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Luton Sixth Form

English Language (A Level)

Why study English Language?

A Level English Language studies how language is used in everyday life: in newspapers, magazines, in conversation, and on social media. The course will help you understand how language can affect people and the ways in which they are perceived. Professor David Crystal says: “The more we know about language the more chance we shall have of success, whether we are advertisers, politicians, journalists, doctors, lawyers – or just ordinary people, trying to understand and be understood.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 4

The Course

Studying English Language at A Level involves looking at how language is used in different ways, including seeking answers to the following types of questions:

  • How do writers use language to suit different audiences and purposes?
  • How does the media use language to represent different groups (e.g. teenagers)?
  • Is language used differently electronically (e.g. texting, websites, social media)? Why?
  • How do children learn to speak?
  • Why does language change (e.g. why do we speak differently to people in the past?)?
  • What types of things affect the way we use language (e.g. social groups, age, ethnicity etc)?
  • Do males and females use language differently?
  • What, if anything, does your accent suggest about you?

English Language also enables students to develop their writing skills.Students learn to write in a variety of different forms

Course Activities

Students learn through a variety of activities including games, videos, learning grammar, analysing texts, writing, discussions, group work and independent research. Students are expected to do a minimum of 4.5 hours each week of independent study. In this time you will be revising what you have done in class, reading, preparing work for your next lesson or doing homework or coursework. 

Career and Progression Opportunities

English Language skills are required by most employers and are essential for most university courses so an advanced qualification can really set you apart from other potential candidates or employees. English Language is highly regarded by employers and universities because of its analytical nature and emphasis on using language for a variety of purposes. Our students have gone on to take a wide range of degree courses including English, Linguistics, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Journalism and Speech Therapy. English Language degree courses have been combined with other courses such as Psychology, Philosophy, Media and Film Studies, Criminology, Law and Business. 

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course. Both examinations will take place in June of the second year.

Module title and content Assessment

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

Section A: Textual Variations and Representations:
Three compulsory textual analysis tasks will be set on two unseen
texts. One text will be modern, the other will be historical. You
will be asked to analyse the ways in which writers and speakers
convey their ideas in the written, electronic or spoken modes.

Section B: Children’s Language Development
You will answer an essay question on child language development,
based on stimulus material, e.g. data set of children’s speech.

  • Two hour, 30 minute
    written examination.
  • 100 marks in total – Section A (70 marks), Section B (30 marks).
  • 40% of total A Level.

Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change
Section A: Diversity and Change:
You will answer an essay question on how accent, gender, social
groups, occupation and nationality affect language, or how and why
English has changed.


Section B: Language Discourses:
You will answer one compulsory textual analysis question. The
text(s) you will analyse will be about a language topic (40 marks of
the 70).
You will also complete one compulsory writing task, in which you
evaluate the ideas expressed in the texts set for the textual analysis
task, e.g. write an opinion article evaluating attitudes to language
change and arguing your own views about language change. (30
marks of the 70).


  • Two hour, 30 minute
    written examination.
  • 100 marks in total – Section A (30 marks), Section B (70 marks).
  • 40% of total A Level.

Coursework: Language in Action

Task 1:
A 2,000-word investigation on a language topic of your
Task 2:
A 750-word piece of creative writing (either storytelling
or persuasive/informative writing) and a 750-word commentary

  • 100 marks in total.
  • 20% of total mark

 Additional Information

This subject can be combined with A level English Literature, but this is unusual, and most students choosing this combination would be committed to studying English at university. This subject CANNOT be combined with A level English Language & Literature.

Examination Board: AQA (7702)


Case Study