Sixth Form Prospectus: Subject Information 2016-2018 English Language AS and A2 Course Description: English Language at A Level provides you with a natural progression from your GCSE study of English and encourages you to develop your interest in and appreciation of English, through learning about its structures and its functions, its developments and its variations. The course allows you to develop your ability to express yourself in speech and writing, producing texts for different audiences, purposes and in different genres. At AS level the course focuses on Language and the Individual and Language Varieties. There is also an element of Original Writing which is tested in the exam. You will study language in a variety of social contexts, in particular in relation to gender, occupation and consider how language changes in different regions and social classes. You will begin to study child language acquisition. A Level topics are Language, the Individual and Society which looks at language change over time and children’s language development, and Language Diversity and Change. There is a coursework element at A Level – Language in action – an investigation into an area of language and a linked original writing piece. Qualifications Required: Minimum entry requirements apply. In addition, you should have grade B or better in both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature, or a grade B or better in GCSE English. An ability to think analytically, to engage in discussions (especially about contentious issues) and a curiosity about the different ways we use language are prerequisites for the course. Aims of the Course: The study of English Language encourages you to explore language and representation through analytical and creative work. You will have the opportunity to develop your skills through creative and transactional forms of writing, and you will extend your understanding of how language creates meanings in written, spoken and electronic modes. English Language examines the language development of children, and introduces ideas about the importance of cultural sensitivity in language. You consider how the English language has changed since 1600, and how it is changing today; you will examine global, regional and social varieties of English and engage in cultural debates about the nature and significance of language. In addition, you will carry out research on topics of your own choice. Future Prospects: English Language is a flexible and adaptable subject so future career opportunities are extensive. The subject combines well with many others in both the Arts and Sciences, and is particularly suited to Modern Foreign Language combinations, Sociology and Psychology. University Admission Tutors and employers look favourably upon students who have studied A Level English Language, knowing they will have good oral and written communication ability and have developed useful skills of analysis and interpretation. Careers which can be entered with an English A level/English degree are many and varied and include management, research, consultancy, publishing, medicine, teaching, journalism, law, media and advertising. Sixth Form Prospectus: Subject Information 2016-2018 English Language AS and A2 Student Feedback: ‘Studying English Language at A Level has really made me aware of my own ways of communicating, and of how other people communicate with me.’ ‘I am interested in how different social groups interact with each other, and my study of Psychology has linked so well with this course.’ ‘There is such a political and sociological element to the course that I did not know about before I started English Language A Level.’ ‘English Language at A Level is so different from English at GCSE – there is a lot of theory to learn and a whole new subject terminology to get used to!’ ‘The ideas and concepts covered in the English Language course are things that will stay with me and feed in to my future studies.’ Subject Teachers: Mrs D Andrews, Miss C Bell, Mrs G Croucher and Ms A Vallance Features of the Course: Exploration of spoken and written language in use Consideration of the way purposes, audiences and contexts impact upon language production and reception Use of linguistic methods to analyse and investigate a variety of texts Analysis and grouping of data sets Consideration of cultural values and assumptions with a key focus on language and gender, language and power and language and technology Opportunities to develop and reflect upon students’ own writing expertise AS Level Units A Level Units Exam 1: Language and the Individual Textual Variations and Representations Students will answer questions on two texts in this exam, which are linked by topic or theme. Each text will be analysed and there is also a question requiring students to compare language use in the two texts. Exam 1: Language, the Individual and Society Section A: Textual Variations and Representations Section B: Children’s Language Development Exam 2: Language Varieties Section A: Language Diversity A discursive essay on language diversity; choice of two questions Section B: Language Discourses A directed writing task on attitudes to language Exam 2: Language Diversity and Change Section A: Diversity and Change Section B: Language Discourses Coursework Language in Action: Investigation and Original Writing Methods of Assessment: AS exam 1: 1 hour 30 minutes written paper. 50% of AS marks. AS exam 2: 1 hour 30 minutes written paper. 50% of AS marks. A Level exam 1: 2 hours 30 minutes written paper. 40% of total A level marks. A Level exam 2: 2 hours 30 minutes written paper. 40% of total A level marks. A Level coursework: two assignments totalling 3500 words. 20% of total A Level marks.
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