Year 12 Transition: English Language Reading List

Non-Fiction books about language

The following books are all a good mixture of being informative and entertaining to read. They start from the more general and get into more specific topics as the list goes down.

  1. How Language Works by David Crystal
  2. The Mother Tongue: English and how it got that way by Bill Bryson
  3. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English by John McWhorter
  4. The Language Instinct by Steven Pinkner
  5. That’s not English: Britishisms, Americanisms and what or English says about us by Erin Moore
  6. Through the Language Glass: why the world looks different in other languages by Guy Deutscher
  7. The Everyday Language of White Racism by Jane H. Hill
  8. Holy sh*t: A brief history of swearing by Melissa Mohr

Top Novels which explore the theme of language

  1. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  4. Babel 17 by Samuel R. Delany
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


OCR A Level English Language: Student Book

This has been designed and put together to support you with the course. Whilst you can’t rely on it alone to succeed, it serves a strong introduction to the key topics and will be a very useful text to support your revision of topics.



A powerful story about the power of communication and how language reflects our culture and unique ways of thinking.


Word of Mouth is a BBC Radio 4 programme which explores a range of language topics in 30 minute episodes. The episodes below are the most topically relevant to what is covered at A-Level.

Good introduction talk!

Spoken English

Language and Technology

Emoji: the future of English:

Language and Gender

Language Change

Child Language Development