A-Level English Language - What can you expect Part I

May 29, 2017

A-Level: What can you expect? Part I – English Language

A-Level: What can you expect? Part I – English Language

According to the specification, the AQA English Language A-Level (the AS phase) is assessed by two exams, which work as below:

Paper 1: Language and the individual

What's assessed

  • Textual variations and representations
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Assessed

  • written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 70 marks
  • 50% of AS

Questions

Textual variations and representations

Two texts, linked by topic or theme.

  • A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks)
  • A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)
  • A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)

Paper 2: Language varieties

What's assessed

  • Language diversity
  • Writing skills
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Assessed

  • written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 70 marks
  • 50% of AS Questions

Then, the A-Level outright is assessed across three components, including two exam papers:

Paper 1: Language, the individual and society

What's assessed

  • Textual variations and representations
  • Children's language development (0–11 years)
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Assessed

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Questions

Section A – Textual variations and representations

Two texts (one contemporary and one older text) linked by topic or theme.

  • A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks)
  • A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)
  • A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)

Section B – Children's language development

A discursive essay on children’s language development, with a choice of two questions where the data provided will focus on spoken, written or multimodal language (30 marks)

Paper 2: Language diversity and change

What's assessed

  • Language diversity and change
  • Language discourses
  • Writing skills
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Assessed

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 40% of A-level Questions

Section A – Diversity and change

One question from a choice of two: either: an evaluative essay on language diversity (30 marks) or: an evaluative essay on language change (30 marks)

Section B – Language discourses

Two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change.

  • A question requiring analysis of how the texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions (40 marks)
  • A directed writing task linked to the same topic and the ideas in the texts (30 marks)

Non-exam assessment: Language in action

What's assessed

  • Language investigation
  • Original writing
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Assessed

  • word count: 3,500
  • 100 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • assessed by teachers
  • moderated by AQA

Tasks Students produce:

  • a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
  • a piece of original writing and commentary (1,500 words total)

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