A-Level English Language

A-Level English Language

The A-Level English Language is for students who are already fluent in English and this award will encourage you to deepen both your interest and your enjoyment in the English language. You will also develop and apply concepts and methods to study language and develop your language skills. Studying English language also offers you the opportunity to consider a variety of moral, ethical and cultural issues when exploring the written and spoken texts used in the study of A-Level English Language.

A-Level English Language

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of AS-Level units and A2 level units. You will study four set units for the award of A-Level English Language. The assessment for A-Level English Language is by coursework and exam.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level English Language

AQA offer two AS awards for English Language, AS-Level English Language A and AS-Level English Language B.

  • AQA AS-Level English Language A

The two core units for AS-Level English Language and Literature A are Seeing through Language and Representation and Language. The Seeing through Language unit will introduce you to the study of modes of language, including audience, purpose and genre. You will also learn how children acquire language. The Representation and Language unit will develop your skills in writing for particular audiences and will help to develop your knowledge of linguistic frameworks.

  • AQA AS-Level English Language B

The first unit, Categorising Texts will introduce you to exploring and understanding both written and spoken language. You will develop linguistic knowledge and be able to apply this knowledge. For the second unit, Language and Social Contexts you will study how written and spoken texts are able to reproduce ideas about cultural values and assumptions, including power, technology and gender.

  • OCR AS-Level English Language

The two core units for AS-Level English Language are The Dynamics of Speech, Texts and Audience. These will develop your knowledge and understanding of the constituents of language and the role that they play in both written and spoken English. You will learn about language acquisition in children and explore phonetics, phonology, lexis, morphology, grammar and discourse.

  • Edexcel AS-Level English Language

The Edexcel AS-Level English Language contains two units. The Language Today unit studies varieties of contemporary language. It also explores how language choices and use vary by both person and context. The second unit Exploring the Writing Process will allow you to demonstrate your writing skills and explore a variety of genres.

  • WJEC AS-Level English Language

The two units for AS-Level English Language are Introduction to the Language of Texts and Original Writing and Exploring Spoken Language. Both of these will develop your knowledge of the components of the English language and allow you to present work that also demonstrates your written English skills.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level English Language

The two units for AS-Level English Language are Passages for Comment and Composition. These are designed to develop a critical and informed response to writing in a variety of contexts, styles and forms and develop your reading, analysis and communication skills.

A2-Level English Language

The A2 English Language is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level English Language. This is not a separate award. The A2–Level English Language with the AS-Level English Language makes up the A-Level English Language.  A2-Level English Language will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level English Language.

AQA offer A2 units for either English Language A or English Language B.

  • AQA A2 English Language A

The unit Language Explorations will introduce you to the wider study of language in society and develop your knowledge of how and why language changes. The second unit, Language Investigations and Interventions allows you to investigate language independently and develop your writing and communication skills. You will have to present you linguistic knowledge to a non-specialist audience.

  • AQA A2 English Language B

Creating Texts will allow you the opportunity to both develop and reflect upon your own writing skills by producing two pieces of work in different genres for different audiences. Developing Language will build on your AS studies and you will develop both your knowledge and skills. You will also study language acquisition and the development and changing of English over time.

  • Edexcel A2 English Language

The Language Diversity and Children’s Language Development will develop your knowledge of language diversity, the origins, development and variations of language. You will also learn about how children acquire language. The second unit English Language Investigation and Presentation offers you the opportunity to research a topic of interest within language.

  • OCR A2 English Language

The two units are Culture, Language and Identity and Media Language. These two units will build on your knowledge from the AS language and explore the influence of mode and context on English as well as being able to develop connections across the course as a whole.

  • WJEC A2 English Language

The A2 unit Language Investigation and Writing for Specific purposes allows you to research and make informed judgements, as well as further developing your language knowledge from the AS-Level English Language. The Analysing and Evaluating Language Modes and Contexts unit allows you to reflect and demonstrate your linguistic knowledge and understanding.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A2 English Language

You will take two Poetry and Prose and two Drama papers with the addition of Shakespeare and other pre-20th century texts. You also have a choice of taking 20th Century Writing, Comment and Appreciation or you can choose Coursework. Apart from Coursework, these are exam assessed.

A-Level English Language Exam Board Information

  • The specification for OCR AS and A-Level English Language is available here.
  • The Edexcel AS and A-Level English Language specification is available from their website.
  • The specification for WJEC A-Level English Language is here.
  • The relevant year syllabus for Cambridge International AS and A-Level English Language is available here.

Career Opportunities

Whatever your chosen career path, A-Level English Language is a subject that will always help you professionally, as it ensures that you will always be able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English. Most people study A-Level English Language so that they can study English Language at University. Career options can include teaching and working in the media. Some students will also wish to become professional writers, editors or work in publishing. English Language is often useful for students who wish to study other languages to become translators.

Other Useful Information

  • There are a number of podcasts for English Language topics that accessible from here.
  • Past papers and exemplar materials for Edexcel A-Levels are available here.
  • WJEC offer specimen materials on their website.
  • There are a number of past question papers available for the University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level English Language.
  • Further links to English Language revision resources are available through the Times Educational Supplement.
  • Lancaster University offer a page of links to A-Level English Language resources.