GCSE English Language

GCSE English Language

English Language involves discussion and exploration of the way writers use language and structure for a variety of purposes and to create a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.

Students need to be open minded and willing to hear and discuss the opinions of their peers in order to understand the way texts can be interpreted. The course covers a variety of texts from fiction and non-fiction novels to letters, diaries, reports and journalistic articles.

Students will need to understand the way a writer is influenced by what is happening around them, as well as the purpose and audience for the text being produced. They will develop their skills of thinking critically, reading and analysing texts closely and structuring responses.

Skills acquired and developed in this subject are useful for future studies in A-Level Literature, Language, Psychology, Law and History.

Course Content

The specification we follow is AQA English Language. This can be undertaken as a one or two-year course depending on the type of course being taken at Bosworth. There are two assessed exam papers and one non-assessed module of spoken language where students create a presentation and respond to questions from their peers.

  • 19th, 20th and 21st century non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts
  • 20th and 21st century Literature

During the course students will look at a range of texts and textual extracts of varying lengths from both fiction and non-fiction. The texts will have been created for a variety of purposes and from a variety of different time periods; some will be produced by famous writers and some by unknown writers.

Alternative study: GCSE English Literature and A-Level English Language



Paper 1:  Exploration of creative reading and writing with 20th & 21st century texts. 
Section A (A01, A02, A04) Read one literature fiction text. Answer one short question, two long questions and one extended question.
Section B (A05, A06) Create a piece of descriptive or narrative writing. Paper 1 lasts: 1 hour and 45 minutes: forms 50% of GCSE mark

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspective with 19th, 20th & 21st century texts.
Section A (A01, A02, A03) Read one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text. Respond to one short question, two longer questions and one extended question.
Section B (A05, A06) Create a piece of writing to present a viewpoint. Paper 2 lasts: 1 hour and 45 minutes: forms 50% of GCSE mark

Assessment Objectives

A01 Identify and interpret explicit and implicit ideas and information. Select and synthesise evidence from different texts.
A02 Explain, comment and analyse on the way language, form and structure are used to create meaning and effect. Use relevant terminology.
A03 Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives – how they are conveyed – across two or more texts.
A04 Critically evaluate texts – support with textual detail.
A05 Communicate clearly – effectively adapt tone/style/register for purpose/audience. Organise information and ideas using structural and grammatical features.
A06 Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures with accurate spelling and punctuation.

Assessment objectives for the presentation that does not contribute to the GCSE grade
A07 Demonstrate presentational features in a formal setting.
A08 Listen to and respond appropriately to spoken language, question and give feedback on presentations.
A09 Use spoken Standard English effectively in speeches and presentations.

Where does it lead?

This subject is very versatile, developing skills that are relevant in a number of different careers or Higher Education courses, such as interpretive abilities, communication, an understanding of how language works, close analysis, and the ability to construct a well-argued case.

As well as an English Literature degree itself, students of Literature might go on to study for university degrees in a range of subjects including: History, Sociology, Psychology, Drama, Theatre Studies and Law.

Language is a subject that can support careers in the above areas as well as teaching, business and finance, journalism, publishing – and even politics. Employers tend to regard English Language as an ideal topic of study and one that develops essential and transferable skills.