English Language

Exam Board: AQA

Why study this subject?

There's a lot more to English than the words we speak. To learn the rules of spelling, punctuation & grammar, and to construct a sentence on a page, takes everyone a lot of time, study and patience. It is all about communicating effectively and understanding how others communicate with you. This is so important in the world we live in today where we have to be on guard against ‘fake news’, exploitation from advertisers and where in many jobs the ability to communicate and present yourself well can set you above the pack.

What will a typical lesson look like?

Much like a normal lesson there will be the normal Do Now Tasks, Plenaries and as you can imagine English will do a significant amount of extended writing. However you can also expect to be discussing the text as a class or group. Annotating extracts and model work. Using prompts to develop creative and persuasive writing which are drawn from modern media as well as current events and inspiring literature. In English we work to make the materials you study engaging and challenging to best inspire and prepare you for the world ahead.

What does Homework look like in this subject?

You can expect to be set one piece of homework per week – this could be an essay, questions, quotation explosions or researched based. Teachers will expect you to read regularly and practise your fiction and non-fiction writing.


There are 2 exams and the English language GCSE will require students to:

Listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively.

Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language

What's assessed?

Separate endorsement (0% weighting of GCSE)  

Where can it lead?

Simply put: everything. Almost every job, apprenticeship, college and university place will specify a minimum of 4 or even 5 in English and the better your grade the better it looks on an application. This is because, like in Maths, every student does English Language and so it forms a clear comparison for employers to see a side of your potential ability.

At NUAST we offer A-Level English Literature, but if this is not for you English Language is useful for any job that involves communication, writing and / or literary knowledge. These include: advertising and marketing, writing and journalism, law, consultancy, business, teaching, performing arts, academia, government, linguistics, foreign languages, media and design. Careers in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths also need more English than you think. Writing proposals, academic papers & articles and communicating with others is key to getting funding for projects and reaching people with your work.