About this site

We want teachers and students to have access to research, then ‘try it at home’.


  1. to explain the key concepts and methods underpinning recent work on English by researchers at the University of York

  2. to show how students of English Language A level can investigate similar questions about English for themselves.

Each case study 'walks you through' the findings of one research paper on English, and provides:

    • a summary of the research in 1-2 sentences

    • an explanation of the key linguistic concepts

    • a description of the methods used to collect and analyse the language data

    • a suggested lead-in classroom activity

    • a suggested extension classroom activity

Video explainers show methods which could be used by students in a language investigation non-exam-assessment project, with links to sources of any publicly available language data for analysis.

Screenshot of the download options in a Google document.
Click on File > Download to see the formats available (or use File> Print).

How to download

The materials are shared via Google Drive, but can be downloaded in a range of different formats, including editable .docx documents, and .pdf.

You do not need to sign in or to have a Google account to download materials.

Open Access

Materials are shared under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA licence.

  • This means materials can be freely downloaded, and adapted for any non-commercial purpose, so long as you cite the source.

  • If you create new materials from ours to share with others you must share them under the same licence.

Please use our feedback form to let us know what you think of the materials and make suggestions!

our own research as the starting point

All the research on this site was carried out by current or former staff and students of the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York.

  • We chose to write about our own research because it is what we know best and because we want to show that a range of types of research are relevant to the English Language A level curriculum.

  • We believe this will provide interesting and stretching material which is suitable for use at various points in a scheme of work.

skills in the humanities and the social sciences

We also want to demonstrate that the more ‘technical’ types of linguistic investigation are within reach of all students.

  • Students of English Language at A level have a unique opportunity to develop their own use of language as well as their ability to formulate hypotheses about their own or others' use of language, and to test those hypotheses.

  • The English Language curriculum fosters critical-thinking and numeracy skills, alongside communication skills. Students who can articulately defend an evidence-based argument develop a formidable set of employability skills.

Resources for teachers who want to provide students with practice of ‘hands-on’ language analysis.