection and analysis of Language data

How it is taught

Coursework constitutes 40% of the whole A Level and student are encouraged to pursue their individual interests in their choice of AS and A2 coursework units. The A2 in particular will involve a good deal of independent study that will be guided by the teacher.

The varied nature of the course lends itself to a range of teaching approaches, including whole class and small group work; also learning activities and skills development from creative writing to linguistic analysis and research.

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

Students should have a GCSE grade C in English. 


Unit 1 - Language Today - 2 hour 15 - 1st Year June

Unit 2 - Exploring the Writing Process - Coursework - 1st Year

Unit 3 - Language Diversity and Change - 2 hour 45 - 2nd Year June

Unit 4 - English Language Investigation and Preparation - Coursework - 2nd Year

Future opportunities

Some students go on to take Language oriented degree courses or degrees for which Language is a useful preparation, such as Law, Business etc. It is highly relevant for students considering a teaching career, and is well regarded by employers for those students going directly into employment.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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