Language is fascinating. From our earliest perceptions and acquisition of speech, we use it, in all its subtlety, to target and influence our audience. This course charts the development of language in its many forms, incorporating detailed, wide-ranging study, alongside creative and investigative elements. Demanding and technical, it calls for shrewd observation and judgement – but above all for sensitivity to the real force of linguistic variety.
Paper 1: Language, the individual and society. 180 min written exam: 40% of A level.
- This unit involves two elements of study in a number of specific areas:
- The changes in language over time, assessed by analytical and comparative questions on texts from different time periods
- Children’s Language Development, assessed by essays with a focus on spoken, written or multimodal language.
- This unit assesses:
- Diversity and change: choice of essay questions on either diversity or change.
- Language discourses: two texts: one question relating to analysis of ideas and attitudes; the other a discursive writing task on a related topic.
- There are two elements to the ‘coursework’ element:
- A 2,000 word investigation on a subject of interest to the student.
- A piece of original writing with a commentary by the student.
The variety of assessment styles used, such as data analysis, discursive essays, directed writing, original writing and research-based investigative writing, allows students to develop a wide range of skills. These include critical reading, data analysis, evaluation, the ability to develop and sustain arguments and a number of different writing skills which are invaluable for both further study and future employment.
A variety of routes. This is a staple qualification for any kind of career but particularly suited, perhaps to: journalism; marketing; teaching; the media (radio/TV/magazines); advertising; industry/commerce requiring specific linguistic skills. But really, it is suitable for any careers involving communication and the skilful reflective use of language.