GCSE English Language



English Language


Examination Subject:                                     English Language

Examination Qualification:                         GCSE

Examination Board:                                        AQA

Tiers of Entry:                                    No tiers, all students sit the same exam papers


 This course is 100% examination, there is no Coursework or controlled assessment. Students must sit a speaking test: delivering a speech to an audience, but this does not count towards their GCSE grade   


You will be asked to read a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, fluently and with good understanding, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism.

You will learn to read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts. And to summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts.

You must also show that you are able to write in a variety of forms for different purposes and audiences – these may include descriptive writing, newspaper articles and arguments.  You will also develop the technical skills of spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and grammar. You will learn to speak formally to an audience and respond to questions

Skills Taught


Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas.

Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology.

Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed across two or more texts.

Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.


Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audience.

Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect with accurate spelling and punctuation (20%).

Speaking and Listening

Present in a formal setting.

Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language.

Use spoken Standard English appropriately.


Summary of Assessment

Structure of Units & Examination Papers


Exam Paper 1 50%

Writing in response to one 20th literature text and an extended writing task

Reading (40 marks) (25%) – one single text

1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)

2 longer form questions (2 x 8 marks)

1 extended question (1 x 20 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

1 extended creative writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Exam paper 2 50%

one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text

Section B: Writing

writing to present a viewpoint

Reading (40 marks) (25%) – two linked texts

1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)

2 longer form questions (1 x 8, 1 x 12 marks)

1 extended question (1 x 16 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)


Key Exam Dates.


All exams take place in the summer of yr 11. There is no early entry.

Dates for 2019 are:


Lang 1 Mon 3 June

Lang 2 Fri 7 June


Progression from this examination:

Students move on to A/AS Level English from this examination.

Careers Information:

Most careers require competent communication skills but professions such as journalism, media work, sales and so on will emphasise this skill.

Parents can get help with gcse english at the following sites:




Further Information:             See Mr McGregor