Subject content – AS

Our AS English Language specification offers opportunities for students to develop their subject expertise by exploring key language concepts and engaging with a range of texts and discourses. The specification explores the study of English Language both as a medium of communication and as a topic in its own right, with an emphasis on the ability of students to pursue lines of enquiry, analyse texts produced by others and debate different views.

The methods of analysis appropriate to the fields of English language/linguistics underpin all the elements of the specification, and these are applied to distinctive topic areas. This means that, for teaching purposes, there is a common core that all teachers and students need to understand but also discrete areas so that you can teach to your own specialisms and interests.

The topics and titles of the subject content reflect a possible trajectory through the course, with 'Language and the Individual' focussing on individual contexts for language, and with 'Language Varieties' working outwards to consider larger-scale public discourses about variety. However, it would be just as viable to start with the bigger questions about language use in 'Language Varieties' and end closer to home in 'Language and the Individual'. Both of these represent valid teaching methods, and the chosen route will depend on teacher or student preferences and abilities.

This specification draws academic insights from a range of fields within the study of English language/linguistics, including sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. In creating the specification, particular note has been taken of a range of associated factors. These are: the subject criteria for English Language GCSE; subject criteria for GCE English Language; benchmarks used at higher education level. In this way the specification is designed to fit within a continuum of study from GCSE to degree level.

In summary, our AS English Language specification offers a common core of analytical methods, topics and skills which have proven value, set within a flexible programme that allows schools and colleges to shape learning and teaching in ways appropriate to their particular contexts and constituencies. It has the additional benefit of being co-teachable with our A-level in English Language, thus widening options for you and your students and ensuring that you are able to deliver a programme of study that is coherent and manageable.