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English Language

Course Title : GCSE English Language in Wales
Examination Board
Web address
Qualification :GCSE
Grade Range :A*-G

Aims of the course

This is a new GCSE specification; it encourages pupils to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad and worthwhile course of study. They will develop their ability to use English as active and informed citizens and be able to speak, listen, read and write fluently, appropriately, effectively and critically – for a wide range of personal, functional and social purposes. Pupils will be expected to respond to a wide range of written texts, including challenging and dynamic texts.

What will I study? – Course Outline

This subject promotes an integrated approach to oracy, reading and writing. All examination texts will be ‘unseen’. Primarily, the course focuses on the ‘functional’ aspects of language, that is providing pupils with the skills and abilities they need to take active and responsible roles in their communities, everyday life, the workplace and in educational settings.

How will I learn? What skills will I acquire?

  • Demonstrate skills in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing necessary to communicate with others confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately
  • Access and retrieve information from a wide range of texts, forming a broad understanding, summarising and synthesising content, inferring meaning and evaluating its purpose
  • Understand the patterns, structures and conventions of language
  • Understand the impact of variations in language, selecting and adapting speech and writing to different situations, purposes and audiences
  • Develop their verbal reasoning and their ability to think constructively and critically

Develop their proofreading and editing skills.

How will I be assessed?

This is a linear course and the exams are un-tiered.

  • Unit 1: oracy (20%)

Two electronically recorded assessments: an individual researched presentation and a group discussion based on WJEC based themes.

  • Unit 2 exam (40%) 2 hours

This exam tests pupils’ reading and writing skills with a focus on description, narration and exposition. It will include an editing and a proofreading task.

  • Unit 3 exam (40%) 2 hours

Pupils’ reading and writing skills are tested with a focus on argumentation, persuasion and instruction.

In the reading sections of both exams, some questions will be short (e.g. multiple choice questions, short constructed responses, cloze, sequencing). Others will require longer answers (e.g. paraphrasing, context comprehension, analysis/deduction/inference).

Progression following this course. What’s next?

Most sixth forms, colleges and employers require pupils to have achieved at least a C grade in this subject, which also forms part of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification; a B grade is required for teaching courses. There are a range of A Level courses available, including A Level English Literature, English Language and English Language and Literature. Studying English at A Level is highly regarded by employers and universities, which can lead to a wide range of courses, including: English Literature, English Language, Creative Writing, Journalism, Media, Broadcasting, Law, Teaching, Advertising, Marketing, Communication Studies, Film Studies, Publishing, Medicine and many others.

Future career opportunities

  • Teaching and Lecturing
  • Law
  • Journalism, Broadcasting, TV/Film Production
  • Editing, Publishing, Writing

Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations

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