Linguistics A Level

Departmental contact

Mr Town – town.a@myton.co.uk

Examining board & Qualification

AQA – A LEVEL

Entry requirements

At least a grade 6 in GCSE English Language

Students say

“Studying the way people speak is fascinating and you get to work very independently. It’s by far one of the best subjects I have chosen.”

WHY STUDY THIS SUBJECT?

Language is all around us, from the social media that many of us interact with every day, to the laws that govern modern British society. Linguistics is the scientific study of language that seeks to understand the ever-developing world of words that we live in.

This two-year Linguistics course is an excellent foundation in the analysis of language. It provides you with skills needed in all walks of life and builds on ideas and skills you started developing at GCSE English Language, though it is very different from the GCSE course.

Have you ever wondered where new words come from? Why young people seem to develop their own style of language? How children learn to speak, despite not having a teacher? If men and women speak differently? These are just some of the questions that you will face over the two-year linguistics A Level.

If you have a curious mind and want to think more about the society we live in and the language that we use, this could be the course for you!

WHAT SKILLS WILL I DEVELOP?

During the course you will understand how language is used by different people within society. You’ll explore how language has evolved and changed; the influence of technology and the media; how we acquire language and learn to read and write and how accent and dialect, gender and power all influence the language we use.

You will hone your writing skills, developing your analytical writing as this is very much an essay-based subject. You will be able to read, analyse and evaluate a diverse range of non-fiction texts and be able to write successfully for differing audiences and purposes. You’ll also develop your skills in using and understanding grammar.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

Paper 1 Language, the Individual and Society

Written Exam

Section A: Textual Varieties and Representation: you will look at how a variety of frameworks inform the way that texts are produced and received.

Section B: Children’s Language Development: you will write a discursive essay on how children acquire language.

Paper 2 Language Diversity and Change

Written Exam

Section A: Diversity and Change: you will write an evaluative essay on Language Diversity or Change

Section B: Language Discourses: You will answer a question requiring analysis of how texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions. You will also produce a directed writing task on attitudes to language linked to topics/ideas around Language Diversity and Change.

Language in Action (coursework)

Non-Exam Assessment

You will produce a Language Investigation on a topic of your choosing and produce a piece of original writing with an accompanying commentary.

You also get the opportunity to write creatively and will produce a piece of original writing with an accompanying commentary.

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

Paper 1 and Paper 2 together are worth 80%.

The Non Exam Assessment is worth 20%.

WHAT ARE MY POST-18 OPTIONS?

All universities will value this A level and the careers it will help you into are endless; essentially any career or course that values literacy as a skill. Specifically, some examples might be: Law, Journalism, Broadcasting, Teaching, Politics and Business. The course also crosses over with subjects like Sociology and Psychology.

WHAT EXTRA-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE?

We offer trips and study days to support learning during the course. Previous visits have included a trip to the British Library, a visit to Warwick Records Office and attending lectures by the well known linguist David Crystal.

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