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AQA A Level English Language and English Literature

English Language

Course Overview

Autumn term:

  • Language Diversity (Paper 2)
  • Accent and Dialect (Prestige, Status and Class)
  • Attitudes to language – Articles, documentaries, radio shows
  • How is language used to present the views as well as the ideas and views in the text)
  • Research – How these things affect language
  • Theories – why these things affect language
  • Textual Analysis (Paper 1)
  • How meaning is created – language use according to audience, purpose, genre and mode
  • How language creates representations of topics/people/places/issues
  • How context affects language use

Spring term:

  • Language representation and meaning (Paper 1)
  • Language Diversity (Paper 2)
  • Gender, social (age, sexuality) and occupational groups
  • Attitudes to language – Articles, documentaries, radio shows (Focus on analysis of how language used to present the views as well as the ideas and views in the text)
  • Research – How these things affect language
  • Theories – why these things affect language

Summer term:

  • Coursework: language investigation
  • Coursework: original writing

Students will do at least two assessments per half term per teacher.

Useful Links

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-language-7701-7702 - exam board specification

Allerton Grange A’ Level English Language Twitter feed: @AGS_Lang

Mind Your Language and Modern Tribes in The Guardian


English Literature

Course Overview

Autumn Term:

  • Prose Text 1: The Great Gatsby
  • Mock exam practice
  • Prose Text 2: Atonement
  • Unseen Prose

Spring Term:

  • Shakespeare: Othello
  • Poetry Anthology Pre 1900

Summer Term:

  • Revision of Prose text 1: Gatsby
  • Revision of Shakespeare text: Othello
  • Revision of Prose text 2: Atonement
  • Revision of unseen prose and poetry anthology
  • Non-exam assessment text 1: Frankenstein
  • Unseen Prose
  • Comparative set text 1: Spies

Students complete at least 2 assessments per teacher per half term.

English Literature Reading List

Below are some excellent books which sixth form students have enjoyed in the past and which will develop literary ideas and experience. We have grouped them roughly into categories but many books could actually go into several categories so do have a look at the whole list.

Your local library should have, or be able to order, many of these books. If your son/daughter has a kindle or e-reader many of the pre-twentieth century books are available for free or very cheaply. The Oxfam Bookshop in Headingley is a great place to get cheap copies of books.

Race/Around the world:

  • The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  • Brick Lane – Monica Ali
  • Wild Swans – Jung Chang
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
  • White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  • The God of Small Things – Arudati Roy
  • Small Island – Andrea Levi
  • Pigeon English – Stephen Kelman
  • Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid

Women’s experiences:

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
  • Anita and Me – Meera Syal
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison
  • Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  • I know why the caged bird sings - Maya Angelou
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Brontë North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeannette Winterson

World War 1

  • Birdsong– Sebastian Faulkes
  • The Regeneration Trilogy – Pat Barker
  • The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West
  • A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
  • All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
  • Strange Meeting – Susan Hill
  • Goodbye to All That – Robert Graves
  • A long long way – Sebastian Barry
  • The First Casualty – Ben Elton
  • Life Class – Pat Barker
  • Atonement – Ian McEwan

Other historical:

  • Empire of the Sun – JG Ballard
  • Black Robe – Brian Moore
  • The Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracey Chevalier
  • Falling Angels –Tracey Chevalier
  • Arthur and George – Julian Barnes (about Arthur Conan Doyle – the creator of Sherlock Holmes)
  • Remains of the Day – Kazuoa Ishiguro
  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantell
  • A Place of Greater Safety – Hilary Mantel
  • Any Charles Dickens


  • The Van – Roddy Doyle
  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • Silas Marner – George Eliot
  • Anita and Me - Meera Syal
  • Digging to America – Anne Tyler
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
  • The Lord of the Flies – William Golding


  • We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
  • Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre
  • Unless – Carol Shields
  • Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger


  • Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John le Carre
  • Charlotte Grey – Sebastian Faulkes
  • Spies – Michael Frayn
  • The 39 Steps – John Buchan
  • Mystery / Crime:
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • Carter Beats the Devil – Glen David Gold
  • The Moonstone / Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  • Alias Grace – Maragaret Atwood
  • The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafron


  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  • Dracula – Bram Stoker
  • Turn of the Screw – Henry James
  • Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
  • The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde
  • Satire/Dark Humour:
  • The Cement Garden – Ian McEwan
  • The World According to Garp – John Irving
  • Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  • Gullivers Travels – Jonathan Swift


  • 1984 – George Orwell
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
  • The Road – Cormac McCarthy


  • Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  • Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt Down and Out in London and Paris – George Orwell
  • Love on the Dole – Walter Greenwood
  • Q&A – Vikas Swarup (the film Slumdog Millionaire was based on this book.)


Useful Links

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-literature-a-7711-7712 - exam board specification

Study guides:

You may find some of these helpful. Often you can get second hand copies online or via 2nd hand book shops eg Oxfam Book shop in Headingley.

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