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English Language A Level at Lansdowne College

Course description

English Language is a well-regarded core subject, which is a very credible A-Level option for entrance to a good university. It gives students a thorough grasp of how language is constructed and, perhaps more importantly, how it is used to persuade, inform and entertain. Thus, this intrinsically interesting subject is useful for those whose prospective career involves communication and the interpretation of others’ communications.

Course content


  • Word classes, sometimes called ‘parts of speech’, which form the basic structure of English – nouns, adjectives, adverbs etc
  • ‘Language Methods’ (10 altogether) concerned with the various dimensions of language, involving how word choices can affect how written language is received and interpreted by others and, crucially, the differences between spoken and written language forms
  • How language is changed by the context in which it is produced
  • How people construct their identity through language choices; this involves looking at dialect but also at how individuals or firms/public bodies create their ‘image’
  • How children learn to speak and write and the theories that explain and interpret that development
  • Revisiting the basic structures – word classes and Language Methods
  • The study of Child Language Acquisition to include how children learn to read, considering the various theories about how children acquire language and learn to speak, read and write
  • How people construct an identity through their language choices, based on a comparison – in the exam – on two 21st-century texts, e.g. a blog and an autobiography
  • Language change since 1550 which involves comparing texts on the same theme but from different historical periods
  • A research component based on the issue of ‘Language and Power’


Language Variation paper – 1 section on how people use language to present an identity and 1 on how language differs over time (2hrs 15mins; 35% of grade)

Child Language paper – spoken or written – students write on unseen text produced by children (1hr; 20% of qualification)

Investigating Language paper – students prepare by studying the issue of Language and Power. The exam involves a response to an unseen text related to the topic area and a general essay on the topic, in which students make use of what they have discovered during their research (1hr 45mins; 25% of qualification)

Coursework: Crafting Language – students select a genre and write two different pieces in this genre for 2 different audiences. Students then write a commentary which reflects on the differences in their language choices in the 2 pieces, while also referring to any research done (20% of qualification)

Future opportunities

English Language is a well-respected academic A-Level which can assist students with a wide range of degree courses, including: Modern Foreign Languages, Politics, English, Philosophy, Sociology, Linguistics, Teaching, Law, History, Drama, Journalism and Art and Design. Career choices based on these degrees are many and varied, from Journalism and Law, to a career involving a modern language in a business context or Publishing, and Politics to Architecture.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 15 August 2016

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