English Language


Do you speak like the people on Made in Chelsea or Ru Paul’s Drag Race? Are you ever in ‘Goblin Mode’? Do you style-shift your language for SnapChat? Whatever your answers to these questions, you will approach English from a completely new direction on the English Language A Level course. You will investigate how we really communicate – the accents we use, the identities we choose, even the language rules we abuse and why we do so. You will study written, spoken and computer-mediated language and discover where English came from, how it has spread across the globe and how it is continually changing.

Studying English Language will help you develop your writing skills in a variety of analytical and creative ways and will provide you with a new perspective on how we use language to interact with the people around us.


The two-year course involves the study of a variety of language topics:

Language Diversity and Change You will study how social groups, different occupations and genders communicate and how the English language has changed over time as well as how technologies like social media and digital communication have a dramatic effect on the words we use and how we express our ideas. You will learn about research undertaken by linguists, patterns of language use which affect us every day and mould the views of society and examine how writers express opinions about language topics.

Child Language Development

You will also discover how children learn to speak, read and write – something we have all been through!


This is where you can really focus on a language topic that interests you by investigating your own data – anything from how adults talk to young children, how smoking has been advertised over the decades or how TV football commentaries differ from those online. You will also do your own fiction or non-fiction original writing piece and write about how you have chosen to use language to inform, entertain or persuade your audience.


Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.


Two written examination papers taken at the end of the second year, alongside the non-examined assessment (language investigation and original writing).

Paper 1: (40%) An analysis of language and representation and an essay on child language development.

Paper 2: (40%) An essay on an aspect of language variation or change, an analysis of texts written about a current language debate and your own opinion piece.

Non-Examined Assessment:

(20%) A focused analysis of examples of language chosen by you and a piece of original writing based on a style model of your choice.


Standard College entry requirements and a minimum of:

Grade required Subject required

Grade 5

GCSE English Language

Grade 4 GCSE English Literature

We are an inclusive department and, in some situations, we will consider students who have achieved a good grade in only one GCSE English course.

Some applicants may have a career plan for which taking both English Language and English Literature as two separate A Levels would be appropriate, giving them an increased chance of progressing to a highly competitive university, for example, to study journalism. As taking both subjects narrows a programme of study, it is strongly advised that such students take four subjects at A Level (see page 35 for the grade profile required to study four A Levels).


Studying English Language develops communication and analytical skills which are useful in any workplace and which are applicable to studying degrees in a wide range of subjects including linguistics, law, journalism, media, teaching, sociology and many others.


English Language lessons will provide you with the opportunity to study non-fiction, spoken and online language and access to a wide range of recent research and theory about how language works. Students will be provided with a variety of resources but must purchase the core unit workbooks. Financial assistance may be available where required.

English students are offered a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities such as trips to the theatre, cinema, lecture days and support for those applying to study English at university. We run popular residential trips including Stratford-Upon-Avon and a creative writing retreat, and invite visiting speakers such as poets, novelists, playwrights and journalists to talk to our students. We also participate in the Royal Shakespeare Company live streaming and offer Additional Studies in Creative Writing, College Magazine and Debating.