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English Language A Level at Saffron Walden County High School

Course description

English Language challenges students both to analyse texts and to write their
own. In doing so, they develop their own original writing skills and the ability
to analyse both written and spoken language varieties. Students are also
encouraged to collect their own research data for highly rewarding
individual projects.

Course content

The first examined unit, ‘Exploring Language’, assesses students’ ability to analyse ‘real-world’ texts – looking in detail at their lexical and grammatical choices in relation to contextual factors. Students will learn how to identify patterns in texts and to explore their effects on readers. This unit also involves students writing about topical language issues, such as how technology impacts on language, or how gender influences speech. Students also learn to compare and contrast texts from different non-fiction genres – including spoken transcripts featuring different accents and dialects.

The second unit, ‘Dimension of Linguistic Variation’, leads to students investigating how
children acquire language, how language is used in the media and how language has
changed over the course of time. This analytical unit is also examined externally.
The coursework unit, ‘Independent Language Research’ is a fantastic opportunity for students to explore a topic of their own choice through their own collection of linguistic data. Topics might range from ‘The Language of Barack Obama’ to ‘The Language of American Sitcoms’. This is a rewarding and motivating experience for students, as they transcribe and then analyse their own data. The project is accompanied by a piece of creative writing that students produce, which turns the investigation into something more mainstream; it tests students’ ability to distil the detail of their investigation into core features and findings. 

Entry requirements

GCSE 5 in English Literature and English Language


The A-Level is assessed through 80% examination and 20% coursework.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Saffron Walden County High School directly.

Last updated date: 18 October 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years