The Academy of
Central Bedfordshire

Student at the Academy of Central Bedfordshire

AQA GCSE English Language/Literature

Course Duration: 2 Years

Guided Learning: 4 Lessons per Week

Course Location: KingslandStotfold

Who is the course for?

The AQA English Language GCSE is designed to inspire and motivate all students and provide appropriate stretch and challenge in regards to reading and writing a wide range of texts. The specification is fully co-teachable with GCSE English Literature.

Students who study both will greatly benefit from the transferable skills learnt across the two subjects.

What will I learn?

There are two papers you must complete for the Language GCSE and two papers for the Literature GCSE.

The aim of Language Paper 1, is to engage you in a creative text and inspire you to write creatively yourself by:

  • reading a literature fiction text in section A in order to consider how established writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to capture the interest of readers
  • writing your own creative text in section B, inspired by the topic that you have responded to in section A to demonstrate your narrative and descriptive skills in response to a written prompt, scenario or visual image.

The aim of Language Paper 2, is to develop your insights into how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think and live our lives. It will encourage you to demonstrate your skills by:

  • reading two linked sources from different time periods and genres in order to consider how each presents a perspective or viewpoint to influence the reader
  • producing a written text to a specified audience, purpose and form in which you give your own perspective on the theme that has been introduced to you earlier in the paper

The aim of Literature Paper 1, is to develop your critical reading skills, literal and inferential comprehension and evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary; you will answer one question on a play of choice (Shakespeare) and one question on your choice of 19th century novel and produce clear and coherent responses to these texts. Questions will require you to:

  • write in detail about an extract from the play/19th century novel
  • write about the play/novel as a whole

The aim of Literature Paper 2, is to develop your understanding of Modern texts and poetry (familiar and unseen) whilst analysing and comparing key features such as content, theme, structure and use of language.  Like Literature Paper 1, you will be expected to critically evaluate the texts using inference and closely analyse the texts to produce insightful and thought provoking responses. Questions will require you to:

  • Answer one essay question from a choice of two on your studied modern prose or text (section A)
  • Answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one poem from your chosen Anthology cluster (section B)
  • Answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem (section C)

How will I be assessed?

You will sit 4 written exams whilst Spoken Language will be assessed in the classroom.

GCSE English Language Paper 1

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE
  • Reading (40 marks) (25%)
  • Writing (40 marks) (25%)
GCSE English Literature Paper 1

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 64 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


GCSE English Language Paper 2

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE
  • Reading (40 marks) (25%)
  • Writing (40 marks) (25%)
GCSE English Literature Paper 2

  • Written exam: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of GCSE


GCSE Spoken Language(internally assessed at The ACB)

  • Presenting
  • Responding to questions and feedback
  • Use of Standard English
  • Marked by teacher
 Remember, you can sit the GCSE Language exams on their own without Literature.


Remember, A*- G has now become 1-9. Please watch the video below to explain this further:

Explaining the grading changes.

What can I do after the course?

GCSE English Language/Literature could help you achieve that dream job…

Sports journalist – Lawyer – Film Director – Public Relations Executive – Fashion Journalist – Author – Newsreader – Politician – Actor – Architect – Creative Director – Scriptwriter and many more!

English is invaluable for the future no matter what you are aiming for. A good command of the spoken and written word will help you every day – and benefit all your other GCSEs too.

Whatever you end up doing, English is a must have subject for college, university, work and life!