English Language

English Language

What do people think when they hear your accent? What’s a tablet? Ask Aristotle, then Moses, a doctor then Steve Jobs. What was a vacuum before it became a vacuum? Why might you not want ketchup on your chips (should they even be called ‘fries’?) once you find out what the word ‘ketchup’ actually means? Is anyone actually laughing out loud when they’ve typed ‘LOL’? Do women tell lies better than men? All of this and more is explored in the wonderful world of English Language.

Duration: Two years
Starting date: September 2019
Location: SRC Bede Sixth Form

If it has been written, spoken, typed, tweeted, re-tweeted, sent, broadcast, shouted or mumbled, you will study it. We look at how and why language is used in all its forms in the world today and yesterday.

English Language lessons are an active learning experience, where your opinions, thoughts, ideas and perspectives on the use of language will be asked for and must be expressed out loud. Yes, we teach you to pass exams, but perhaps more importantly we also help you to find your voice.

After two years, you’ll sit two exams (both lasting for 2 hrs 30 mins) for an A level in English Language (OCR). You will also complete a coursework folder of 3,500 words on a topic you choose.

To have achieved A*/9-C/4 grades in at least seven GCSE programmes, including GCSE English and Maths.

An inquisitive mind and an analytical eye are also important. The ability to write essays in an academic style is crucial (this is English, after all) and a willingness to work hard in lessons (but also outside of lessons), is certainly required.

The subject covers a tremendous range of topics – old language use, new language use, child language use, gendered language use, powerful language use, technology-related language use, media-related language use. That’s a lot of language, right?

Students of English Language go on to study a wide range of subjects including English, history, media, and education.

  • Our English department has 53% A* – B and 100% pass rate for the last three years.
  • A chance to choose your own material to study for coursework – your IM chats, the language of gendered differences (or not), how children try to manipulate their mother and father. You name it.
  • At times, we can study language that you use and you create. This is part of the language change module as you live language everyday – spoken, tweeted, typed.

“I’d thoroughly recommend doing this course to any of my friends.”

“Extremely good and engaging lessons with detailed and easy to learn content, allowing me to learn all the required content in a pleasant and knowledgeable atmosphere.”

The English team have previously arranged a cross-curricular trip to London to take in attractions and places of interest such as The Old Bailey, Lincoln’s Inn, The Harry Potter Tour, various museums and galleries and a West End production. We also have a local journalist visit us for talks on language use in the media. Writing for a college magazine is also another possibility, depending on interest.

You can choose any combination of courses that you like, but we think this subject goes particularly well with other analytical, essay-based subjects which require plenty of independent thinking, evaluation and academic analytical essay writing, such as English literature, media, history, philosophy, ethics and religion.