Language is a way of communicating meanings. We all use it, but it is so much a part of our lives that we often don’t recognise what is being done with it and how it is being used. It is everywhere, but how often do we stop and think about it as an object of investigation? There are some things on this course that you will know from experience, but the understanding that you have so far is likely to have been practical rather than technical. The course will allow you to build a ‘toolkit’ which you will use to refer to different aspects of language areas, perhaps, that you haven’t considered before. You'll also be better able to use language creatively, through opportunities for original writing in the coursework element.
Like many A Level subjects, English Language GCE is nothing like its GCSE counterpart. It is challenging and requires a secure knowledge of terminology. Analysis is a major part of the course and you will encounter a wide range of texts from different genres and subjects – and not only written data either.
Are you interested in why certain people speak like they do? Or how technology has altered the way we communicate? Have you ever noticed how men and women use language differently or how people assert power over others through what they say and how they say it? Do you know what makes a good communicator? Are you sure you know your nouns from your verbs, or your fricatives from your plosives?
You will also have the opportunity to develop skills in using English accurately and creatively for a variety of audiences and purposes, and to use linguistic terminology and concepts appropriately and accurately in discussions of your own language choices.
English language is a valued subject in higher education. The breadth of study combined with training in clear thinking and communication, make this course relevant to a wide variety of careers, including public administration, civil service, advertising, journalism, publishing, education, legal work, charities and campaigning. Employers value the highlevel skills acquired by studying English including critical thinking, analysis, and communication.
Grade 6 at GCSE