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English Language A Level at Caldew School

Course description

The approved specification for English Language is new for first teaching in September 2015. The A course is comprised of ‘Language, the individual and society’ (Textual variations and representations; children’s language development (0-11 years); methods of language analysis) and ‘Language diversity and change’ (Language diversity; language discourses; writing skills; methods of language analysis). There is also a ‘Language in action’ unit, based on coursework, featuring a language investigation, original writing and methods of language analysis.

Course content

The study and investigation of texts, both spoken and written, through discussion and close analysis. The ‘Language in action’ coursework may often have a workshop approach.

Entry requirements

Candidates should enjoy the challenge and process of writing, since it is a large part of the course. Candidates should also have a strong interest in how language works, an analytical mind and a willingness to undertake independent research into specific areas of language study.


The AS qualification is assessed by two equally weighted exam papers, each lasting 1 ½ hours. Paper 1 involves responding to two texts separately and then comparing the two. Paper 2 focuses on writing a discursive essay on language diversity and a directed writing task on attitudes to language.

The A Level qualification is assessed by two exam papers, each lasting 2 ½ hours and each being worth 40% of the A Level. Paper 1’s content is similar to that of AS, with the addition of a question asking candidates to respond to children’s language development data. Paper 2 mirrors that of AS, with the additional focus of language change. The final 20% of the A Level course is a coursework component made up of a 2000 word language investigation and piece of creative writing, with accompanying commentary, totalling 1500 words.

Future opportunities

Previous candidates have gone into degree courses in a wide range of subjects including Journalism, English Language, Linguistics and Speech Therapy. The course complements other AS/A Level courses well, particularly English Literature and Psychology, where some of the topics on language development overlap.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years