A Level Language is a challenging course which revolves around exploring how meaning is constructed through words, semantics, and grammatical constructions. Students develop an in-depth knowledge of the English Language and its components and use this to analyse non-fiction texts from up to 500 years ago. The course includes the study of language change and child language acquisition as well as exploring issues related to language and gender and language in the media. Students produce investigations into language that interests them, collecting their own data from current and real-life sources. There are also many opportunities for the creation of their own texts, both from fiction and non-fiction genres. The course is backed up with many visits to the British Library and Language conferences to encourage a wider engagement with English Language.
Component 1 – Language Concepts and Issues
- Section A: Analysis of Spoken Language
- Section B: Language issues
Component 2- Language Change Over Time
- Section A: Language Change Over Time
- Section B: English in the twenty-first century
Component 3 – Creative and Critical Use of Language
Component 4 – Language and Identity
The non-exam assessment offers opportunity to explore an aspect of Language and Identity – bringing together the different areas of language study in an extended consideration of data collected.
The Language Investigation:
- enables independent and sustained studies into an aspect of language and identity
- encourages hypothesise a theory in relation to language and gender; to gather data to support the investigation; to interrogate data and to reflect on the findings of the investigation
- encourages the use of appropriate linguistic theory to inform study
- develops independent judgements in considering to findings and others’ views of language use and, in turn, develops confidence in rejecting or confirming views based on analysis of evidence
- develops skills related to planning, drafting, and editing
- requires an academic style writing
A Level English Literature A (AQA)
Year 12 and 13
English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received, and understood. Studying texts within a shared context enables students to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives.
The aim of this topic area is to encourage students to explore aspects of a central literary theme as seen over time, using unseen material, and set texts. Students should be prepared for Love through the ages by reading widely in the topic area, reading texts from a range of authors and times.
- The four Shakespeare plays on offer allow students to study Shakespeare’s representations of love in a range of different dramatic genres: tragedy, comedy, problem play or late play.
- The AQA anthologies of love poetry through the ages allow students to encounter a range of different types of poem as they study representations of love over time.
- The range of comparative prose texts on offer allows students to study representations of love by a variety of authors across time.
- Students will study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one poetry anthology and two prose texts. They will also respond to an unseen prose extract in the exam.
Paper One: Love through the ages
- Section A: Shakespeare – Othello
- Section B: Unseen poetry and Prose
- Section C: Comparing texts: The Great Gatsby and Pre-1900 Poetry
Paper Two: Texts in shared contexts
Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day.
- Section A: Set texts. One essay question on set text
Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy – Feminine Gospel (post 2000)
- Section B: Contextual linking
Drama: Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire
Prose: Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Non-exam assessment (NEA): Independent critical study: texts across time
- Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900
- One extended essay (2500 words)