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Teacher’s Guide to ENGA3 - Language Explorations

Beth Kemp | Monday September 06, 2010

Categories: Hot Entries, AQA A Level, AQA A Level English Language A, ENGA3


This guide is for the examined part of AQA English Language A2 A: ENGA3, entitled “Language Explorations?.

It has a far broader scope than the previous year’s AS paper, requiring students to look far beyond their own linguistic experiences in the study of three topics:

  • Language Change

- specifically,

changes in the English Languag

e since 1600.

  • Language Variation

- specifically,

differences in the usage

of the English Language by user and context.

  • Language Discourses

- specifically,

how language issues are written about and discussed

in the public sphere.  This will need to be focused on specific aspects of language debates: change, variation, political correctness and gender.


The final two and a half hour exam paper tests students on three main skill areas:

  • AO1: Select and apply a range of linguistic methods, to communicate relevant knowledge using appropriate terminology and coherent, accurate written expression (10 marks per question)
  • AO3: Analyse and evaluate the influence of contextual factors on the production and reception of spoken and written language, showing knowledge of the key constituents of language (15 marks per question)
  • AO2: Demonstrate critical understanding of a range of concepts and issues related to the construction and analysis of meanings in spoken and written language, using knowledge of linguistic approaches (20 marks per question)

(Note: the Assessment Objectives (AOs) are presented out of numerical order because AO1 and AO3 are related and this is the order used in mark schemes and examiners’ reports).

There are three questions in this paper.  In Section A, students select either the Language Change question or the Language Variation question.  They must all attempt the Section B question on Language Discourses.

Structuring the Teaching

This unit can be a complex one to navigate around, so there are numerous possible ways of organising the teaching. 

If two teachers are sharing a class, it...

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