English Language

Head of Department: Mrs V Pickford: vpickford@kingalfred.somerset.sch.uk


If you enjoy exploring how language works and creating your own texts, you will enjoy studying English language.

Studying this subject will help you understand how spoken and written language is used. You will consider the impact that purpose, audience and context have on how language is understood, as well as looking at how we acquire language and how it changes over time. English language is an academic subject which will help you to write coherently and critically, as well as developing important transferable skills. You will be encouraged to actively engage with everyday language analytically, to think critically and to effectively communicate your understanding.


Paper 1: Exploring Language                                                   


Section A: Language under the microscope

The focus of this section is on the effect of lexical choices and grammatical features in a short written text.


Section B: Writing about a topical language issue

This section focuses on an issue or concept related to language in use.


Section C: Comparing and contrasting texts

The focus of this section is on exploring linguistic connections and comparisons between different modes of communication.

Assessed through written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

80 marks = 40% of A-level



Paper 2: Dimensions of Linguistic Variation


Section A: Child language acquisition

The focus of this section is on children’s acquisition of spoken language. The age range to be explored is 0–7 years old.


Section B: Language in the media

This section focuses on discourse in a multi-modal media text and requires learners to apply language concepts and theories to their analysis of linguistic and graphological features.


  Section C: Language change

The focus of this section is on the analysis of historical varieties of English. The analysis will be based on drawing connections and comparisons between two texts from different times.

Assessed through written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

80 marks = 40% of A-level


Non- exam assessment: Independent language research


Task One: An independent investigation of language, 2000-2500 words

Task Two:  Design an academic poster, 750-1000 words

Assessed by teachers

40 marks

20% of A-level