spotlight on… english language

We take a closer look at A-Level English Language which is available for you to study here at Cowley Sixth Form.

We asked one of our current students to give us a bit of insight into the course, what’s involved and what it’s like studying it here at Cowley Sixth Form College.


When did you first consider studying English Language at sixth form?

I knew by the end of Year 10 that I wanted to be a professional writer and I figured English Language (as well as Literature) would be my best gateway into that.

What was it that captured your interest in the subject?

The writing side of it was the biggest draw for me, personally. 

What has surprised you most about the subject?

I have been most surprised by how different it is to GCSE – completely different topics and it feels far more precise and specific.

There are no set texts to read for the English Language course. What’s that like for students?

I think that the lack of set texts makes the subject very challenging (as anything, truly, can come up) but it also makes it more open ended and accessible.

If you are struggling with a question/topic what support is available?

All the teachers are very supportive if you are struggling and are always more than willing to email/call to help out.

What do you enjoy most about the lessons?

I have enjoyed the language theory most of all because I have always found the application of language – how/why we do/say certain things – to be fascinating, so learning how power is conveyed through language was very interesting for me.

What have you found the most challenging? 

I found the jump between GCSE and A-Level to be the most challenging due to how different the courses feel, especially for the first few months.

What advice would you give someone thinking of taking the subject at Cowley Sixth Form College?

I’d say that even though GCSE/A-Level are different, and it may seem very challenging at first, it’s worth sticking with it. It’s tough at first because of how new everything is, but once it all starts to click, it becomes a fascinating subject to learn.

If you had to pick your subjects again, would you still pick English Language? If yes, why? If no, why not? 

If I had the option of choosing four subjects again, English Language would 100% have made the cut – once you get past the initial hurdle, it fundamentally appeals to what I love about English most of all, from the writing to the language theories. Plus, it bounces off all my other subjects very well, so now it also feels essential to my balanced college diet, so to speak.


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