English Language

An A Level in English Language gives you the opportunity to explore the world around you: why do men and women use language differently? Why don’t you use the same language when speaking to your teacher as you do when speaking to friends? How do children learn to speak? The subject is fascinating in its own right, and also works as a perfect complement to many of the courses at Sixth Form.

Are you interested in why certain people speak like they do? Have you ever noticed how men and women speak differently? Do you know what makes a good communicator? Are you sure you know your nouns from your verbs? English Language is interesting, stimulating and allows you a chance to actively engage with everyday language and understand how it works.

“Language has no independent existence apart from the people who use it. It is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end of understanding who you are and what society is like.”

David Crystal

Entry requirements

Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving four x Grade 9-4 or equivalent at GCSE alongside a Grade 5 or above in English and/or Mathematics. Students with either English and/or Mathematics at Grade 3 or below will have individual meetings to determine the most suitable pathway within the Sixth Form.

Course Description

English Language offers opportunities for students to develop their subject expertise by exploring key language concepts and engaging with a range of texts and discourses.

Throughout the course, students will explore the study of English Language both as a medium of communication and as a topic in its own right, with an emphasis on the ability of students to pursue lines of enquiry, analyse texts produced by others and debate different views.

This course involves the study of the different ways people use language, how society views its use, how language has changed and developed over time, and children’s language development. Students will explore ideas surrounding ‘Language and the Individual’ and ‘Language Varieties’.

Students will also have the opportunity to complete an independent language investigation and piece of extended writing.

Exam board

AQA A Level English Language

Past papers



Students will sit two exams at the end of year 13, each one is worth 40% of the final grade. Students also complete an independent language investigation that is 20% of the final grade.

Possible progression

You will develop a wide variety of skills that are highly regarded both by employers and universities. English Language prepares you for careers which require good communication skills such as publishing, public relations, marketing, journalism, management, the legal profession, teaching and many others.

Ways to help my child succeed

Ensure your child has access to a range of Language based texts. Non-fiction texts are especially useful. These might include newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs, literary non-fiction (travel writing, autobiographies) and membership at a local library. Where possible, discuss books that you have read and enjoyed, and provide opportunities to widen your child’s experience of language.  To develop your child’s understanding of English, they may also be able to attend conferences, hear visiting speakers and attend English enrichments such as creative writing. Finally, ensure that your child keeps on top of the required reading outside of the classroom.

Useful websites