A Level English Language

Why Study This Subject?

If you are intrigued about the ways in which we use language to communicate, this is the subject for you. You will learn about the ways in which journalists craft language to represent topical issues, study how we cement human relationships through spoken discourse and consider the extent to which language reflects its spoken, electronic or formal written context.

Choose to study English Language at A Level if you are fascinated by language and people. We explore the extent to which speech styles are shaped by gender. Do men interrupt more than women? Are men more competitive in their use of language? Are women more cooperative in spoken interactions? We also consider the extent to which other factors shape how we speak. How is spoken language affected by group dynamics, social status, ethnicity, occupation, geographical location …?

In the second year we explore how and why language has changed since 1600. We also discuss attitudes to language change. How do you feel about the addition of slang words ‘tiz’, ‘twerking’ and ‘shizzle’ to Collins Official Scrabble Words? To what extent are accents and dialects levelling? And how might we account for the different attitudes to Scouse, Yorkshire and R. P. accents?

Children’s acquisition of language is also explored in the second year. You will investigate why children under the age of five use logical constructions such as ‘wented’, ‘mices’ and ‘bestest’ and discuss the extent to which language acquisition is innate or a result of imitation and social interaction.

The second year also offers you an opportunity to produce an independent investigation and a piece of creative writing for coursework, a component that will equip you with the research skills needed for higher education and beyond.

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