“A Level English Language is a fascinating subject to teach and learn as it is very much grounded in the world around us. As a teacher, I find that I am still adding to my own subject knowledge, despite having a degree in English Language and Linguistics, as the language we use is changing every day. We can take from the world around us and use very current and pertinent texts which can not only be used to teach about language, but also about the world in which we live.”
Lucia sees this growing interest in English Language reflected in the needs of the everyday world: “We have found that our student numbers have grown for A Level English Language. It seems to be a subject that we find our local businesses favour and there are growing areas of study at University too.”
You begin to unravel and understand even the simplest aspects of everyday language. — current Year 12 student.
A Level English Language, in particular, offers clear continuity from GCSE (9-1) English Language in such areas as creativity, exploration of unseen texts and application of linguistic terminology but Lucia points out:
“We make it very clear what is involved in the course at open events, enrolment and during the opening sessions as students have a preconceived notion of what the subject involves based on their secondary school experience and the reality of the course is very different.”
“We get the students to focus on their own language use to start with. For example, they are required to record themselves in conversation with ideally one or two other people and then transcribe these texts. Because the students are then analysing their own language use they seem to engage in the task much more. They also find it fascinating to learn about how they really use language and to make explicit what, until now, has largely remained implicit. Typical student comments include, 'I say "like" a lot don’t I?', and 'I sound really Suffolk!'"
“The OCR English Language A Level is an incredibly engaging subject to teach with the freedom for teachers to go about planning the course how they wish using any resources available to them. The fact that there are no set texts means that we, as teachers, can make a selection based on what we think would be relevant to and engaging for the students we teach.”
Lucia continues “It has the rigour to be held up in high regard as an academic subject and appeals to those who wish to expand their learning in the field as well as those who wish to apply their acquired skill more practically in the job market.”
"We can explore the ways in which people use language in a conversation and the subconscious choices we make when speaking and writing." — current Year 12 student.
"I’m glad I took this. It is very interesting and compliments all my other subjects as it allows my work to be of a higher grammatical standard." — current Year 12 student.