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Be as up-to-date as you can on material here.  General “reading around” about language will benefit you hugely in A Level assessments.

See this excellent blog for language news of the week, maintained by a teacher of A Level English Language.

Other useful links are collected here.

Main research studies of relevance:



Overt prestige = socially desirable (associated with women & middle/higher classes)

Covert prestige = non-standard, desirable in certain groups (associated with men & working/lower classes)

Classes are defined differently by different people/bodies - most studies broadly differentiate between upper (RP/Standard) middle (standard in slight accent) and working/lower (local/urban accent & dialect).  Labov and Trudgill separated middle into 3 and found the lowest middle group - who were the most insecure socially - were the most sensitive to pressure to conform/converge.  Do you remember how this was tested?