English Language


Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in both GCSE English language and English literature, and grade 5 in mathematics

Course Content

Why English language?
 
Studying English language will open up new perspectives on the world around you as you increase your awareness of all aspects of interaction and expression. You’ll develop your knowledge of the technical aspects of language and enhance your analytical skills through exploring the relationship between texts of all types and their contexts.
 
Many students go on to study an English-related subject at university, such as linguistics, English language, speech and language therapy, creative writing and journalism. Others successfully apply for subjects such as law and psychology.
 
You’ll attend journalism and creative writing workshops with professional writers, and visit museums and exhibitions, including the British Library and Keats House. We also participate in the UK Linguistics Olympiad, competing against students across the country using language skills to solve problems.
 
Course content
 
You’ll be introduced to topical debates within linguistic study, raising questions such as whether grammar rules really matter and whether technology is having a negative impact on language use.Sociolinguistic topics regarding how language shapes social identity are covered, including the relationship between gender, language and power. We also explore the origins of the English language and draw on psycholinguistic studies to help us understand how children acquire language. There is an original writing component where you develop your own skills at shaping language for a variety of genres and audiences. For coursework you’ll investigate an area of language change of your own choosing with support from your teachers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

What sort of things do we study in English language?

The A level English Language course is incredibly broad. There will be some areas of study with which you may be familiar from GCSE, including text analysis and creative writing, but also many topics that will be new and stimulating. A level study introduces you to topical debates within linguistic study, raising questions such as whether grammar rules really matter and whether technology is having a negative impact on language use. Sociolinguistic topics regarding how language shapes social identity are covered, including the relationship between gender, language and power. We also explore the origins of the English language and draw on psycholinguistic studies to help us understand how children acquire language. There is an original writing component where you develop your own skills at shaping language for a variety of genres and audiences. English language A level also involves the completion of a coursework folder, requiring you to investigate an area of language change of your own choosing with support from your teachers.

What sorts of things will we do in lessons?

Classroom work is varied and there is an expectation that students will be actively involved in the lessons. This means that you might find yourself participating in discussions, carrying out debates, collaborating on small group tasks and sharing ideas with your classmates. As well as teachers explaining new topics and concepts, students frequently deliver mini-lessons and presentations to their peers. There is a lot of emphasis on developing excellent text analysis and writing skills, so we will work both collaboratively and individually on honing exam techniques. This can involve group writing tasks and timed writing, including peer and teacher assessment. As you need to write in a journalistic style for one of the exam questions, we also spend time working on more creative skills and producing texts such as newspaper articles, persuasive speeches and blog posts.

Should I do English language or literature?

This is a very common, and very difficult, question to answer as teachers. Only you can decide what you find most interesting about the two subjects and what would suit you best. Try to answer the following questions to see which subject is for you.
 
Do you enjoy reading lots of different kinds of writing, not just novels and poetry? Do you enjoy analysing how media texts, adverts, leaflets etc. are created? Do you enjoy debating ideas? Are you interested in social and political issues and discussing how our language is shaped by social pressures? Do you like exploring new styles of writing and trying out different techniques. If so, then you should do English language!
 
Do you like reading a range of different genres of novels, poetry and plays? Do you read books often for pleasure? Do you like discussing opinions of characters and themes with others? If so, then you should do English literature!
 
A small handful of students each year do study both English language and English literature. This is absolutely fine and the course content does not overlap so you won’t get bored. In terms of which subject looks better for university applications, the answer would be whichever one you are most likely to get the higher grade in! You should pick a subject because you think you will enjoy it and be successful in it, not because you think it looks good on an application.

How many students will there be in a class?

Class size is normally around 18-22 students.

How much reading is there?

We read a lot on the Language course. We read a wide range of different kinds of texts from different sources so as to get a good familiarity with writing of all types. This includes material such as newspapers, magazines, websites, social media, advertising and legal writing. This allows you to develop understanding of many genres and how to learn how to write creatively. We do not read whole books and focus on non-fiction rather than fiction.

Will I go on any trips and are there any extracurricular opportunities?

We regularly go on trips to develop subject understanding and to explore possible careers related to English. We have attended workshops at the British Library on language change, accents and dialects and creative writing. We frequently visit the Guardian newspaper offices for workshops on journalistic writing.
 
The college also participates in the UK Linguistics Olympiad where students develop and learn how to use their grammar knowledge and problem-solving skills to solve linguistic puzzles. They then compete against students from across the UK in a competition run by UCL.

What can I do at university with English language A level?

On average each year, about a third of English language students go on to study English related courses at university including English language, English linguistics, journalism, film studies, media studies, speech and language therapy or in combination with other subjects as part of a joint honours.
 
Other students go on to study a broad range of subjects, including law, business, politics, psychology, international relations and history.

What sort of careers can English language lead to?

English language opens the door to a wide range of career options. The ability to read perceptively, analyse and evaluate is really useful for careers in law, public relations, information management and teaching. The skills of understanding audiences, shaping language and creativity are excellent for careers in journalism, advertising, marketing and media production.

What are the department’s results like?

Generally, 70-75% of our students get A*-B grades. This is often 20-30% higher than the national average.
“I really enjoy leaning how languages are constructed and how social factors influence them. You understand your own background more through English language.
 
Classes are a lot more creative and interactive, and we debate too. The teacher’s focus is more concentrated and they can really help you tackle what you find difficult.
 
I’ve made friends of real value here. Friends who study together, learn together and grow together.”
 
DEYONCE
St Anne’s Catholic High School for Girls
 
 


Related News
Author Stephen Cox visits Woodhouse
Author Stephen Cox visits our Woodhouse Plus Creative Writing class to talk writing...
25 January 2019
Students Potter around British Library...
English students at Woodhouse College, who happen to dabble in the arts of magic as an extracurricular, had the opportunity to attend the Harry Potter: A History Of Magic exhibitio...
11 December 2017





Woodhouse College
Woodhouse Road
Finchley, London, N12 9EY

General enquiries
Email: enquiries@woodhouse.ac.uk
Tel: 020 8445 1210

Admissions enquiries
Email: admissions@woodhouse.ac.uk

Follow Woodhouse College on Twitter Like Woodhouse College on Facebook Follow Woodhouse College on Instagram Follow Woodhouse College on LinkedIN
Frontier Learning Trust

Maple Group

Sixth Form Colleges Association


Ofsted Outstanding



CEOP

© 2021 Woodhouse College. All rights reserved.

Developed by New Media Aid