English Language A level

You will find this course interesting if you are the sort of person who enjoys producing your own creative writing or investigating the reasons why certain features of language exist. For example, you will learn how children first learn to talk, investigate aspects of language and gender and look at how language can be used persuasively to get others to do what we want. If you are interested in the way language works and in deconstructing text to see how writers craft texts to influence us then this is the course for you.

Curriculum outline

Across the two years, students will:

  • study a wide range of texts and learn to identify the ways in which text can be presented to appeal to a particular audience or serve a particular purpose
  • learn about how gender affects language, how where you are from affects language and how power in the workplace affects the language we use
  • learn how to re-present ideas within a text for a specific purpose and to develop their editorial skills
  • learn about child language development and language change over time.

Students also complete two course work components:


Language in action:

The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise. It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research: a language investigation. (2,000 words excluding data)


In addition to this, students produce a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each).


Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multi modal data, or a mixture of text types, demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest.


A level is assessed through a combination of examination and course work:

Paper 1: Language, the individual and society

  • Textual variations and representations
  • Children's language development (0–11 years)
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities.

Paper 2: Language diversity and change

  • Language diversity and change
  • Language discourses
  • Writing skills
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Non-exam assessment: Language in action (coursework)

  • Language investigation
  • Original writing
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities
English Language A level has helped me study the analytical aspects of linguistics and helped me in my pursuit of higher education.
Year 12 student

Potential career paths and further study

There is little doubt that the versatility of the final qualification, and importance placed on language skills in the market place, make this a sound choice for entry into a wide range of different careers. The qualification is well regarded by universities and is useful for anyone contemplating a career which involves dealing with the public. English language is a useful A level to have if you want to work in journalism, the media, law, teaching or social work.

English Language A level has enabled me to explore writing and speech techniques, something I now pick up on in everyday conversation!
Year 12 student