This course is the study of everyday language in action. There are no set texts, we don't read novels, plays or poems. Instead, we explore the ways in which we use language to communicate through both speech and writing
You will have the opportunity to develop your subject expertise by engaging in close text analysis and critically applying both linguistic terminology and a wide range of theories. Using linguistic concepts and methods, you will analyse a vast range of non-fiction texts, as well as real examples of spoken language – including your own.
You will also develop skills as a producer and interpreter of language by creating texts yourself and critically reflecting on your own processes of production.
Year 1 - AS Level
You will explore three key units:
- Linguistic Methods
- Meanings and Representations
- Language Diversity.
In this section of the course, we take a close look at the various methods we can use in which to study both written and spoken language in analytical detail. This takes the form of the language levels, each of which we explore in turn and apply to a wide range of texts.
Meanings and Representations
In this unit, we explore the various ways in which text producers use the language levels in order to create meaning and representations with their texts, in order to fulfil specific purposes and address intended audiences. This raises a huge number of questions and the validity of what is written in the media and allows us to explore the ways in which we communicate online and the impact of this on our language.
This unit is an exploration into the varieties of the English language we each use every day. We will question to what extent factors such as our gender, age, occupation and social class may impact upon both our own language and the language used to address us within wider society.
Year 2 - A Level
In the second year, 20% of the A Level will be made up of your own coursework, entitled Language in Action, as well as studying two further units, Child Language Acquisition and Language Change.
Language in Action
This element of the course allows you to complete your own investigation into an area you are interested in. This is assessed through three pieces, firstly a 2000 word investigation into an area of language use that you are passionate about. This can range from an Arctic Monkeys song lyric to the Geordie dialect and allows you to conduct and write up your own research. You will also write your own 750 word piece of original writing, either to persuade, entertain or inform, alongside a commentary of the same length to justify the linguistic choices you made in your creative piece.
Child Language Acquisition
In this fascinating unit, you will explore the ways in which we all learn how to talk, read and write. We will explore a range of theories surrounding child development, as well as looking at the ways in which this is supported by caregivers, school, children’s books and even television. As you have all gone through this process yourself, it is interesting to look back and consider exactly how this may have happened.
In a world of the internet and rapidly changing technology, this unit takes a very relevant and critical look at the way in which language changes over time and is still evolving. You will examine the origins of the English Language and the ways in which this has changed over time, studying the theories and reasons behind these changes.
You will sit two exams at the end of each year. You will also complete a 3500 word piece of coursework at the end of the second year.
What can I study alongside this A Level?
Many of our students choose to study psychology, history, government and politics or media studies depending on what they want to do at university or as a career.
What are the career opportunities?
You'll develop skills in critical analysis and research, making you an effective and persuasive communicator, skills valued at university degree level and by employers. You can progress to university to study a variety of degrees such as an arts or humanities discipline. Possible careers include journalism, editing, law, business, the media, social services, marketing and teaching.