Language is a human invention; without it, social life could hardly exist in the forms we know today. One important characteristic is the way we, as users of language, take it for granted. This course will train you to become a linguistic observer and will help you develop expertise in applying knowledge about language to your own and other people’s uses of the spoken and written word. This will include the skill of forensically analysing spoken and written text in terms of lexis (words) and syntax (grammar), alongside other levels of language. You will learn to think linguistically and to use both spoken and written language with greater proficiency; an invaluable skill for life, whatever you choose to do with it.
If you take the subject at A level, you will complete three units:
Language, the Individual and Society;
Language Diversity and Change; and
Language in Action, which is an independent language research project of your own choosing.
These will allow you to explore a range of language issues, how language changes over time and the development of language in children; true building blocks to the understanding of the English language. Alongside this, you will explore how language is used in context, as well as conducting your own independent research on an area of personal interest.
80% exam (two papers); 20% independent research coursework
Language study has relationships with other disciplines such as media, sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology and literary criticism. It develops skills in understanding how speech and written work are relevant to all occupations but in particular to journalism, advertising, public relations, TV and radio, marketing and sales.