Readings for students who have studied English Language at A-Level

Here is a set of suggested preparatory readings for those students who have studied English Language at A-Level.

Most of the students we make offers to have studied English Language in some form at A-Level and will be well-prepared for undergraduate study. However, degree-level work will inevitably pose new challenges, and we therefore provide below a list of books that you may want to choose from if you decide to do some preparatory readings before October. Reading just one or two books will certainly make a difference to your ability to do well on the courses you will take when you come to Lancaster.

We have divided the books into different areas according to the main degree schemes we offer, but there are overlaps between some areas, so that some books are listed under more than one heading. If you are going to study on a combined degree scheme, you may find that more than one of the headings below is relevant to you..

Most of these books are recommended here because they provide accessible introductions to relevant areas. As a consequence, they may not be used on the courses you will take. However, we have marked with an asterisk * those books which are used as textbooks at Lancaster.


English Language

Start with one (or more) of the first three entries in this list and then try one or two of the others.

  • Bloomer, A., Griffiths, P. and A. J. Merrison (2005) Introducing Language in Use. Routledge.
  • Crystal, D. (2002) The English Language, Penguin
  • Crystal, D. (2003) (2nd edn) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press (read a couple of entries a day from this book, in any order you like, until you have read a significant portion of the book, if not all of it, to get a sense of the breadth of English Language study)
  • * Culpeper, J. Katamba, F., Kerswill, P., Wodak, R. and T. McEnery (2009) English Language: Description, Variation and Context, Palgrave Macmillan (this book, which has 39 chapters on different aspects of English Language study is written by members of the department and so will help to give you a sense of what we are like as well as what the linguistic study of the English language is like).
  • * Hughes, A., P. Trudgill and D. Watt (2005) English Accents and Dialects, Arnold (CD can be purchased)

Linguistics

Start with one (or both) of the first two entries in this list and then try one or two of the others.

  • Crystal, D. (1997) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language, Cambridge University Press (read a couple of entries a day from this book, in any order you like, until you have read a significant portion of the book, if not all of it, to get a sense of the breadth of the study of Linguistics)
  • Culpeper, J. Katamba, F., Kerswill, P., Wodak, R. and T. McEnery (2009) English Language: Description, Variation and Context, Palgrave Macmillan (this book, which has 39 chapters on different aspects of English Language study is written by members of the department and so will help to give you a sense of what we are like as well as what the linguistic study of the English language is like).
  • Aitchison, J. (2000) Language Change: Progress or Decay, Cambridge University Press.
  • Aitchison, J (2000) The Seeds of Speech, Cambridge University Press.
  • Aitchison, J. (2002) Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon, Cambridge University Press.
  • Aitchison, J. (2007) The Articulate Mammal: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics, Cambridge University Press.
  • Ashby, P. (2005), Speech Sounds, London: Routledge
  • Crystal, D. (1990) Linguistics, Penguin
  • Fabb, N. (2005) Sentence Structure, Routledge
  • Nettle, D. and Romaine, S. (2000) Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages, Oxford University Press.
  • Pinker, S. (1999) Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language, Phoenix.
  • Pinker, S. (2003) The Language Instinct, Penguin
  • Pinker, S. (2008) The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, Penguin.

You may also find the web links below helpful:


English Language and Literature

Read at least one of the books listed under 'English Language', plus at least one of the following:

  • Carter, R. et al. (2001) Working with Texts (2nd edition), Routledge
  • Gregoriou, C. English Literary Stylistics, Palgrave Macmillan
  • * Short, M. (1996) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, Longman
  • * Short, M. (2003) Language and Style web-based course (this web-based course, which is freely available worldwide is used as part of the term 2 Language and Style course, so it will give you a good sense of the course as well as helping you with your A-level English Language/Literature work)
  • Simpson, P. (1996) Language Through Literature, Routledge

English Language and Creative Writing

Read at least one of the books listed under 'English Language', plus at least one of the following:

  • Carter, R. et al. (2001) Working with Texts (2nd edition), Routledge
  • Nash, W. (1998) Language and Creative Illusion, Longman
  • Nash, W. and Stacey, D. E. (1997) Creating Texts: An Introduction to the Study of Composition, Longman
  • Gregoriou, C. English Literary Stylistics, Palgrave Macmillan
  • * Short, M. (1996) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, Longman
  • * Short, M. (2003) Language and Style web-based course (this web-based course, which is freely available worldwide is used as part of the term 2 Language and Style course, so it will give you a good sense of the course as well as helping you with your A-level English Language/Literature work)
  • Simpson, P. (1996) Language Through Literature, Routledge

English Language in the Media

Read at least one of the books listed under 'English Language', plus at least one of the following:

  • Curran, J. and Gurevitch, M. (eds.) (2000) Mass Media and Society, Arnold
  • Goddard, A. (2002) The Language of Advertising (2nd edition), Routledge
  • Marshall, J. and Werndley, A. (2002) The Language of Television, Routledge
  • McLoughlin, L. (2000) The Language of Magazines, Routledge
  • Myers, G. (1994) Words in Ads, Arnold
  • Myers, G. (1999) Ad Worlds, Arnold
  • Newbold, C., Boyd-Barrett, O. and van den Bulck, H. (eds.) (2002) The Media Book, Oxford University Press
  • Reah, D. (2002) The Language of Newspapers (2nd edition), Routledge