English Language

English Language focuses more on ‘non-literary’ texts from journalism, advertising, conversations and documents. This course is highly-regarded by universities as it helps you form sound arguments and develop excellent analytical skills.

You will begin your studies with an introduction to the study of language, where you will analyse a wide variety of short written and spoken texts. We then move on to study language in detail covering topics such as how teenagers and parents speak to each other and how powerful leaders such as Barrack Obama use language. You will also have the chance to explore how the English Language has changed over the centuries (and is still changing) and how children acquire their language skills.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and written exams. There is also the opportunity to take GCSE English if you wish to improve on your original grade.

We have strong links with Manchester Metropolitan University and take part in an annual story-writing competition, as well as supporting students in a range of writing competitions locally and nationally. Students also have the opportunity to join the Linguistics Club – a programme for gifted and talented students interested in the further study of linguistics at university.

English Language is useful for a wide range of educational courses and careers. It is a good preparation for any course with a linguistic element and for careers in which knowledge of, and a sensitivity to, language will be required. Students who have studied A level English have gone into careers such as journalism, teaching and social work, to name a few.

Language, the Individual and Society – Exam Paper – 40% of marks

Language Diversity and Change – Exam Paper – 40% of marks

Investigation and Original Writing – Coursework – 20% of marks


Language, the Individual and Society
Section A – Textual variations and representations
Two texts (one contemporary and one older text) linked by topic or theme. These can be almost any genre or style.
• A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks)
• A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)
• A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)

Section B – Children’s language development
A discursive essay on children’s language development, with a choice of two questions where the data provided will focus on spoken, written or multimodal language (30 marks).

Language Diversity and Change 
Section A: One question from a choice of two, either:
• An evaluative essay on language diversity.
• An evaluative essay on language change.

Section B – Language discourses
Two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change.
• A question requiring analysis of how the texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions.
• A directed writing task linked to the same topic and the ideas in the texts.

Coursework assessment 
Students produce:
• A language investigation (2,000 words excluding data).
• A piece of original writing and commentary (1,500 words total)

We recommend that students joining us in September read the book Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson, for a great overview of the subject and an introduction to linguistics.

Study Level

A Level

Exam Board


Contact Details

Mr T England

Head of Department