The course we follow is AQA A Level English Language 7702. Students' learning is based around the core language levels: lexis, grammar, discourse, phonology, pragmatics and graphology. The linguistic terminology and concepts these introduce are then applied to a range of texts across a variety of contexts. It is imperative that students revise this new terminology regularly in order to build up a strong linguistic vocabulary.
Students will explore the following areas of language study:
- Language and Gender
- Language and Occupation
- Language and Social Groups
- Accent and Dialect
- Language Change
- Child Language Development
NEA (Non-examined assessment - formerly coursework)
The NEA comprises a portfolio of: a language investigation, a piece of original writing, an annotated style model and a commentary on this piece of writing. It is worth 20% of the total A Level grade.
The language investigation will focus an area of linguistic interest that students select themselves. Previous work has included analysis of political speeches, language change over time, children's writing, gender differences in conversation and online communications.
For the original writing piece, students will be introduced to different genres and encouraged to select their favourite to emulate in their own writing. Students will analyse existing style models of their chosen genre and will have to adopt similar linguistic features and analyse the impact they are intended to have on their audience.
What students can do to enhance their A Level achievement:
- Follow us @GSAEngLang Twitter - Our twitter feed is updated regularly with links to wider reading and relevant current affairs.
- Read language based opinion articles in the news regularly.
- Revise and make revision notes on new ideas and terminology regularly to minimise stress at the end of the course.
- Keep a scrapbook of examples of interesting uses of language and consider how the linguistic methods can be applied to them.
- Visit the A Level English Language intranet pages regularly to access relevant resources for classwork and revision: https://sites.google.com/george-spencer.notts.sch.uk/english/a-level-language
Specification Link: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-language-7701-7702
Suggested wider reading and study guides:
- Giovanelli, M et. al, English Language A/AS Level for AQA Student Book (2015) Cambridge University Press
- Crystal, D. (2003) (2nd edn) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press
- Crystal, D. (2002) The English Language, Penguin
- Pinker, S. (2003) The Language Instinct, Penguin
- Gardiner, A. English Language: AS & A2 Study Guide
- (Forsyth, M. (2011) The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language, Icon Books)
- Carter, R. et al. (2001) Working with Texts (2nd edition), Routledge
Where could it lead?
English Language compliments a wide range of courses and careers.
Courses and careers it can lead to most specifically:
- Degrees in English Language or Linguistics
- Degrees and careers in journalism and creative writing
- Careers in advertising, academic research, publishing, public relations, teaching