St Bees School

English Language

English Language

Course Overview 

The IGCSE English Language course develops students’ ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in writing and orally. By rewarding the use of a broad, rich and accurate vocabulary, as well as correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, the IGCSE English Language course prepares students for the rigours of professional life in any area.

Students will be exposed to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, learning to recognise and replicate the features of articles, speeches, letters, reports, journals, interviews and summaries aimed at specific audiences. Through this, their critical thinking, analytical capabilities and evaluative skills are expanded, alongside their ability to utilise linguistic and structural features persuasively and engagingly.

How You Will Be Assessed 

All students must sit Paper 1, which consists of a series of brief structured and extended answers based on three texts. Students’ reading comprehension for explicit and implicit meaning, ability to summarise a text effectively, and to respond to a text in a given format for a specific audience, are all tested in this 2-hour examination paper.

Depending on the strengths of the group, the teacher may choose to enter them for Paper 2 or to submit a coursework portfolio.

Paper 2, also 2 hours in length, consists of an extended writing task and a composition task, which may be either narrative or descriptive in nature. The coursework portfolio consists of 3 extended writing assignments, around 800 words in length (one narrative, one descriptive, one non-fiction in response to an article, speech or letter already published by an established writer).

Alongside these options, all students also complete a speaking and listening test, which is  endorsed separately. This means that it does not contribute to the overall IGCSE grade, but is marked individually. It consists of a presentation (approximately 4 minutes in length), pre-prepared by the student, followed by questions from the teacher (6-8 minutes)


University Courses and Career Paths 

The communication skills gained through the study of English Language are essential in sectors such as:

  • Business, consulting and management
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing, media and PR
  • Recruitment and HR
  • Teaching and education

Given the compulsory nature of the subject, most Higher Education courses will include a requirement for a specific minimum grade to be attained in English Language, further underlining the importance of the subject.