English Language

Course Name: English Language

Exam board and qualification: AQA (A level)

Text Book: AQA English Language: A Level and AS (OUP)

If available online link to it (CLA): Not available

Recommended Reading:

‘Mother Tongue’ by Bill Bryson

‘Modern Tribes’ by Susie Dent

‘The Stories of English’ by David Crystal

‘Planet Word’ by Stephen Fry

Youtube / videos / podcasts:

Jean Aitchison – The Language Web (series of podcasts)


BBC Radio 4 – Word of Mouth (podcasts)


The History of English in 10 Minutes


Tasks – you can complete any of these in any order:

  1. Look at videos of you / your family talking as children – what do you notice about your language? Look at writing you produced when you were 5-10 years old – can you see how it developed? (Child Language Acquisition)

  2. Research words and phrases that are unique to your area. Find another region’s language to explore – how does it differ? How do people feel about these accents and dialects? Do they like them or not? Why? (Regional Variation)

  3. Look at text messages / watch a talk show / listen to your family talking – do you notice any differences in the ways that men and women use language? (Language and gender)

  4. Watch a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary about the NHS / the police / teachers / sports team (or another occupation you can think of). What can you observe about the way they speak that is unique to their field of work? (Language and occupation)

  5. Have a go at writing your own magazine article / fairy tale / persuasive speech / short story. Think about the features that are unique to that genre of writing (you could do some reading of other texts in this area to gather ideas first). (Creative writing)